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Trump confirms US withdrawal from Paris climate change agreement

American companies, responsible investment campaigners and city mayors have voiced their support for the Paris climate change agreement after President Donald Trump confirmed he would withdraw the US from the accord. During his election campaign last year Trump had suggested scepticism about climate change and efforts made by the Obama administration to move the US to generating more of its energy from renewables.… Read the rest

CtW urges shareholders a vote against Catepillar’s directors

Caterpillar AGM tax scheme

CtW Investment Group, the US corporate governance adviser to trade union pension funds (Taft Hartley funds), has suggested that investors should vote against the re-election of three of Caterpillar’s directors and in favour of a shareholder resolution proposing that the company’s clawback policy to include events that may result in reputational damage to the company at its AGM next month.… Read the rest

US institutional investors campaign against Financial CHOICE Act

The US Council Institutional Investors (CII) and individual institutional investors have voiced their continued opposition to the Financial CHOICE Act, which has been proposed and passed by the House of Representatives’ Financial Services Committee.

The CII and over 50 institutional investors delivered letters opposing the provisions of the Financial CHOICE Act that they believe would hurt investors.… Read the rest

CII voices opposition to Republicans’ Financial CHOICE Act

Financial Choice Act

The US Council of Institutional Investors (CII) has voiced its opposition to aspects of the Republicans’ Financial CHOICE Act which was formally introduced by the House of Representatives’ Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling this week.

Hensarling believes the Act is a replacement for what he terms the “failed” Dodd-Frank Act which was enacted in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.… Read the rest

US senators suggest acting SEC chairman is overreaching his authority

SEC chair Michael Piwowar

In a sign of disquiet about the acting chair of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Michael Piwowar, Democratic Senators have suggested that he has overreached his authority in a letter to the regulator’s inspector general, Carl Hoecker.

The Senators point out that Piwowar’s position is temporary until President Trump’s nominee for the position, Jay Clayton, has been approved by Congress.… Read the rest

Chilling, excessive rules for shareholder activists and analysts

Texan state legislature disclosure act

Shareholder activists and proxy analysts face up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000 if they fail to comply with a new regulations being proposed in the USA.

The US state legislature in Texas has proposed a bill, which would, if passed, require activist investors and proxy advisory firms owning or commenting on Texan publicly-listed companies adhere to new disclosure requirements that go far beyond current federal rules.… Read the rest

Demand for CEO pay ratios intensifies

CEO pay ratio disclosure rule

Demand for CEO pay ratios has increased with initiatives in the US and UK focusing on the discrepancies between director and employee pay and the need for more regulation.

US Democratic Senator Bob Menendez and eight other senators have written to Michael Piwowar, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, to urge him to implement the CEO pay ratio rule which would require companies to disclose the ratio between chief executive (CEO) pay and the pay of their median worker.… Read the rest

Caterpillar: Federal investigations prompt investor concerns

Caterpillar AGM tax scheme

Investors in machinery, vehicle and engine manufacturer Caterpillar have called on its board to establish a special committee to investigate any risks related to tax schemes set up by the company which are now subject to investigations by US federal authorities.… Read the rest

US Business Roundtable supports Dodd Frank reform

Business Roundtable | BRT

The Business Roundtable (BRT), an association of the top US chief executives, has voiced its support for President Trump’s plans to reform Dodd Frank and has outlined a number of corporate governance regulations that it believes need reform or to be repealed.… Read the rest

Yahoo CEO gives up bonus over 2014 cyber security breach

Yahoo CEO cyber security data breach

Marissa Mayer, Yahoo chief executive, has lost her 2016 cash bonus and forgone her 2017 equity award after an investigation found that executives at the technology company were aware of a cyber security data breach in 2014 but did not actively investigate the incident.… Read the rest

S&P 100 companies increase disclosure on investor engagement

Nearly half of S&P 100 companies included information in 2016 that showed how they responded to shareholder concerns and made changes to policies, according to a new report from US corporate adviser, Equilar.

 

In 2016 42% of S&P 100 companies included disclosures in their proxy statements on how they modified their practices after engaging with shareholders compared to just 14% in 2012.… Read the rest

US SEC: Comments sought on pay ratio disclosure rule

SEC Securities & Exchange Commission

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is seeking comments from companies are encountering as they look to comply with the CEO Pay Ratio disclosure rule which took effect for financial years from 1st January 2017. The rule, hotly debated by business and investors alike, requests companies to disclose the ratio of the median of the annual total pay of all employees to the annual total pay of the chief executive.… Read the rest