Tag Archives | UK

The Investment Association

The Investment Association Statement of Principles

The UK’s Investment Association’s Statement of Principles has now been signed by 25 firms with £1.8 trillion in assets. Does it represent substantial progress or is it simply an attempt to console the investing public? In principle, it all sounds good. I like their pledge: As signatories to these principles we do our utmost to: 1. […]

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UK Law Commission

Video Friday: UK Law Commission Clarifies Fiduciary Duty?

The UK Law Commission’s final 2014 report and guidance on fiduciary duty: The Review identified widespread concern about how fiduciary duties were interpreted in the context of investment.  In particular, some stakeholders felt: it was not clear who in the investment chain was subject to fiduciary duties and what those duties were; their fiduciary duties […]

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Women on Boards opinion by country

Women on Corporate Boards: Global Trends for Promoting Diversity

We last explored the topic of gender diversity on boards, in particular the underrepresentation of women on them, late in 2012, but much has happened globally on the subject since then. More companies have adopted regulation on the issue that range from “comply-or-explain” rules to quotas for the percentage of women on boards. A 2014 Grant Thornton […]

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Paul Marsland photo discusses proxy season

Rise of Pseudo-Rights: Proxy Season Review

Guest Proxy Season Review:  Paul Marsland is a regular panelist and contributor to publications on corporate governance issues and has served in a number of senior roles at PIRC Ltd the UK based corporate governance consultancy most recently as Head of Policy. Time to take stock of the proxy season. The proxy season means February in […]

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Manifest

Proxy Advisor Role Clarified by SEC

The SEC this week weighed into the proxy advisor debate with Staff Legal Bulletin 20, which provides information on  the proxy voting responsibilities of investment advisers (i.e. professional investors) as well as clarification on the exemptions from federal regulation which apply to proxy advisory firms. (more…)

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Video Friday: The Cadbury Archive

The Cadbury Archive at Cambridge Judge Business School has been completed with the addition of copies of all the speeches on corporate governance made by Sir Adrian Cadbury, Chairman of the UK Committee on the Financial Aspects of Corporate Governance. The Archive, established in 2010 and part of the Cambridge Corporate Governance Network (CCGN), is a […]

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Review & Reflections: The Cadbury Committee

The Committee was formed in 1991, the same year I read Power and Accountability: Restoring the Balances of Power Between Corporations and Society by Robert A.G. Monks and Nell Minow. I had spent years in academia searching for the perfect corporate form. I studied corporate systems around the world and headed California’s cooperative development program. It […]

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Video Friday: Brian Cheffins on Comparative Corporate Governance

In 2012 Cambridge University launched a Masters degree in Corporate Law (the MCL), which offers students the opportunity to engage in detailed study of the legal and regulatory framework within which companies are governed and financed. The MCL, a full-time nine-month program, is taught by the Cambridge Law Faculty’s team of corporate lawyers, widely recognized as […]

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CorpGov Tidbits

PLANSPONSOR.com reports, a provision in President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget that pertains to employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) could result in a disincentive for offering the plans. The provision would eliminate Internal Revenue Code section 404(k), an incentive for ESOP creation and operation that permits a C corporation to deduct the value of dividends paid […]

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Video Friday: Lucy Marcus Interviews Steve Waygood

Steve Waygood, of Aviva Investors, which owns 2% of UK equities, explains why fund managers still prefer to walk away, rather than trying to change a company culture. Wagood defines sustainability to include how mega-trends influence the firm. Retail investors doesn’t really understand what is being (more…)

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Auto Enrollment for Retirement Savings Begins

Half of employers in the UK don’t offer a pension to their employees. Auto-enrolment, the opt-out defined-contribution system designed to fill this gap, was introduced in the UK on October 1. Top1000Funds.com interviewed Lawrence Churchill who chairs he government-funded pension fund, NEST, one of the funds on offer, during the first day of the rest of the fund’s life. […]

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Kay Review Recommendations

The UK backed Kay Review of UK Equity Markets and Long-Term Decision Making was commissioned by Business Secretary Vince Cable after the takeover of Cadbury by Kraft, which many thought was driven by short-term investors.  After examination the Report made several recommendations that could improve the long-term focus fund returns if properly implemented. (more…)

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Review: Shareholder Democracies?

Shareholder Democracies?: Corporate Governance in Britain and Ireland before 1850 addresses a central issue. Current governance structures often allow managers to pursue their own interests. According to some, a dissemblance of democracy has led to “elitism and self-interest in the boardroom,” resulting in (more…)

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No Employees on Compensation Boards Under UK's Cameron

UK Prime Minister David Cameron rejected a Labor Party proposal that an ordinary employee sit on a company board compensation committee, noting that having an employee on the committee would break an important principle of not having people on a remuneration committee who will have their own pay determined. Since when are boards setting the […]

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CII Contract with Equilar a Positive Step But More Needed to Address Pay Issue

Equilar, the leading provider of executive compensation benchmarking and research solutions, announced the release of its Pay-For-Performance Analytics suite yesterday, along with the fact that the Council of Institutional Investors (CII), whose members hold $3 trillion in assets, has signed on as the first client. According to the press release: By combining an innovative market-based algorithm to identify peer […]

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Funds Should Attend More Annual Meetings

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC), UK’s independent regulator “responsible for promoting high quality corporate governance and reporting to foster investment,” is also in charge of the Stewardship Code for institutional investors. The FRC, 230 pension schemes, fund managers and service-providers have  signed up for the Stewardship Code, including “most of the major investors in UK equities.” According to […]

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Deadline for Golden Peacock Awards: September 14

If you know of good candidates for the Golden Peacock Awards, instituted by Institute of Directors in 1992, now is the time to get nominations in, since they are due September 14, 2011. Below are the categories: A.      Golden Peacock Global Awards Sustainability Excellence in Corporate Governance B.       Golden Peacock National Awards Climate Security Sustainability […]

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Why Routinely Approve Auditors?

Ever since the demise of Enron, I’ve wondered why the vote by shareowners to approve auditors is considered such a routine nonevent. Ask anyone who used to work for former big five firm Arthur Andersen LLP. Yet, “ratification” of auditors remains among the last holdouts of broker voting. Who watches the watchers in the world of […]

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PhD Student Wanted to Research Uk Stewardship Code Implementation

Oxford Brookes University Business School wants to test the proposition that Shareowner Engagement is having an impact. They are looking for a PhD student to investigate the Stewardship Code, which “aims to enhance the quality of engagement between institutional investors and companies to help improve long-term returns to shareholders and the efficient exercise of governance […]

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Worried About Women on Boards? Don't Be

A U.K.-government-commissioned review by former trade minister Lord Mervyn Davies into board diversity, published Thursday, recommended FTSE 100 boards should aim for a minimum 25% female representation by 2015, up from 12.5% in 2010. Unlike Norway and Spain, Lord Davies doesn’t believe in setting hard quotas. Worryingly, he doesn’t rule them out if a business-led […]

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Cambridge Launches Masters Degree in Corporate Law

The University of Cambridge has announced its first entirely new degree in Law since the 19th century with the launch of a Master’s degree in Corporate Law (the MCL). The MCL will begin in the academic year 2012-13 and will operate as a full-time nine-month programme, offering students the opportunity to engage in a detailed […]

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Belgian Companies to "Comply or Explain" Re Women on Boards

The Belgian Corporate Governance Commission (CGC) has implemented gender diversity into its governance code on a ‘comply or explain’ basis. Listed companies are encouraged to increase the number of women serving boards to at least 30% within seven years. The Confederation of British Industry sent a similar request last year in its submission to Lord Davies’ […]

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Compensation Committees Should Include Employee or Shareowner Representatives

The membership of remuneration committees should be widened to allow employee or shareholder representatives to participate in order to make their operation more effective and facilitate pay restraint, according to Europe’s largest independent proxy agency PIRC. In its submission to the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) consultation on short-termism, PIRC argues that encouraging […]

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FRC Recommends Shareowner Involvement in Choice of Auditor

The Financial Reporting Council, the UK financial reporting watchdog, wants shareholders to have more say in choosing the firms which audit corporate accounts. The suggestion is among a raft of ideas the FRC is putting forward for debate in a bid to improve corporate reporting in the wake of the financial crisis. The FRC argues […]

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UK Looks at Short-termism

UK’s Secretary of State for Business, Vince Cable, launched a consultation into corporate governance and whether failures in that process are stoking a trend for short-termism in investment that damages the long term interests of companies and many of their investors. The consultation will examine allegations that publicly quote companies are being run in order […]

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