As the COVID19 lock-down continues, the UK’s Department for Business, Enterprise and Industrial Strategy has announced its intention to publish new regulations enabling companies to hold alternative AGMs for 2020. Speaking on Saturday, 28 March 2020, Secretary of State Alok Sharma, said that BEIS intends to introduce measures which will allow companies to hold AGMs […]

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AGM Season

Virtual AGMs: Time to prepare Companies, regulators and markets are increasingly realising that the AGM season will be severely disrupted by the COVID19 pandemic. As social distancing becomes the norm, traditional annual meetings where shareholders gather to hear CEO presentations and ask questions of management are simply no longer feasible. Minerva has written to quoted […]

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UK companies can delay submitting their accounts to Companies House without penalty for up to three months, the government has announced. The measure, the latest issued in the response to the Covid19 coronavirus outbreak, is aimed at reducing pressure on businesses already dealing with concerns around demand, employees and cashflow. Companies House Chief Executive Louise […]

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As the UK entered COVID19 lockdown last week, Minerva wrote to regulators asking for their intervention to create an orderly market in AGMs. Today a letter has been sent to quoted companies asking them to clarify their AGM proposals, alerting them to the risk of bunching meetings in June. With AGM season about to get […]

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COVID-19 Hits Dividends

An increasing number of UK-listed companies are cutting or suspending dividend payments in order to preserve cash and protect their balance sheets in response to the economic impact of coronavirus. The suspension of dividends will be a real worry for income-dependent investors such as pension funds. Companies that have suspended dividends include Crest Nicholson, Elementis, […]

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Sustainability risks internal audit

The Institute of Internal Auditors said the findings from its annual survey of 630 internal audit executives painted a “troubling picture”. Many internal audit functions are failing to allocate a portion of their audit plans to certain key risks, in particular sustainability. Of the executives who responded to the 2020 North American Pulse of Internal […]

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climate change reporting

In February, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) announced what it has called a “major review” of how companies and auditors assess and report on the impact of climate change, with the findings due to be published in the Autumn, ahead of COP26. But investors are set to play a key role in this review, according […]

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social distancing Impacting investor rights

The UK Government has now implemented social distancing measures across the UK as the coronavirus outbreak continues to gather pace. Mass gatherings are being postponed or cancelled in response, but UK companies with scheduled annual general meetings (AGM) are having to consider whether they do the same or find another way to hold AGMs. The […]

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GPIF scales up stewardship expectations

Japan’s GPIF scales up stewardship expectations Japan’s biggest public pension fund has revised its stewardship and proxy voting principles amid a surge in shareholder activism in the country. The Government Pension Investment Fund, one the world’s largest pools of retirement savings with assets totalling ¥168.9 trillion (£1.28 trillion) as of the end of 2019, has […]

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SEC

SEC fallout grows as row rages over amendments A prominent SEC Commissioner has admitted that the US regulator needs to rethink parts of its proxy voting rule amendments. Speaking at the Council of Institutional Investors’ 2020 conference this week, Commissioner Elad Roisman said the regulator may reconsider parts of its proposals to appease market commentators. […]

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