Minerva & Manifest in the News

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Recent Press Releases

2018

Us Proxy Plumbing- Eight Years Later

US Proxy Plumbing: SEC Re-opens Investigations Plans to review proxy plumbing infrastructure “long overdue, but very welcome”. The Securities and Exchange Commission has announced it will re-examine the US proxy voting system.  The US securities regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission, is inviting comments on its proposal and will host a round-table this autumn to..

Minerva| Aug 2, 2018

 

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Recent Coverage

2019

MPs urge companies to cap ‘eye-watering’ executive pay

Soaring boardroom salaries and lavish pensions a symbol of ‘corporate greed’

Sarah Wilson, chief executive of Minerva Analytics, a consultancy that advises shareholders, said: “CEO pay does not reflect most people’s reality and it’s creating stress. They’ve touched on a very important and sensitive issue for British society.”
But she said it would be difficult to implement the recommendation that boards should set an absolute cap on total pay.

Financial Times | March 26, 2019

Pearson chief executive’s £1.5m bonus pushes up pay 70%

John Fallon qualifies for award for first time after 5 profits warning from 2012-17

Sarah Wilson, chief executive of governance consultancy Minerva Analytics, said remuneration at Pearson “does not meet good practice”. “In terms of aligning executives and ordinary employee it is a very generous pension for someone who is already very generously rewarded” she said.
She added that it did not meet test “shareholders look for in terms of simplicity”

Financial Times | March 25, 2019

Tears in the boardroom at Mahmud Kamani’s Boohoo

Founder Mahmud Kamani isn’t going to let fellow directors stand in his way

“Governance requirements for an AIM company are not as stringent as on the main market, irrespective of the company’s size,” said Sarah Wilson, chief executive of the corporate governance adviser Minerva Analytics. “For a number of investors the governance at Boohoo will raise red flags. The lack of an outside, independent chairman for some shareholders is very unwelcome.”

Financial Times | March 10, 2019

Fund managers to turn up pressure on director remuneration

Commenting on the IA’s move, chief executive of Minerva Sarah Wilson said the company was pleased to note the body’s guidelines had been strengthened.

Wilson said: “Pensions disparity between executives and employees is a long-standing problem. Our remuneration research from the Greenbury era [a 1995 remuneration report] identified potential for abuse and our clients have long had research and voting guidelines aimed at equalising pensions for workers and boards.”

She added that the Pensions & Lifetime Savings Association and the Trades Union Congress introduced similar policy recommendations in 2010.

IPE | February 21, 2019

Almost 40 per cent of UK chairmen face pressure to unseat them

Among the FTSE 350, there are 110 companies that are already non-compliant with the tenure provision, and 137 have chairs who have served on the board for more than eight years, according to Minerva Analytics, a governance consultancy formerly known as Manifest.

Financial Times | February 18, 2019

Investors should fire directors who fail to act on climate change

A surge of shareholder resolutions at AGMs shows they are not happy
…In the past five years, only one UK or US energy company — Nabors Industries — has seen directors voted off the board, according to Minerva Analytics. Normally, directors in this sector receive more than 95 per cent support.

… The Minerva data show that, in the five years to 2018, only one auditor in the UK’s energy sector had higher than a 5 per cent vote against it: EY at Shell in 2016. In the US, no auditors had more than a 5 per cent vote against them.

Financial Times | January 29, 2019

2018

Revealed: most ESG-friendly asset managers

Sarah Wilson, CEO of Minerva Analytics, the independent stewardship support service, says: “There is now a race in fund managers committing to show their credentials on sustainability.”

Ms Wilson says: “[Asset managers] have often struggled with ESG as a concept when maximising shareholder returns has traditionally been more important. But now firms are thinking about holistic returns.”

Ignites Europe | November 26, 2018

Voting advice on CEO pay is usually ignored by big asset managers

Sarah Wilson, chief executive of Minerva, a UK proxy adviser, said the evidence from the roundtable discredited suggestions that the proxy advice industry needed to be reformed.

Financial Times | November 18, 2018

Big two proxy advisers face glare of SEC scrutiny 

Glass Lewis and ISS in the spotlight amid accusations they wield too much influence

Sarah Wilson, chief executive of Minerva, a UK-based proxy adviser, says improvements are needed in the shareholder voting process but she argues that this reform should centre on the plumbing — or how shareholders can use their votes — rather than the advice they receive. She says companies lobbying against proxy advisers fear greater shareholder attention. “They expect every vote to be in favour of management and don’t want any scrutiny at all. [The current pushback against proxy advice] is an attack on ideas,” she says.

Financial Times | November 12, 2018

Global Strategies: Shouldering responsibility

“You’re now seeing a new generation of investment analysts who are actually saying these are not extra financial factors, they are factors which do drive financial issues, but you might not see them in the immediate next two quarters,” says Sarah Wilson, chief executive of voting services group Minerva Analytics.

Funds Europe| October 3, 2018

Top CEO salary rises far outstripping their employees

Employee morale could be damaged by the ever-growing paychecks of top bosses, as bosses’ salaries continue to grow at a much faster rate than their employees’ pay. 2017 data from stewardship service Minerva Analytics revealed that the CEOs of the UK’s biggest listed companies were on average awarded an 11% pay increase. However, their workers received a…

HR Grapevine | September 24, 2018

Premier Foods chief narrowly survives AGM ouster attempt

“UK boards can normally expect levels of support in the high 90s. A negative vote of over 40 per cent reveals a disturbing gulf in expectations”, Sarah Wilson, Minerva Analytics.

In the past decade, only three other chief executives have had more than 40 per cent of votes cast against their re-election, according to Minerva Analytics, the voting services group.

Financial Times | June 19, 2018

 

A trio of influential shareholder advisers have called on UK politicians to mount a fresh crackdown on FTSE bosses’ bonus schemes and to boost the role of retail investors in corporate governance.

Institutional Shareholder Services, the largest and most influential of the firms, its US counterpart Glass Lewis, and UK agency Minerva Analytics — previously known as Manifest — offered submissions to a UK Parliament’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy committee that is looking into the issue. Continue reading >>

Financial Times | June 6, 2018

Minerva gives evidence to UK parliament on corporate governanceMore >>

Parliamentlive | June 6, 2018

UK company chiefs awarded bumper pay rises in 2017

“The Minerva research found that the median figure for CEO pay rises in 2017 stood at 6 per cent during 2017.”

Financial Times | June 1, 2018

2017

“The combination of the binding vote and focus on engagement is having a positive effect,” said Sarah Wilson, chief executive of Minerva. “Contrary to initial concerns about damaging returns, the binding vote has created a much stronger connection between boards and shareholders, which can only be good.”“Businesses that pay excessive salaries to senior executives represent the “unacceptable face of capitalism”, Prime Minister Theresa May has said. Sarah Wilson is chief executive of the shareholder group Manifest and Andrew Ninian is the head of Corporate Governance at the Investment Association.” (podcast: 1:13:12/ 3:02:59)

BBC Radio 4 | August 28, 2017

FTSE companies avoid shareholder wrath on pay at AGMs

Concessions on executive remuneration result in fewer large protest votes than a year ago. Ahead of this year’s shareholder meeting season, investors predicted … Shareholders pay revolts in the UK, FTSE 350 companies 2013-17, percent of investor who dissented includes those who voted against and abstentions by shareholders (Source: Manifest’s data and comment) …

Financial Times | May 12, 2017

Boardroom excess? British companies stick with bonus plans despite criticism

Analysis by Reuters of company annual reports and data from governance advisory firm Manifest shows 59 members of the FTSE 100. FTSE blue-chip stock index recently updated their remuneration policy or plan to soon, of which 56 currently use or plan to continue using LTIPs.

Reuters | April 13, 2017

2016

Sky Shareholders Protest James Murdoch’s Return as Chairman

“Excluding votes representing Murdoch interests, about 51 percent were against James Murdoch’s re-election, according to Manifest, a London-based proxy voting agency that has raised governance concerns about his role.”

Bloomberg | October 13, 2016

Analysis: Will Sports Direct’s shake-up soothe disgruntled investors?

A big question mark remains over Sports Direct’s corporate governance. As its chief executive, can Mike Ashley really convince investors the company will be run in a different way? One shareholder advisory group has already expressed its concern. “Shareholders really want to see that Mike is willing and able to take independent advice,” says Manifest founder and chief executive, Sarah Wilson.

Retail Week | September 23, 2016

Legal & General warns firms over bonuses and pay

Sarah Wilson, chief executive of shareholder advisory body Manifest, said LGIM was addressing how much the chief executive is paid relative to the ……..

The Guardian | September 16, 2016

Theresa May’s executive pay plans meet further scepticism
Doubts over effectiveness of boosting investor powers on tackling high pay awards

Financial Times | October 9, 2016

Last Updated: 2 August 2018
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