T Rowe Price: Engagement or voting? Asset manager advocates alternatives

Direct engagement with companies produces better results than shareholder resolutions at AGMs, an asset manager has argued. US investment house T Rowe Price, which runs approximately $1trn, stated in its annual ESG report that it preferred to engage one-to-one with companies to encourage positive changes rather than focus on shareholder campaigns at annual meetings. The […]

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ECODA

The chair of the European Confederation of Directors Associations (ECODA) has urged boards to embrace ESG in the fightback against coronavirus and the economic chaos which will likely follow the pandemic. In an open letter, chair Jan Wesseldijk explained it is the responsibility of companies to contribute to the survival of the economy, noting that […]

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Shareholder-focused capitalism beginning to fray

BoE’s Haldane: Shareholder-focused capitalism beginning to fray The Bank of England’s chief economist has questioned the UK’s corporate governance model – suggesting it should be overhauled to focus not just on shareholders but wider society, too. During a speech at Bloomberg’s London headquarters this week, Andy Haldane said the UK should undertake “legislative change” to […]

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Australian energy giant rocked by shareholder rebellion

Norwegian oil and gas giant Equinor is facing a significant showdown with investor activists as its bid to drill for oil in a well-known Australian beauty spot intensifies. Under its proposals, Equinor wants to drill a 2.2km exploration well in the Great Australian Bight, a stretch of coastline regarded as one of the world’s most […]

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BHP faces shareholder anger over fossil fuel

Mining titan BHP is facing growing shareholder dissent over its close links with industry groups that support the fossil fuel industry – with over a quarter of its investors voting to end these affiliations.  At the Anglo-Australian mining group’s AGM held last week, 27.07% of shareholders voted for a resolution to suspend BHP’s membership of industry associations that are involved in lobbying found […]

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RSM US fined by SEC for violating auditor independence rules

RSM fined $950k for independence breach Accounting firm RSM US has been fined $950,000 by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for violating the auditor independence rules. RSM US, a member firm of the RSM International (RSMI) network with more than 80 offices across the country, was judged to have violated the strict rules when […]

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COVID-19 Capital and Pay Response

Law Commission opens consultation on intermediated securities The Law Commission has published a call for evidence on intermediated securities, the first step in a scoping study, and asked stakeholders for their views and experiences. With the intention of informing public debate and to develop a broader understanding of options for reform, the scoping study focuses […]

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CEOs backing new governance statement cause a stir

CEOs backing new governance statement cause a stir When over 180 of America’s top CEOs signed a new corporate governance agreement that effectively eliminates shareholder primacy and commits to representing the interests of ‘all Americans’, the move was going to attract attention. The Business Roundtable, an association of chief executives of America’s leading companies, updated […]

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BlackRock ups the pressure on Exxon Mobil

Prosecutors allege Exxon pressured witnesses in climate case US prosecutors have accused Exxon Mobil of harassing investors and intermediaries in the lead up to a forthcoming court battle over whether the energy giant deliberately misled people on the cost of climate change to its business. A lawyer for the New York Attorney General has called […]

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Andrea Leadsom leader of the House of Commons

HMRC loses chief to new audit watchdog as Leadsom means business The chief executive of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs service has been confirmed as the person to lead the Financial Reporting Council into the refreshed entity the Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority. Sir Jonathan Thompson, who has led HMRC for a little over three […]

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