A report by the Asset Management Working Group of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative links the integration of ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) issues into investment processes with legal responsibilities of fiduciaries (including pension trustees, asset managers and investment advisors).  It also calls into question whether the institutional investment industry responsible ownership […]

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A research study by Manifest’s US partners, PROXYGovernance Inc(PGI), reveals some interesting trends about US board governance. PGI’s review of Russell 3000 companies holding their 2009 annual meeting prior to July 1 reveals that boards of financial services firms have added fewer new directors since the sub-prime credit crisis began than boards in any other major sector. […]

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The governance world has been concerned about the possible abuses arising from so-called “stock lending”, particularly when it comes to voting rights. Many commentators have suggested that  it should really be called “temporary stock selling” to better reflect the legal reality of loss of ownership rights. Whatever its name, the potential for abuse is there. By […]

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The Investors Working Group, a bi-partisan panel of experts created in February 2009 by the Council of Institutional  Investors and the CFA Institute Centre for Financial Market Integrity, has released its recommendations for reform and modernisation of the US financial markets. According to the report, strengthening existing regulatory agencies, closing gaps in the regulatory structure, […]

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The California Public Employees Retirement System, or CalPERS, is the US’s largest pension fund which provides retirement benefits to 1.6 million public employees. It’s also one of the most active proponents of good corporate governance on both a domestic and global stage. The latest target of their ire is the credit rating industry which it […]

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Sir David Walker’s review of the governance of UK banks, commissioned by Prime Minister Gordon Brown, has published 39 recommendations aimed at improving the governance of  banks and other big financial institutions (BOFIs). The aim of the report was to find ways of minimising risky behaviour and improving the way companies and shareholder communicate and interact. Many of the […]

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The LAPFF took their place in the governance history books today. Although they failed to come close to the super-majority needed to have their resolution calling for an independent chair passed, they have achieved a remarkable result. Taking into account the abstain votes, total dissent is practically double the highest previously recorded for a FTSE […]

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Nine leading US pension funds have announced that they will be disclosing their voting intentions for shareholder meetings on a new web portal, ProxyDemocracy.  AFSCME Employees Pension Plan, CalPERS, CalSTRS, Calvert Investments, Christian Brothers Investment Services, Domini Social Investments, the Florida State Board of Administration, Green Century and Trillium Asset Management are making their individual proxy […]

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A new study prepared by Manifest’s US partner, PROXY Governance with sponsorship by the IRRC Institute, “Effectiveness of Hybrid Boards,” analyzes 120 “hybrid boards” formed from 2005 through 2008 to evaluate their effectiveness in two areas: changes in business strategy and corporate governance structures; and changes in shareholder value measured both absolutely and relative to […]

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The quest for a single set of global governance standards is misguided and investors should stop using global governance standards based on US policy approaches. That’s the conclusion of Lucian Bebchuk and Assaf Hamdani in their latest paper: “The Elusive Quest for Global Governance Standards”. The key issue at the heart of what many will see […]

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