Proxinvest and Ethos held their 9th Annual Seminar in Avignon !

Proxinvest and Ethos, the French and Swiss partners of ECGS, held their 9th annual investors working seminar on voting policies in Avignon on October 3rd and 4th, 2013. This special event gathered more than fifty equity investment decision makers in France, to discuss topics related to Corporate Governance and General Meetings.

According to the seminar practice, Thursday was dedicated to a general review of the European Proxy season, country by country with notably Yola Biedermann presenting the Swiss season and Olivier Gamache from GIR (Group Responsible Investment) discussing the North American Proxy season.

Following the General review, participants had the opportunity to listen and asked questions to Olivier Ginon the founder and CEO of GL Events who introduced a middle cap growing company whose corporate governance practices are continuously improving in line with the performances!

After visiting the fascinating “Palais des Papes”, participants were convened to a friendly and informal dinner aboard the cruise-boat “La Saone” where Olivier de Guerre, Chairman of PhiTrust Finance gave a short speech about shareholders activism.

Friday was dedicated first to the audience’s questions regarding the preparatory work for the 2014 Proxy season in France and Swiss, with among other discussed topics:

  • The positives and negatives of the recent French Afep/Medef code revision
  • The legal reform  increasing the employees representation on Boards
  • A focus on good practices in resolutions drafting
  • The Minder Initiative implementation in Switzerland

A second invited speaker, Jean Gatty – Chairman of JG Capital, introduced some fundamental questions regarding excessive remuneration issues, under the title “Commitment remuneration: an investor’s view.”

Two case study of Say on Pay in France were then discussed, concerning respectively the up-coming resolutions of Christian Dior and Pernod-Ricard. During lunch break, Jean Demandolx, former banker of JP Morgan, founder, twenty five years ago, of his own Asset Management Company and former member of the AMF Board rewarded the participants with a no-nonsense speech about the negative impact of the universal banking model over the market practices.

Finally, Frédéric Crépin – General Counsel and Secretary of Vivendi presented with skills and experience the issuer’s view on the topic of remuneration and commitment, before a last workshop on the theme: “Fidelity and investment of executive directors”.

  • What level of individual stock investment?
  • Which non-competition commitments?
  • Which claw-back mechanism?

Following this exciting seminar offering a wealth of information, Proxinvest and Ethos address their special thanks to Caroline Weber, CEO of Middlenext who gave us the opportunity to invite Olivier Ginon, CEO of GL Events as a witness of how mid-Cap companies deal with Corporate Governance principles, to Olivier de Guerre for his precious testimony, to Jean Demandolx who brilliantly illustrated the Friday lunch, and to Pascal Girardot for his friendly presence and expertise.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       London, 09 October, 2013