Proxinvest publishes its 15th survey on French 2011 AGMs

Proxinvest’s annual study on general meetings finds a decrease of shareholders involvement with less protest on resolutions. Nevertheless, French shareholders are still some of the most challenging towards resolutions compared with their European counterpart with the level of opposition averaging 5.9% at companies within the main index, CAC 40 (6.3% in 2010).

ECGS responses to the Consob?s public consultation on Directors? remuneration transparency

The Italian market Authority, Consob, recently launched a new public consultation on proposed changes to market regulation to enhance Directors’ remuneration transparency. ECGS congratulates Consob as all proposed changes move into the right direction, encouraging issuers to a greater and more detailed disclosure of all remuneration components. Notwithstanding, ECGS, together with its local partner Frontis Governance, suggests further changes absolutely needed to improve fair treatment of all shareholders at every investee company.

Banco Popolare: the trade-off between dilution and egregious payout, an example of risky ?tick-boxing? approach

On January 2010 Banco Popolare launched a rights issue allowing its existing shareholder to subscribe to Banco Popolare’s convertible bonds with the following conditions: nominal value of € 6.15, fixed interest rate at 4.75%, maturity March 2014. Starting from November 2011, bondholders are able to redeem the convertible bonds receiving an amount of shares equivalent to note’s nominal value plus 10% premium.

Audit fees in Europe

Düsseldorf, 12 October 2011 – All roads in Europe lead to the “Big Four” (PwC, KPMG, Ernst & Young and Deloitte). This is confirmed by a study issued by ECGS (Expert Corporate Governance Service) which is specializing in proxy voting advice and whose German partner is DSW (Deutsche Schutzvereinigung für Wertpapierbesitz). Altogether 93 percent of the analyzed companies are audited by one of the Big Four.

UBS : another case of rogue uncontrolled trading

The $ 2.3 billion loss reported by UBS London this September on uncontrolled positions of $ 10 billion just validates the ECGS analysis.

Chief Executive of UBS, Oswald Grubel, had claimed to have put in place new risk management practices, pulled back from proprietary trading and focused on a low-risk client-driven model.

US shareholders cannot nominate Directors: the SEC renounces to the enforcement of the ?proxy access rule?

 

European shareholders, sometimes dissatisfied with the lack of respect of companies for the principle of sovereignty of shareholders should watch the misfortune of U.S. investors.

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