Yes, the excessive pay of Robert Dudley at BP was an insult to the economic background

  

The Company faced a challenging year in 2015, with oil prices falling by more than 50%. It incurred losses before taxes of -$9,571.0m.  Nevetheless, the Board pays a dividend, which has not been submitted for shareholder approval, of £0.2709 per share uncovered by the operating cash flow…

Why then ?

You might need glasses to read what you read about latin governance at Luxottica !

The succesful billionnaire founder of Luxottica, 80 years old  Leonardo Del Vecchio has been credited for turning Luxottica which he owns 66.5 percent into a global player notably by acquiring Ray Ban sunglasses with total revenues of 9 billion euros ($9.76 billion). But he certainly has a problem with governance as the company changed CEO three times in 17 months, with latest CEO to leave after 15 months in office despite  €11.8 million in fixed compensation plus a severance pay of €6.8 million, while maximum variable compensation can reach 926% (200% STI + 726% LTI) of basis pay.

Handelsbanken becomes the first Swedish company to follow institutional investors’ call for individual board elections

In a letter to the Swedish Corporate Governance Board, various institutional investors have recently addressed their concerns about the bundled form in which the election of a company’s board of directors is put to shareholders vote in Sweden. The letter ended with encouraging the Swedish Corporate Governance Board to introduce a rule for Swedish listed companies to enable shareholders to submit their votes on the individual election of the members of the board of directors at the earliest opportunity.

In a response to the aforementioned letter, the Swedish Corporate Governance Board issued a statement that in its view Swedish company law and the Swedish Corporate Governance Code provide sufficient opportunities for individual elections. Consequently, the Swedish Corporate Governance Board is currently not in favour of introducing such rule and has decided to leave it to each company and its shareholders to decide upon how to conduct board elections at the AGM.

Svenska Handelsbanken AB (“Handelsbanken”) is the first Swedish company that follows institutional investors call since the Company’s Nomination Committee (consisting of Ms. Helena Stjernholm, Mr. Jan-Erik Höög, Mr. Mats Guldbrand, Mr. Bo Selling and Mr. Pär Boman) has established an individual election procedure for the election of its Board of Directors. At the upcoming AGM (March 16, 2016), to be held at the Grand Hôtel’s Winter Garden in Stockholm (Sweden), the election of the Board of Directors is on the agenda under items 17.1 - 17.11. In succession, it is proposed to (re-)elect Mr. J.F. Baksaas, Mr. P. Boman, Mr. T. Bylund, Mr. O. Johansson, Ms. L. Kaae, Mr. F. Lundberg, Ms. B. Rathe, Ms. C. Skog, Mr. F. Vang-Jensen, Ms. K. Apelman and Ms. K. Hessius.

Sports Direct criticised for low pay of warehouse workers

The shares of UK sports clothes and equipment retailer, Sports Direct, took a hit this week, despite reporting increased profits, following an investigation by the Guardian newspaper which it said revealed that workers at its new Shirebrook warehouse are receiving effective hourly rates of pay below the minimum wage.

The Guardian found that Sports Direct warehouse staff – who are employed by job agencies – are required to go through searches at the end of each shift, for which their time is unpaid, while they also suffer harsh deductions from their wage packets for clocking in for a shift just one minute late. These practices contribute to many staff being paid an effective rate of about £6.50 an hour against the statutory rate of £6.70.

Christmas surprise at PSA: the company reforms its pension regime

PSA suddenly announced the change of its French supplementary guaranteed benefits “retraite chapeau” pension scheme, a measure promising 34 million euros in savings in the 2015 accounts, an amount to be redistributed to group employees.

Sika: Ethos supports the board in the ongoing legal procedure at the Court of Zug

The Ethos Foundation was accepted as an accessory party in support of the board of directors in the trial opposing it to the Burkard Family at the Cantonal Court of Zug. The family has demanded the cancellation of the decisions taken at the last general meeting where the board decided to limit the registered voting rights of the SWH family holding to 5% of the total registered shares. Precisely one year after the announcement by the Burkard Family of its decision to sell its holding in Sika to the competitor Saint Gobain, Ethos confirms its determination to support the board in its will to preserve the independence of Sika.

Controversial Telecom Italia’s extraordinary meeting

The EGM has been called to approve the conversion of all saving shares into ordinary shares (item 1). However, the major shareholder Vivendi (20.1%) tabled four new agenda items.

The first one proposes to increase the number of Directors from 13 to 17 (item 2), the second to appoint 4 new members, including 3 Vivendi's representatives and an independent nominee Director (item 3). Vivendi also seeks shareholder approval of the proportional increase in the Board compensation and, last but not least, to release proposed candidates from the noncompetition clause. ECGS strongly opposes these Vivendi’s proposals.

Sergio Carbonara comments to Reuters on Vivendi's move at Telecom Italia

Article prepared by Maria Pia Quaglia and published by Reuters on Nov 19, 2015

A group of Italian and foreign funds said on Thursday Vivendi's proposal for additional members on the board of Telecom Italia raised governance concerns and questions about its intentions for the Italian phone group.

Vivendi has gradually built up a 20.116 percent stake in Telecom Italia to become its largest shareholder. The French media group wants to increase the number of board members to 17 from the current 13 and appoint three of its top executives and a French consultant as its representatives.

In a letter addressed to Telecom Italia's Chairman Giuseppe Recchi, CEO Marco Patuano and its entire board, the funds committee asked that Vivendi's request be urgently examined.

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