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Cgpro Network Monthly Update May

2023 CGPro Network Monthly Update - May

Thursday, 25 May 2023

This month we consider what is happening in the world of ESG.

Anne Marie Clarke Anne-Marie Clarke Director - Head of Corporate Governance

Before that, a quick update:

  • We are looking forward to our upcoming webinar hosted by Client Director, Madeleine Cordes: The Effective Company Secretariat. To register click here.
  • With the main AGM season upon us, we’ve been busy. In June Lisa Graham - Head of Meeting Management at EQ - and I will be reflecting on what we were preparing for and sharing our experiences of what we’ve seen.

If you’d like to speak to us about how EQ Advisory could support you, please contact us here.

EQ now APPG ESG select sponsor

We, EQ, announced our appointment to the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) Advisory Board on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG).

Equiniti’s Chief Risk Officer, Adam Green said:

“We are proud to become one of the select sponsors for the All Party Parliamentary Group on ESG.  We see this as an important way to support the development of ESG at a national and policy level, as the APPG has a clear program of working to develop frameworks and other tools to help shape legislative and government thinking.   

We want to support the development of a national ESG strategy, linking together the myriad of existing frameworks, policies and strategies. In relation to our own industry, this should include the changes necessary to enable environmental and social benefits from activities such as the digitisation of share certificates and shareholder voting, allowing retail shareholders to engage fully in the companies they invest in. We look forward to working with the diverse group to share our insights and drive forward meaningful change.”

Read more here.

Guest Feature

As part of the CGPro Network we seek and consider other perspectives. We’re happy to feature external perspectives on current corporate governance topics. We are therefore delighted to welcome Guy Jubb, CA, who is an Honorary Professor at the University of Edinburgh, Vice Chair of the European Corporate Governance Institute, and an Independent Non-Executive of Mazars LLP*. He was formerly Global Head of Governance & Stewardship at Standard Life Investments. We hope his perspective on matters gives some interesting food for thought.

Corporate Governance and Investor Stewardship – are we losing the plot?

By Guy Jubb

Charles Darwin wrote, “the species that survives is the one that is able best to adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself”.  One of the hallmarks of the UK’s principles-based corporate governance has hitherto been its ability to adjust to its changing environment.

But in recent years there has been a tsunami of new regulations and reporting requirements for both companies, and institutional investors and their advisers – and there is no end in sight. Companies, directors, and investors are drowning in the welter of well-meaning initiatives. Annual reports are getting longer and longer and are being used increasingly by stakeholders as well as shareholders.

The importance now attached to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues is fundamentally welcome but something - or some things – must give.  The much-vaunted concept of responsible capitalism is based on entrepreneurial leadership, and boards and senior executives may be struggling to maintain their entrepreneurial flair in the face of diverse and ever-increasing ESG reporting requirements.

Anecdotally, they are devoting more and more of their time to code compliance and engagement with shareholders and stakeholders, rather than to providing the entrepreneurial leadership and strategic direction which is required from a board to promote the sustainable success of the company for the benefit of shareholders and wider society, as encouraged by the UK Corporate Governance Code.

This article explores, from a public interest perspective, some of the challenges and pinch points, and makes some proposals to ease the congestion to help to restore a sustainable risk-appetite by companies, whilst integrating societal values into their culture and purpose. It suggests that the time has come to not only review the 2006 Companies Act but also consider setting up an independent Corporate Governance and Stewardship Commission to help resolve some of the emerging issues and respond to those yet to come in a responsible manner.

Read the whole article here.


*The views expressed are personal and are not represented on behalf of the organisations with which Guy Jubb is associated.

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