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Blog : BOARD TALK

A 'Knock-Out' Year For Investors In U.K. plc

Posted on July 17, 2017 at 12:45 PM

UK plc has had such a strong quarter when it comes to dividend payments that Capita Asset Services has upgraded its 2017 forecast for headline dividends to a record £90.6bn, up 7.0% year-on-year.

UK dividends hit an all-time record of £33.3bn in the second quarter of 2017, according to the latest Dividend Monitor from Capita Asset Services which provides infrastructure, services and expertise to clients a...

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Is There 'Post-Brexit ' Corporate Governance Now ?

Posted on July 13, 2017 at 6:20 PM

Brexit has changed everything, and it hasn't even happened yet.

But what does it hold in store for a dedication to the pursuit of best corporate governance, particularly with a Prime Minister who started out by claiming a great commitment on that front even before she took office ? (The link is to my c...

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Channeling The Tensions Of Conflict For Better Board Dynamics

Posted on July 6, 2017 at 6:45 PM

It isn't just corporate culture that is under renewed scrutiny in the U.K. in the interests of corporate governance and better business practices. Boardrooms hold an important key to that culture, and are themselves a reflection of it in the way in which they function.

A study on conflict and tension in the boardroom has just been released by ICSA: The Governance Institute and Henley Business School to demonstrate how they can be man...

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New ESG Index Chosen By World's Largest Pension Fund

Posted on July 3, 2017 at 12:15 PM

The Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) of Japan, the world's largest pension fund with over $1.3 trillion in assets. has selected a new index provided by FTSE Russell, the global index provider, as a core ESG benchmark.

The new FTSE Blossom Japan Index is constructed using FTSE Russell’s ESG Ratings data model, which draws on existing international ESG standards, including the UN ...

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Just 5% Of European Pension Schemes Consider Climate Risk In Investment

Posted on June 27, 2017 at 6:55 AM

Startling figures? Just 5% of 1,241 European Pensions schemes have considered the investment risk posed by climate change. T

A report by Mercer, the consultancy gathers information from 1,241 institutional investors across 13 countries, reflecting total assets of around €1.1 trillion. As well as investment strategy information, it tracks the drivers behind Environ...

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Businesses Need To Aim To Be 'Inclusive By Instinct'

Posted on June 26, 2017 at 12:40 PM

A worrying report landed recently - some 39% of workers surveyed in the U.K. admit that they have experienced a form of bias in the workplace or when applying for a job.

Findings from research done by Badenoch & Clark, which is part of The Adecco Group UK and Ireland, are more than a little disturbing. On the one hand, they found that one in five (20%) of employees have taken action to hide their age, disability, social background or sexuality in the workplace or when applying fo...

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Fiduciary Duty Calls Union To Commit To Divesting Pensions From Fossil Fuels

Posted on June 23, 2017 at 11:40 AM

UNISON, the largest body representing local government workers in the UK, has taken a decision that will reverberate in the fight for climate action in the name of every individual. Its decision should be noted by any business hesitating to act in a post Trump world, but keen to be applauded for its leadership.

The public services u...

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FTSE4Good Global Index Adds 77 Companies, Most From US

Posted on June 6, 2017 at 6:10 PM

There is some good news, at least. The emphasis on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues continues to grow despite Donald Trump.

FTSE Russell, the global index provider, has added 77 companies to its FTSE4Good index, with the largest number coming from the USA, which remains the largest contributor of companies to the index. It reveals in its June semi-annual review of the index that 31 companies have also been r...

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Wanna Cry ? Look At Boardrooms And CyberSecurity

Posted on May 17, 2017 at 1:30 PM

It is extraordinary how UK boardrooms repeatedly manage to pass off cybersecurity as some sort of natural disaster that is outside their remit of accountability.

A timely message lands from Brussels making just this point - repeatedly explored by me in posts on Forbes  - but in a different way.

The WannaCry globally-coordinated ransomware attack on 12 May 2017 should put the spotlight on...

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More Than 50% Of UK Domiciled Funds Have No Independent Directors

Posted on May 17, 2017 at 11:20 AM

Oops. That's a bit of a governance FAIL.

More than 50% of UK domiciled funds do not have any independent directors. For funds domiciled overseas, the proportion with no independent directors drops to 20%, according to a survey conducted by LCP, the consultancy.

In the survey of nearly 300 investment funds used by UK pension schemes, LCP found that despite the UK’s leading reputation for fund governance, the jurisdict...

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