New member and managing partner for ECGS

ECGS (European Corporate Governance Service) the leading European proxy voting partnership welcomes Shareholder Support, the independent Dutch proxy advisory firm, that will join as new partner on 1st October. At the same time, Proxinvest, the French partner, will take over as Managing Partner from PIRC, the UK leading independent proxy research and advisory consultancy, after eight years of successful management of the partnership.

DSW comments on the Stewardship Code

DSW, the German partner in the European Corporatre Governance Service, has published its submission to the Financial Reporting Council's consultation on the proposed Stewardship Code for institutional investors. DSW argues that although the Code is currently intended for the UK, it should be applicable to institutional investors in all EU countries.

DSW's full response is available here.

EC governance Green Paper

The European Commission (EC) has issued a wide-ranging consultation on corporate governance which could be a curtain-raiser for the direction of travel in policy in the EC over the next few years.

European activists form closer alliance

The Ethos Foundation in Geneva and Proxinvest in Paris have entered in a strategic alliance to pool their proxy voting expertise. With a 20% participation of Ethos in the capital of Proxinvest, the two institutions hope to reinforce their positions as the Swiss and French market leaders in the field of proxy voting advisory services.

Women on board!

On 29 April 2010, the feminist group called La Barbe (French word with a double meaning: the beard and also signifying being sick and tired) came to invigorate AXA’s AGM. They were shouting ‘La Barbe!’ with fake beards on. They energised a dull AGM with a very disappointing agenda including the re-combination of the positions of CH & CEO.

The tasty cuisine of Serge Michel

President of Soficot, owner of Ledoyen, former CEO of Saint Gobain Public Works division and then of the SGE, a notorious Director within the French blue chips, Serge Michel shows remarkable resilience. Serge Michel is 82 years old but ageing does not seem to affect his appetite nor his friendship and networking skills.

Proxinvest targets Total

Proxinvest, member of the European Corporate Governance Service (ECGS), recommends shareholders to oppose the re-election of Daniel Bouton as non-executive director to the board of Total at the AGM to be held on 15 May 2009. They have concerns over recent crossdirectorships, length of tenure, attendance rate at board meetings as well as Mr Bouton’s contradictory compliance with the recommendations issued by AFEP-Medef (“Promoting Better Corporate Governance In Listed Companies”) which is the outcome of a working group chaired by Mr Bouton in 2002.

Ethos wins ICGN award

The Ethos Foundation, a member of the European Corporate Governance Service, is the 2009 recipient of the International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN) Award. The award is considered the highest distinction in the field of corporate governance and is given annually for exceptional achievement in that connection. For the Awards Committee, Ethos has helped bring about significant improvements in corporate governance and has had a major positive impact in its region.

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