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FTSE companies asked to explain how they have tackled shareholder concerns

Thursday 26th October

Following the Government’s announcement this summer of the creation of a Public Register of shareholder votes, the Investment Association – the industry trade body responsible for hosting the Public Register– is today writing to all those companies which will appear on the Public Register.

The letter is being sent to companies in the FTSE All-Share who received votes of 20% against any resolution or withdrew a resolution in 2017. It will give those companies the opportunity to provide a public explanation on how they have addressed their shareholders’ concerns since the shareholder vote before the Public Register goes live later this year.

A link to the companies’ response will be included alongside their voting data as part of the Public Register. The Public Register aims to focus attention on those companies who have received significant shareholder dissent and to track whether and how they are addressing those concerns.

Chris Cummings, CEO of the Investment Association, said:

“Shining a light on how companies are addressing shareholder concerns is key to holding businesses to account. The Public Register, which for the first time will bring together information on shareholder voting with responses from companies, will encourage greater accountability and ultimately change company behaviour.

“We look forward to seeing company’s public responses on the actions they have taken to address the shareholder concern since their meetings before the Public Register goes live at the end of the year.”

Business Minister Margot James MP, said:

“While the majority of British companies put responsible practices at the heart of their business, including ensuring pay is in line with performance, there are some that fail to address their shareholders’ concerns about bosses’ pay.

“This register will help to hold those companies to account, as well as giving them a platform to demonstrate what they are doing to address those concerns.”

Notes to editors:

  • In the Government’s response to the consultation on corporate governance reform, in August this year, the IA was asked to establish and maintain a Public Register of FTSE All-Share companies who have received more than 20% votes against any resolution, at an Annual General Meeting or General Meeting. The Public Register will also include any resolutions which were withdrawn by a company prior to the meeting. The main aim of the Register is to focus attention on those companies who have received a significant vote against, and to track whether and how they are responding to shareholder concerns.
  • The Public Register includes all resolutions which have been withdrawn. Companies may withdraw a resolution for a variety of reasons including to stem shareholder concern, to more practical circumstances such as the retirement of an executive director.
  • The launch of Public Register, including the data from 2017, will take place in Q4 of this year and will be updated on an ongoing basis. The Public Register will including a description of the resolution, the result of the shareholder vote, a link to the AGM results announcement (including any statement the company has made under E.2.2 of the UK Corporate Governance Code) and a link to any further statement the company has made on the actions they have taken since the vote.

For further information, please contact:

Helen Ayres
Media Relations Manager
T +44 (0)20 7269 4620
M +44 (0)7508 724 066

About the Investment Association:

  • The IA champions UK asset management, supporting British savers, investors and businesses. Our 240 members manage £6.9 trillion of assets and employ 93,500 people across the UK
  • Our members manage the pensions of 75% of UK households, provide 60% of capital market financing for UK businesses and fund 40% of initial public offerings of shares.
  • Our mission is to make investment better. Better for clients, so they achieve their financial goals. Better for companies, so they get the capital they need to grow. And better for the economy, so everyone prospers.
  • Our purpose is to ensure investment managers are in the best possible position to:
    • Build people’s resilience to financial adversity
    • Help people achieve their financial aspirations
    • Enable people to maintain a decent standard of living as they grow older
    • Contribute to economic growth through the efficient allocation of capital
  • The money our members manage is in a wide variety of investment vehicles including authorised investment funds, pension funds and stocks and shares ISAs.
  • The UK is the second largest investment management centre in the world, after the US and manages 37% of all assets managed in Europe.