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  • 03/06/2019
    Hans-Christoph Hirt
    How bondholders can engage companies for the benefit of all stakeholders
  • 18/12/2017
    Hans-Christoph Hirt
    Climate change The year 2017 will be remembered for the devastating effects of hurricanes and other extreme weather events. Climate change will therefore remain top of the investor agenda for the foreseeable future. There will be a push for more standardised disclosures, based on the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), and increasing collaboration between investors globally in an attempt to move companies in the right direction. We will continue to engage with companies on the risks and opportunities arising from climate change and encourage them to report against the TCFD recommendations.
  • 07/07/2017
    Hans-Christoph Hirt
    Hans-Christoph Hirt, Head of Hermes EOS at Hermes Investment Management, comments on today’s WPP AGM. 1. Succession planning We welcome the chair’s recognition of investor concerns regarding the company’s preparedness for succession. Sir Martin Sorrell, WPP’s CEO and founder, has created a great deal of value since taking over as Chief Executive of the company in 1986. He is rightly regarded as one of the most successful entrepreneurs and business leaders in the world. In light of this, the preparation for his eventual succession has been the focus of our engagement over the last years. Succession risks appear to have moved up the company’s agenda under this chair’s leadership and management of this seems increasingly reflected in WPP’s work and communications to shareholders. However, while we appreciate the steps that the company has taken so far, we urge the chair to continue to focus on the management of succession risks.
  • 15/12/2016
    Hans-Christoph Hirt
    Remuneration Following the strong votes against proposed pay packages at a number of companies in 2016, remuneration will again be in the spotlight in 2017. This is particularly the case in the UK where companies will face a new round of binding shareholder votes on pay policies as part of the three-year voting cycle on this. Following much thinking and consultation with key stakeholders, we launched new remuneration guidance in the second half of 2016, setting out expectations to help steer companies in the right direction ahead of the voting season. We also provided a response to the corporate governance inquiry by the UK Parliament’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee.