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  • October 26, 2018
    Hermes EOS highlights governance concerns at alibaba
    Christine Chow
    Ahead of the Alibaba (“NYSE: BABA”) AGM on Wednesday 31 October 2018, Dr Christine Chow, Director of Hermes EOS, highlights the issues that Hermes EOS are raising with the Board of Directors and outlines voting recommendations to clients.
  • October 16, 2018
    Hon Hai Precision Industry
    Christine Chow
  • June 18, 2018
    China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation
    Christine Chow
    China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation, also known as Sinopec, is one of the major oil and gas companies in China. The company is a majority-owned subsidiary of the state-owned Sinopec Group. Its operations include the exploration, production, storage and transportation of petroleum and natural gas. The company has faced a number of environmental and social allegations on which we engage. Another important topic is the disclosure of the company’s environmental performance, which is a crucial step in the development of a strategy for the transition to the low-carbon environment.
  • May 22, 2018
    The missing links in responsible supply chain management
    Christine Chow
    We recently returned from the OECD’s 12th Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains in Paris. The forum gave its attendees an opportunity to engage with stakeholders from miners to smelters and refiners, local communities, NGOs, government organisations from Africa’s Great Lakes region, as well as global technology, consumer and automobile companies. We have come away with several lessons, namely that a) existing due diligence processes do not address human rights issues at mines
  • April 19, 2018
    KB Financial Group
    Christine Chow
    KB Financial Group is a financial services holding company headquartered in South Korea. Its activities range from personal and corporate lending to insurance and asset management. Over the past few years, the company has been diversifying its revenue sources by acquiring a non-life insurance company, enhancing its asset management business and developing its lending to small and medium-sized enterprises. It was one of the first conglomerate financial institutions to commit to the Korean Stewardship Code, which launched in December 2016.
  • February 8, 2018
    Raising the bar – Mind the gaps in the Equator Principles
    Christine Chow
    The $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) has proved to be a highly controversial project, with its impacts exceeding the wildest expectations of investors. It was accompanied by protests, court cases, accusations of political interference and even a presidential memorandum. The banks financing the project claim to have adhered to the Equator Principles[1] (EP or the Principles), a credit risk management framework for determining, assessing and managing environmental and social risks in projects. They have been adopted by 92 financial institutions in 37 countries, covering over 70% of project finance debt in emerging markets. An Equator Principles Financial Institution (EPFI) will require its clients – the borrowers – to conduct environmental and social impact assessments for each project.
  • December 11, 2017
    Shinhan Financial Group
    Christine Chow
    Shinhan Financial Group is a financial services holding company headquartered in South Korea. It provides consumer and corporate banking, credit card, investment and insurance services. Background Shinhan faced a series of allegations of fraud and corruption in 2010 and after accusations of embezzlement and breach of trust from prosecutors, its chair resigned. A new CEO was appointed in 2011 after the resignation of three top executives. He focused on re-building the brand and trust, concentrating on Shinhan’s commitment as a provider of what it calls compassionate finance. In 2017, another CEO was appointed, who supports the same commitment to compassionate finance through the company’s expansion in digital financial services.
  • July 5, 2017
    Christine Chow
    Infosys is the third-largest Indian-based IT services company and provides business consulting, technology, engineering and outsourcing services globally. It targets businesses specialising in insurance, banking, telecommunications and manufacturing. Background In light of poor performance in 2011, the company appointed its former chair and co-founder as interim chair in 2013. With support from employees and shareholders, a new CEO was appointed in 2014. Two years later, however, the increase in the CEO’s remuneration caused concerns among shareholders. We immediately pressured the company to improve the disclosure on its remuneration, which was validated by a proxy advisory company shortly after. However, we acknowledge that global technology companies and technology service providers have lagged other sectors in terms of remuneration disclosure, particularly in relation to performance-linked pay.
  • June 29, 2017
    China Mobile
    Christine Chow
    China Mobile is a majority state-owned telecommunications company that provides mobile voice and related services in Mainland China and Hong Kong. It is the world’s largest mobile operator by network scale and customer base. Given the ownership structure, our engagement has focused on improving the transparency of the board and ensuring that the views of minority shareholder rights are taken into consideration, especially on issues such as capital efficiency, director nominations and board composition.
  • May 25, 2017
    China Mobile AGM speech
    Christine Chow
    Good morning Chairman, Directors of the Board and the executive team, My name is Christine Chow. I am an Associate Director in the Engagement team of Hermes Investment Management. Our stewardship platform represent more than 40 institutional investors with over US$300 billion of assets, 28 of whom are shareholders in China Mobile. Firstly, we welcome the significant improvements made by the company in ESG disclosure, especially over the last year. 
  • May 15, 2017
    The curious case of diversity dividends – How diversity links to performance
    Christine Chow
    In June 2017, the Women in Governance Roundtable, the only all-female annual governance meeting that brings together female board directors of listed companies and investors will for the first time take place in the UK. The tradition of this annual gathering was established in the US as an acknowledgement of the importance of support and mentoring of female executives and investment professionals. I had the opportunity to participate in the event in New York in 2016 and I am looking forward to a different but equally distinguished crowd in London this year.
  • April 3, 2017
    Hon Hai Precision Industry
    Christine Chow
    Hon Hai Precision Industry is a Taiwan-based company involved in the manufacture and sale of computer, communication and consumer electronics products. The company has manufacturing sites in Asia, Europe, Mexico and South America but its largest production facilities are based in Mainland China. Established in 1974, Hon Hai is now one of the largest electronics manufacturing service providers in the world, with 1.3 million employees and clients such as Apple, HP, Nintendo and Sony. Hon Hai has a free float of about 75%, with its founder and combined chair/CEO owning about 13%. Background Hon Hai has been involved in several controversies relating primarily to the treatment of its employees in China with regard to working conditions and wages, which was the initial focus of our engagement. Over time, however, our engagement has progressed from the company’s approach to labour practices to human capital management more broadly, as the competitive business environment the company is in calls for a change in its business model.