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  • March 15, 2018
    The employees’ voice in the boardroom
    Hans-Christoph Hirt
    Against the backdrop of rising populism and low levels of trust in UK businesses, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has been considering how to bring the voice of employees into the boardroom as part of its ongoing efforts to revise the country’s Corporate Governance Code. This follows on from the UK government’s work on the same topic as part of its corporate governance reform green paper in 2017. Unlike regulation in other European countries, UK law does not mandate board level employee representation. However, section 172 of the 2006 Companies Act requires directors to take into account the interests of employees and other stakeholders.
  • December 18, 2017
    Looking into 2018 – Our key engagement themes
    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.
  • October 25, 2017
    Impact of stewardship codes in the UK and Japan – Lessons for the US?
    Hans-Christoph Hirt
    Following its publication in 2010, the UK Stewardship Code quickly became a global trendsetter. Similar guidance has since followed in Brazil, Canada, Japan and other Asian countries, Kenya, South Africa, several European countries and even in the US. As stewardship codes continue to surface across the globe, Dr Hans-Christoph Hirt, Head of Hermes EOS at Hermes Investment Management, assesses the impact and success of implementation in the UK in comparison to its Asian and American counterparts. 
  • December 15, 2016
    Looking into 2017 – Our key engagement themes in the new year
    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.