Derek Abdinor

Online Disclosure

Shareholder E-communication is like global warming

Electronic communication to shareholders is a philosophy as much as a practice – where possible collect email and mobile addresses of your shareholders to communicate directly, and cut down the costs associated with being a listed company, eg on the JSE. Because there is an argument for and against, there is doubt. Which means there is no consensus, so policy […]

Schedule 23 – the book(e) make up tons

In discussion the other day we were puzzled as to why the majority of companies on the JSE do not take advantage of Schedule 23 for their regulatory communications to the market and shareholders. For issuing companies to embark on an electronic consent program, the following benefits accrue to company and shareholder: Email addresses of shareholders for direct communication Mobile […]

Microsoft lets shareholders advise on director pay

I thought I’d capture all the links as they appear in Google news – to represent the news as and where it comes out. Microsoft shareholders to get ‘say on pay‘ TechFlash (blog) – Todd Bishop – ‎11 hours ago‎ Microsoft’s board says it will hold a non-binding, advisory shareholder vote on the salaries of the company’s executives every three years, starting with … Microsoft […]

Management by stakeholders

From an article in the Economist: One reason why Germany’s biggest firms have not cut many jobs is its cherished model of stakeholder capitalism, which took root after the second world war and contributed to its rapid economic growth until the 1980s. Under this model, workers’ representatives fill half the seats on firms’ supervisory boards. A separate management board is […]

Shareholder meetings have become a circus | BNET

From the ever-current BNet, comes this article from Richard Northedge (July 20th, 2009 @ 2:31 am). The RSPCA ordered the removal of the dozen lemmings brought to British Airways’ shareholders’ meeting but they had done their job of illustrating the fate the trade unions think their members face. Boards have become used to meetings being hijacked for publicity stunts, but the practice will […]

The Return of the King Code: out for review

Two codes of corporate governance have ruled informed public companies in the last 15 years in South Africa – the King codes. The third code was launched in Johannesburg last week for public review – you can view it here. Some interesting points: shareholders ought to approve remuneration, and an annual remuneration report needs to be published the audit committee […]

The future of the non-executive board member

The King II Code of Corporate Governance, which  recommends good practices for listed entities in South Africa, has always been in favour of companies having non-executive representation on the boards as well as the committees of listed companies. The reasoning behind these recommendation went as follows: non-executives are relatively impartial they bring different expertise and strategic input, being seperate from […]

Governance issues are reflected in proxy guidelines

Risk Metrics Group provides risk management services and information in many countries around the world. They are also a client of my organisation, in a convulted and irrelevant way. They recently released their policies around proxy voting: meaning how they will vote or advise voters in any given situation. Not only does it provide rational guidelines as well as promote […]

AGM format and materials deemed inequitable

Sasol’s empowerment transaction earlier this year was worth over R25 billion and added about 200 000 new shareholders to the Sasol share register. The impact at the AGM was apparently marked, with new members wanting materials in different languages and different formats.  From Fin24:  “Why are the presentations only in English, when you have many black shareholders represented in the […]

Advisors score from the failed Billiton – Rio Tinto deal

The news du jour is that BHP Billiton has declined to pursue its offer for Rio Tinto. Whilst on the one hand the story has flummoxed the investor community, the back channel is that millions of pounds were spent consulting with the professionals who were drafting up the paperwork, dotting the i’s and twisting the fountain pen nibs. I quote […]

British fund managers want annual board re-elections | The Times

Institutional investors of British banks have got more powerful over the years, at the expense of the retail investor. This power has been somewhat diluted by the weighing in of government in the form of bailouts. Further evidence of executive compensation becoming the most scrutinised aspect of financial reporting is also revealed in the article, where majority investors expect to […]

Investor relations from here on in

This was originally published in Bizcommunity, October 20 2008 Corporate transparency is the winner after every market correction – from the 1930’s New Deal laws through to King II and Sarbanes-Oxley. Being involved in your company’s investor relations/corporate affairs section, this will affect how you communicate to the markets and even internally. The rise of activist shareholders and government […]

The problem of linear governance | openaccountability

I was kindly invited by James Governor (aka Monkchips) of Redmonk, to participate in a pre-conference Wiki, OpenAccountability. James is hyper-passionate about sustainability and web2, and doesn’t mince words or dialectics; I foresee him turning his dab hand to shareholder activism in time. I posted there, thought it would fit here too… Corporate communication tends to follow a linear trail, […]

Shareholder activism and Motorola: (the billionaire way)

Shareholder activists are not parka-wearing, be-bearded, placard-waving activists. By definition, they need to own and control shares. Unfortunately, retail investors being what they are, also means they wont get much clout at the AGM. It helps if you’re a billionaire in charge of investment funds, and you aren’t happy the way that your investment is being managed. The mere whiff […]

PIC shows how it voted

The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) of South Africa released a PDF on its website on April 1, displaying how it voted at various AGMs. The PIC is tasked with investing the pension funds of government employees, and therefore tend to hold large chunks of equity in public companies. In fact, they hold over R700 billion assets under management, making them […]

The retail investor | the free library

This is verbatim: IR Firm Pushes Retail investor…-a0112360402 Has the recent runup in the stock market brought the individual investor, battered by years of losses, back into the market in a big way? Experts may be divided, but one sign that it has comes from the Financial Relations Board (FRB), a major public relations and investor relations firm. The […]