Boaz Weinstein Sues BlackRock Alleging Corporate-Governance Failings – WSJ

Saba Capital Management, a $1.7 billion hedge fund run by Boaz Weinstein, has sued BlackRock Inc., BLK 1.63% arguing the world’s largest asset manager has moved to block outsiders from gaining board seats at three of its funds and effecting change.In two lawsuits filed late Tuesday, Saba alleged that BlackRock’s actions run counter to the…

New UK Rules for Improving shareholder engagement and increasing transparency around stewardship | FCA

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority has issued new rules for institutional investor fiduciaries that impose new requirements for engagement and disclosure: We have introduced new requirements to improve shareholder engagement and increase transparency around stewardship. The requirements come into effect on 10 June 2019.  Asset managers and life insurers will need to disclose and make…

CII Spring Meeting 2019

The Council of Institutional Investors meets in Washington DC every spring, and as fascinating and timely as the presentations and panels are, what goes on behind the scenes is increasingly even more significant.  VEA Vice Chair Nell Minow made presentations at two of these behind-the-scenes events, discussing buybacks with members of the CII board and…

PIC struggles to improve quality of corporate governance

South Africa’s PIC pension fund adjusts its corporate governance priorities (emphasis added): More than half of the companies in which the PIC has a substantial investment ignore its views on the need for independent auditors.Almost half of them also ignore its view on what is, or is not, an acceptable remuneration policy, and a substantial…

Brunel’s Stewardship Policy

We recommend Brunel’s excellent stewardship policy as a model for institutional investors everywhere. Stewardship is defined as the job of taking care of something, such as a company or property. As investors, we use the term assets. Brunel is committed to responsible stewardship and seeks to contribute to the ‘care’ of all the assets under…

‘Quiet diplomacy’ the weapon of choice for passive funds | Financial Times

About a fifth of the freely traded shares of the US equity market are now owned by index-tracking funds and passive institutional mandates, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices. This underlines the vital role played by the three largest managers in this space — BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street — in policing corporate standards.Larry Fink,…

SSGA’s Kumar warns companies on ESG progress | Corporate Secretary

Rakhi Kumar, global head of asset stewardship and ESG with State Street Global Advisors (SSGA), has warned that her firm’s patience is running out with portfolio companies that aren’t heeding the asset manger’s warnings on topics such as board diversity, refreshment and climate change.‘Given that we started talking about some of these issues in 2011,…