Thursday, 21 October 2010

My hobby horse

Voting disclosure. It's been the subject of a question in the Lords, look:
Institutional Investors: Voting Records
Asked by Lord Harrison

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of (a) the proportion of United Kingdom institutional investors who publicly disclose their voting records, and (b) trends in that figure over the last ten years.[HL1802]

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to set (a) criteria for judging the success of the Financial Reporting Council's Stewardship Code in encouraging institutional investors publicly to disclose their voting records, and (b) a date to assess the Code's performance against those criteria, with a view to deciding whether to exercise the reserve powers under section 1277 of the Companies Act 2006 to introduce mandatory voting disclosure for institutional investors.[HL1803]

27 Sep 2010 : Column WA491

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): The proportion of institutional investors who publicly disclose their voting records has increased since 2004. Considered voting at company meetings is one of the ways in which investors can act as effective owners of the companies in which they invest, and it is important that all institutional investors disclose their voting in order to improve transparency in this area.

The Financial Reporting Council's planned approach to assessment is given in its report Implementation of the Stewardship Code published in July 2010. The Investment Management Association will be reviewing disclosure of voting as part of its next engagement survey, which will take place later this year and will include independent oversight.

The Government will comment on this and other related corporate governance issues when they set out their views on the regulation of takeovers in the light of the Takeover Panel's recent consultation.

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