Welcome to GuerdonNews®
In this issue we:
• Suggest that some companies will need to brace themselves for ACSI's push for more women on their board
• Note the latest personnel changes at Australian proxy advisers
• Put forward an interesting view that low board fees discriminate against women, minorities and more youthful tech savvy potential directors
• Summarise our submission to Treasury regarding draft equity plan tax changes to create better alignment between investors and executives and better assist the start up sector
• Digest a Harvard Business Review study that suggests boards are too short term, too large and do not work hard enough
We conclude with the latest executive and director remuneration disclosure updates available on the GuerdonData® on-line database.
ACSI advocates for 30% women on boards by 2017
Will target boards with no women
On 5 February the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) launched an initiative aiming to have women comprising 30% of all boards in ASX 200 companies by 2017 – a short but, ACSI believes, achievable timeframe. The issue will be a key priority of ACSI’s engagement with ASX 200 boards in 2015, with a focus on the “alarmingly large” number of companies without a single female director.
Based on the numbers, ACSI's aspirations may contribute to exasperation as well as a worthy goal not being fulfilled.
Low director fees limit board diversity
Board pay "discriminates" against women, minorities, and younger tech savvy potential directors
Australian director fees are too low. This is contributing to the absence of board diversity.
At the very least, this is a view that will be put to the attendees by at least one highly regarded director at next Monday's Perth Forum.
More proxy firm changes
ACSI, ISS and CGI Glass Lewis announce changes
Gordon Hagart resigns as ACSI CEO, ISS appoints a new head of research, and a CGI Glass Lewis director takes up a position in their New York office.
Guerdon Associates' submission to Treasury on ESS Taxation Bill
Changes suggested to better align the interests of employees with investors
Guerdon Associates recently lodged its submission on the Employee Share Scheme (ESS) taxation exposure documents released by the Government on the 14th January 2015.
The changes suggested are to better align the interests of employees with investors, and better reflect the needs of start up companies.
Directors too short-term
Suggestions that fewer directors should be paid more but work harder
Research has found that 47% of the senior executives and directors surveyed thought that the board was the main cause for any overemphasis on short-term financial results at the expense of long-term value creation (74% of the directors surveyed took this view). The authors of this study indicate that the pressure originates in financial markets.
The research advocates smaller boards and higher director pay in the expectation that they should work harder.
Latest GuerdonData® Updates
Updates to GuerdonData® include disclosures from the following 17 companies:
Beadell Resources Limited, Caltex Australia Limited, Energy Resources Of Australia Limited, G8 Education Limited, Iproperty Group Limited, Iress Market Technology Limited, Invocare Limited, Leighton Holdings Limited, Mineral Deposits Limited, Oil Search Limited, Oz Minerals Limited, Pan Australian Resources Limited, QBE Insurance Group Limited, STW Communications Group Limited, Santos Limited, Sydney Airport Limited and Woodside Petroleum Limited.
Executive and director remuneration data from all ASX 300 companies on GuerdonData® is available to any subscriber. Visit our website for more information on GuerdonData®.