Proxy firm personnel changes
19/06/2013
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Ann Byrne, the CEO of ACSI, has announced she is “transitioning to retirement” in or around October 2013 after more than five years in the role.

ACSI represents 35 not-for-profit industry and government superannuation funds with more than six million members and $350 billion of funds under management. It provides ESG research, advice and support as well as offering a proxy voting service for funds dealing with listed company issues.

In 2007 Ms Byrne was awarded the FEAL Fund Executive of the Year and in December 2010 she was named one of the Governance Stars by Global Proxy Watch, the newsletter for International Governance and Shareowner Value.

She is also a board member of Oxfam Australia, a member of the Monash University Department of Accounting and Finance Advisory Committee, a member of the BlackRock Australia Compliance Committee and National Convenor of Sisters in Crime.

ACSI has begun an international search for Ms Byrne’s replacement. We note that her effective retirement comes after the federal election, with the possibility that several experienced ex-federal Labor Party politicians may be available

Meanwhile, on 1 June, Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (ISS) announced that Dr. Ulysses Chioatto has joined the firm as Executive Director and Head of Research for Australia and New Zealand.  In that role he will be ISS Australia’s primary spokesperson, and will lead marketing efforts and probably be engaged in additional research initiatives in the “off-seasons” to match those of ACSI, Ownership Matters, CGI Glass Lewis and dedicated governance researcher, Regnan.

Institutional Shareholder Services continues to have the biggest market share in proxy advisory services to Australian and New Zealand superannuation funds and investment managers, despite the departure of significant personnel to start up rival firm Ownership Matters in 2011 (see HERE

After almost three years as Director, Asia Pacific for Deloitte, Dr. Chioatto co-founded SSAMM Management Consulting in 2001.  SSAMM provides professional governance services, with an emphasis on legal considerations and organisational structure.  The firm has over 100 clients that include major Australian banks, second tier banks, asset managers, hedge funds and  superannuation  funds  in  Australia  and  the  Asia Pacific region.  Since 2005 and through SSAMM, Dr. Chioatto has served as the facilitator for the Responsible Managers and Officers Forum, a 600+ member industry body offering training and development to C-Level executives.

Dr. Chioatto holds his Doctor Business Administration from University of South Australia, his Bachelor of Laws from Macquarie University, a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from College of Law, a Master of Labour Law from University of Sydney and his Master of Business Administration from University of New England.

Dan Smith will continue in his role on the operations side of ISS research, and is expected to be the primary contact for specific company engagement on proxy reports and governance matters.

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