Investment Association red flags issues

Ahead of the 2019 AGM season, the Investment Association (IA) has announced it will highlight companies who are lagging behind on diversity or pay pension contributions to executive directors at rates above the majority of the workforce.

The IA’s Institutional Voting Information Service (IVIS) which provides corporate governance research to shareholders to aid their voting decisions during AGM season, will ‘red-top’ companies who pay newly-appointed directors pension contributions which are not in line with the majority of their employees. A red-top represents the highest level of warning IVIS issues and is reserved for companies where shareholders should have the most significant and serious concerns.

Andrew Ninian, director of Stewardship and Corporate Governance at the Investment Association, noted: “The IA’s Remuneration Principles set out shareholder expectations on executive pension contributions and our members have been clear this is an issue of fairness and pension contributions should be aligned with the majority of the workforce.”

More controversially the IVIS will also ‘red top’ companies that have no or only one woman on their board. IVIS will also issue an ‘amber-top’ (the second highest warning) to companies not on course to meet the requirements of the Hampton-Alexander review, for 33 per cent of women on their board by 2020. IVIS will highlight any board with women representing 25 per cent or less. This will apply irrespective of the positions filled.

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