ECGS voting policy on director elections: ‘Overboarding’ in the Nordic Countries

In a recent McKinsey & Company survey on corporate boards, non-executive directors (“directors”) said they spent more time now fulfilling their board duties than ever before.[1] On average, the number of days (per year) directors devote to board work per mandate has increased from 28 in 2011 to 33 in 2015. Moreover, it is estimated that many board members are spending 50 days or more per year on board work either due to regulatory pressure or simply owing to the fact that the time required to do a good job is usually more than directors initially expect[2]. Hence, it is of vital importance that investors should be assured that directors have sufficient time available to devote to the boards on which they serve whether it be under ordinary circumstances (‘peacetime’) or in the event of exceptional circumstances (‘times of war’).


CORPORANCE: A new ECGS partner in Spain

Madrid, 26 September 2017. - CORPORANCE ASESORES DE VOTO, Spain’s first proxy advisory, hosted its first conference today in Madrid, to a sizeable audience which included national and international experts.  . CORPORANCE is the member for Spain and Portugal of the global partnership ECGS (Expert Corporate Governance Service), a network of leading independent European proxy and corporate governance advisors. ECGS and its partners have been advising European institutional investors for over 20 years.

Yes to more Transparency on Consultancy Mandates of Proxy Advisors

 SIX Swiss Exchange has launched a consultation on a new provision of its Corporate Governance Directive. The consultation deals with the obligation of listed companies to publish the names of the proxy advisors to whom they have entrusted services other than proxy voting advice. In such a case, the fees paid to these proxy advisors must also be disclosed. Ethos (Swiss partner of ECGS) supports this new provision which aims at reigning in conflicts of interest of certain proxy advisors.

Ethos welcomes the proposal of SIX Swiss Exchange to enhance the transparency on mandates of proxy advisors other than voting advice. This additional information is crucial in allowing investors to take into consideration and assess potential conflicts of interest of proxy advisors in the course of their analyses and issuance of proxy voting advice.

New ECGS Voting Policy for Proxy Season 2017


Please download the new voting policy of ECGS for proxy season 2017, including the methodologies used by the local partners of ECGS in each country to take into account local market and regulatory conditions. 

To get voting recommendations in line with this voting policy, please contact the managing partner of ECGS, Proxinvest ( or +33 (0)1 45 51 50 43.)

Reports may also be purchased online on ResearchPool, the Platform for Investment Research




This time you get no voting power!

SNAP Inc., owner of the budding social media platform snapchat, has announced plans to go public capturing the imagination of investors following a year of abysmal technology IPOs in 2016.

With plans to raise an estimated $3 billion from its IPO, market observers estimate that the Company will fetch a valuation of $20 to $25 billion, a healthy premium to its most recent valuation of $18 billion as a private company. According to Dealogic, 26 technology IPOs in 2016 raised $4.3 billion from US exchanges.

Another one bites the dust

 Fiat Chrysler following in the footsteps of disgraced German automaker Volkswagen?

Storied Italian powerhouse Fiat Chrysler (FCA) saw its share price tumble over 18% in the afternoon trading session on 12 January 2017, shedding almost €2.4 billion in market value.

The carnage began around 3:15 p.m. when it was reported that US environmental watchdog, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) intends to accuse the automaker of using engine management software to exceed diesel emissions in 104,000 vehicles. The EPA alleged that these violations of the Clean Air Act manifested themselves when FCA failed to disclose the existence of this software in its light-duty models in 2014 and 2015, the 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and Doge Ram 1500 trucks. Shares were down 10% when markets closed. The EPA actions could result in fines of up to $4.6 billion for FCA as reported by the Wall Street Journal. Such a fine is more than the company’s combined profits from 2013 through to the first nine months of 2016.  

Monte dei Paschi di Siena: from helping the poor to emptying state coffers

More than seven years after the Great Recession, the bailout saga continues. The failure of the Italian referendum on December 4, 2016 and the subsequent resignation of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s government sent markets into a tailspin and stopped Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena’s (BMPS) restructuring plan in its tracks as understandably jittery investors refused to commit capital. With almost €47 billion in gross non-performing loans (NPLs), the beleaguered bank turned to Rome for a third potential bailout since the financial crisis.

Mike Ashley as Ebenezer Scrooge in 21st century retelling of A Christmas Carol

  “I’m not Father Christmas; I’m not sitting here saying I’ll make the world wonderful”

Father Christmas he is not, but rather Mike Ashley.

The founder and controlling shareholder (55% of share capital) of Sports Direct appeared before the UK parliament last June to plead his case. In a comical display of showmanship while sporting the black and white colours of Newcastle United on his tie, Mike Ashley defended his company’s record, downplayed the allegations levelled against Sports Direct, and evidently made several references to Santa Claus and Christmas.

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