The Best Practice Principles Group for shareholder voting research (“BPPG”) and the independent Oversight Committee Chair, Dr. Stephen Davis, today announced the appointment of BPP Oversight Committee (“the Committee”) members who will monitor the Principles underpinning services provided by proxy advisory signatories of the BPP, effective July 16, 2020.
Committee appointments follow commitments made by the BPPG upon publication of the 2019 Best Practice Principles for Shareholder Voting Research Analysis which prescribe oversight of the Principles by an independent body.
In addition to the Oversight Committee Chair, Dr. Stephen Davis, 11 members have been appointed – six institutional investor representatives, three public company representatives and two independent academic representatives. The Committee includes a diverse mix of skills, backgrounds, knowledge, experience and geographic locations.
Appointed members are:
- Amy Borrus, Executive Director, Council of Institutional Investors (CII); (United States)
- Clare Payn, Senior Global ESG & Diversity Manager, Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM); (United Kingdom)
- Margriet Stavast, Senior Advisor Responsible Investment, PGGM; (Netherlands)
- Massimo Menchini, Director of Institutional Relations and Corporate Governance, Assogestioni; (Italy)
- Michael Herskovich, Head of Corporate Governance, BNP Paribas Asset Management; (France)
- Michael McCauley, Senior Officer – Investment Programs & Governance, SBA of Florida (United States)
- Jean-Baptiste Duchateau, VP Legal Corporate & Securities, Veolia Environnement (France)
- Geof Stapledon, Vice President Governance, BHP (United Kingdom & Australia)
- Hope Mehlman, EVP, Chief Governance Officer and Corporate Secretary, Regions Financial Corporation (United States)
- Konstantinos Sergakis, Professor of Capital Markets Law and Corporate Governance, University of Glasgow (United Kingdom)
- Nermeen Shehata, Associate Professor, The American University in Cairo (Egypt)
The Committee’s mission is to provide confidence in the Best Practice Principles. Committee members will conduct an annual independent review of the public reporting of each BPPG Signatory, which will be summarised in a report by the independent Committee Chair and presented publicly for feedback. The Committee will also provide guidance and advice to the BPPG with respect to the operation and development of the Principles.
Commenting on the appointments, Davis, said: “Committee members include leading figures from the investor and corporate communities worldwide. I am honoured to chair a group dedicated to ensuring that the proxy voting research industry is as robust, accurate, effective, ethical, and responsive as today’s market demands.”
The BPPG said: “We are delighted with the diversity and representation across members and we are steadfast in our commitment to assisting the Committee and Dr. Davis as they begin their work. BPP signatories’ reporting will be objectively evaluated according to the Principles, accounting for the unique offerings each provides to the institutional investor community to support better-functioning capital markets. We are confident this oversight framework will ensure transparency and accountability to signatory clients and other industry stakeholders.”
With all members now recruited, the Oversight Committee will in the coming days begin its work with the priority of setting a timeline for review of signatories’ annual statements, monitoring complaints procedures, and considering a forum for stakeholder feedback.
Additional information on the role of the Best Practice Principles Group and its Oversight Committee can be found here, with the 2019 Best Practice Principles here, the Report of the Independent Review Chair of the 2019 Best Practice Principles for Providers of Shareholder Voting Research & Analysis available here, and the BPPG’s announcement of the appointment of the Oversight Committee chair available here.
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