Financial Regulatory Forum

Taiwan takes tough stance on corporate governance

By Patricia Lee

(Complinet) Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission has stepped up enforcement of its corporate governance regulations by making it mandatory for listed firms and financial institutions to appoint independent directors and set up a remuneration committee. The latest regulations will carry a penalty in the event of any breaches, an FSC official told Complinet, speaking on condition of anonymity.

According to the FSC official, although the requirement to appoint independent directors was not entirely new, the commission’s latest move built on its existing corporate governance regulations. It further expands their reach to cover the entire spectrum of the financial services sector.

Securities investment trust enterprises and integrated securities firms which are not subsidiaries of a financial holding company, exchange- or over-the-counter-listed futures commission merchants, as well as exchange- or OTC-listed non-financial institutions each with a paid-in capital of at least NT$10 billion ($344.7 million), but not exceeding NT$50 billion ($1.7 billion), are the four additional types of firms in the financial sector now covered under the corporate governance regulations.

The FSC official said: “The fact that the corporate governance regulations now cover as many different types of companies within the financial sector including those with a paid-in capital of NT$10billion shows that the FSC is serious about raising the standards of corporate governance of financial institutions in addition to that for listed companies.”

The FSC’s move to make setting up a remuneration committee mandatory for firms listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange or traded over-the-counter, underscores its commitment to strengthening corporate governance and risk management. According to a recent FSC statement, the new regulation set out requirements governing the composition of the committee, the scope of its powers, rules of procedure, professional qualifications, independence, and the exercise of its powers. “The purpose of the regulations is to ensure a sound remuneration system for companies’ board members, supervisors, and executive officers,” it said.

Corporate Governance: Staggered U.S. boards are endangered species

By Erik Krusch

NEW YORK, March 23 (Westlaw Business) – Classified boards may be moving towards the endangered species list, as investors and even management are hunting them down.

Valero and Biogen Idec’s management teams, for example, are recommending that shareholders approve amendments declassifying their respective boards. Other corporations, such as Alcoa and McDonald’s Corp, however, are fighting their shareholders’ attempts to level their staggered boards. It remains to be seen how many staggered boards emerge from this proxy season unscathed. (more…)

Equality provisions fail to add up in UK boardrooms (Westlaw Business)

 Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts leads a discussion at the IHT Heritage Luxury conference in London 09/11/2010By Christopher Elias

Jan. 27 (Westlaw Business) With annual meeting season just around the corner in the UK, attention is once again turning to corporate governance issues and in particular, board composition, as a recent report from Cranfield University reveals that only 12.5% of FTSE 100 directorships are held by women.

With an overhaul of discrimination law provided by the Equality Act 2010, the importance of gender diversity in boardrooms has never been more profound and the new act strives to achieve better gender equality in companies among other things.

Recent developments seem to suggest, however, that the UK government has stepped back from imposing the full force of the act and will not be imposing mandatory gender quotas or compulsory gender pay reporting – bad news for Cranfield University who produced a damning report on gender diversity in FTSE 100 companies recently. (more…)

Top pay at bailed out U.S. companies to be cut – sources

Lawrence H. Summers, Director of the White House's National Economic Council, speaks about the a luncheon hosted by "The Economist" magazine at Pace University in New York October 16, 2009. (File Photo) REUTERS/Nicholas Roberts (UNITED STATES BUSINESS POLITICS) By Karey Wutkowski and Steve Eder
WASHINGTON/NEW YORK, Oct 21 (Reuters) – Top earners at financial and auto companies bailed out by the U.S. government will see their pay slashed under an Obama administration plan aimed at addressing public outrage over eye-popping paychecks, two sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

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INTERVIEW-Delaware judge sees “symbiotic” relations with U.S. government on corporate law

By Tom Hals
WILMINGTON, Del., Oct 16 (Reuters) – Delaware will preserve its “symbiotic” relationship with the federal government on corporate law, even as Washington takes an activist role on American business, said the newest member of the state’s corporate law court.

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US SEC won’t finalize proxy access for board nominations until early 2010

Mary Schapiro, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (file photo) WASHINGTON, Oct 2 (Reuters) – Finalizing a controversial proposal to give U.S. investors a cheaper and easier way to nominate corporate directors is taking longer than expected and securities regulators will not vote on it until early in 2010.

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Expanded US financial regulation to benefit consultants

By Sweta Singh
NEW YORK, July 29 (Reuters) – Expanded regulation of the U.S. financial sector could prove a bonanza in 2010 for Navigant Consulting Inc and other firms that help companies handle investigations.
Navigant and rivals Huron Consulting Group Inc, FTI Consulting Inc and CRA International Inc provide experts, including lawyers, to help companies deal with regulatory probes. (more…)

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