Key Governance Developments - March 2020

Twitter CEO keeps job in $1bn investment deal with hedge fund firm

Activist hedge fund manager Elliott Management has agreed a deal under which Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey will remain as CEO and the company will undertake a $2bn share repurchase programme. Elliott had called for senior management changes over concern that Dorsey was dedicating too much time to his CEO position at payment processor Square, as well as his plans to spend six months in Africa. Under the agreement, Twitter will appoint two new directors, Elliott’s head of US activism, Jesse Cohn, and Egon Durban, co-CEO of Silver Lake Partners, a private equity firm that will also take a $1bn stake in Twitter. The social media giant is still looking for a third independent director with expertise in technology and artificial intelligence.

Best source: Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

See also: New York Times (subscription required)

See also: CNBC


UK regulator consults on climate change disclosure requirements for listed issuers 

The Financial Conduct Authority is consulting on proposals to require UK premium listed issuers to declare whether they comply with the recommendations of the Financial Stability Board’s Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures or explain why they are not following the guidance. The change would affect listed issuers as well as other entities with securities admitted to trading on regulated markets, and those covered by the EU's Market Abuse Regulation and Prospectus Regulation. The task force, headed by Bank of England governor Mark Carney and Michael Bloomberg, says companies should disclose oversight of risks, scenarios for coping with various temperatures, risk management processes and progress in meeting targets.

Best source: Financial Times (subscription required)

See also: Financial Conduct Authority

UBS cuts bonuses after year of poor performance

UBS has reduced its 2019 bonus pool for employees by 14% after a year in which the bank’s performance was affected by ongoing low interest rates, slowing global growth and geopolitical volatility. Pay for UBS’s executive board members, including CEO Sergio Ermotti, fell by 14% to CHF70.3m. Ermotti, who is scheduled to step down in November and will be succeeded by ING CEO Ralph Hamers, was paid CHF12.5m in 2019, 11.4% less than in 2018. Chairman Axel Weber saw his pay cut by 13% to CHF5.2m. However, private banking head Iqbal Khan received an $8.1m payment when he joined UBS from rival Credit Suisse last year.

Best source: Financial Times (subscription required)

See also: Financial News (subscription required)

See also: SWI Swissinfo


Activist shareholder seeks board changes at French furniture retailer

Teleios Capital Partners has built a 13.3% stake in French furniture and home decoration firm Maisons Du Monde, and is asking other shareholders to support its call for consultations before new board members or a new chairman are appointed. The Swiss activist shareholder is concerned about Maison Du Monde’s performance, investor communication and corporate governance.

Best source: Reuters


Founder arrested for money laundering after Indian bank collapse

India's anti-financial crime agency Enforcement Directorate has arrested Rana Kapoor, the founder of Yes Bank, accusing him of laundering around $581m. The privately-owned bank has struggled with non-performing loans, leading to a partial rescue and $332m capital injection by the State Bank of India and the nullifying of the bank’s additional tier 1 bonds, leaving investors with losses. Customers have also been told that withdrawals will be capped at INR50,000 (€591) for a month.

Best source: BBC News

See also: Economic Times