Key Governance Developments - November 2022

AMF board member resigns over independence of French regulator’s new chairwoman

Thierry Philipponnat, founder of the NGO Finance Watch, has resigned from the board of the Autorité des Marchés Financiers, saying the French regulator cannot be independent if it is chaired by a former leader of the financial services industry. Philipponnat's resignation from the board after eight-and-a-half years is in response to the appointment as chairwoman of Marie-Anne Barbat-Layani, a long-time public official, notably in the French treasury and finance ministry, but who was director-general of the French Banking Federation between 2014 and 2019, having previously spent three years with Crédit Agricole. Her background prompted almost 43% of the members of the joint parliamentary committee considering her nomination to vote against her appointment.

Best source: Les Echos (subscription required, in French)

See also: L'Agefi (in French)

Advertisers pause spending after Musk takes over Twitter

Leading global brands have suspended their advertising spending on Twitter following Elon Musk's acquisition of the social media platform, amid concern that moderation of comments will be weakened, allowing hate speech to become more prevalent. General Motors has already suspended its advertising and Interpublic Group has advised its clients to pause until more is known about Musk’s plans to ensure trust and safety on the platform, although cosmetics group L’Oréal has denied reports that it has suspended its advertising.

Best source: CNN

See also: Reuters (free registration)

CFA Institute urges ethical use of AI in all areas of asset management

The use of artificial intelligence by asset managers in risk management, trading and automated advice as well as investment analysis should put investor interests foremost as well as being transparent and easy to explain, according to the CFA Institute. Its paper on ethics and AI insists on the importance of the integrity of data used and avoidance of bias, excessive complexity and opacity. The organisation has also urged regular testing of AI models and reviews as part of a governance framework.

Best source: Finextra

See also: CFA Institute

Greenpeace accuses TotalEnergies of hugely underreporting its carbon emissions

Carbon emissions from TotalEnergies in 2019 may have been almost four times larger than the oil producer has reported, according to a Greenpeace study based on the company’s own disclosures. The environment group says that Total’s carbon dioxide equivalent emissions amounted to 1.6 billion tonnes, rather than the 455 million it reported, and has notified France's stock market regulator, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers. Greenpeace says TotalEnergies communicates figures much lower than those of other oil and gas groups such as the Anglo-Dutch business Shell.

Best source: Greenpeace