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Key Governance Developments - September 2021
Pressure mounts on listed companies to diversify board membership
The US Securities and Exchange Commission has approved proposed rules by Nasdaq requiring listed companies to set racial and gender targets, with at least one female, one racial minority and one LGBTQ board member, as well as the obligation to publish board diversity statistics. In the UK, the Financial Conduct Authority has proposed changes to the company listing rules that would impose a comply-or-explain approach to board diversity. Companies would be urged to set a target of 40% of board members being female, including at least one one senior board member, and at least one board member to be non-white.
Best source: CNBC
See also: Pinsent Masons
ESG corporate governance issues may weigh on recent IPOs: analysts
Valuations of companies that have conducted recent initial public offerings could suffer if investors believe that their ESG governance credentials are insufficient, according to analysts. Snowflake, Airbnb, Palantir Technologies and Robinhood Markets are trailing their technology peers due to issues including board oversight, independence of board leadership and staff diversity concerns.
Best source: Bloomberg (subscription required)
Collardi leaves Pictet after Finma criticism in PDVSA money laundering case
Boris Collardi has left his position as a partner at Pictet after being reprimanded by Swiss regulator Finma over his role as CEO of Julius Bär during the bank's involvement with money laundering for Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA. Collardi, who joined private bank Pictet in 2017, stepped down on September 1.
Best source: Financial Times (subscription required)
Swiss bank’s deputy CEO arrested in Spain over US tax evasion case
The deputy CEO of Swiss private bank IHAG, Peter Rueegg, is facing extradition to the US after being arrested by Spanish police in Mallorca on an international arrest warrant linked to a tax evasion case. US officials allege that Rueegg, who was released pending an extradition ruling, helped American taxpayers hide more than $65m in offshore accounts between 2004 and 2014. IHAG, which paid $7.5m to avoid US prosecution over tax offences in 2015, has suspended the private banker and is not aware of any investigation against the institution itself.
Best source: Neue Zuercher Zeitung (in German)
See also: Finews