Monday, 28 March 2011

UK: BIS consultation responses - a Long Term Focus for Corporate Britian

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has published a summary of responses received in respect of its corporate governance consultation A Long-Term Focus for Corporate Britain: see here (pdf). According to BIS:

Overall, respondents believe that short-termism exists in UK equity markets but provided little evidence to demonstrate the scale of the consequences for companies and investors. Many respondents noted the decline in the proportion of UK equities held by UK institutional investors (and a corresponding rise in the proportion held by overseas investors and hedge funds), and raised a range of concerns related to this increasing atomisation of ownership of UK companies. However, many respondents also made the point that the UK benefits from investors using a range of strategies, both long-term and short-term ... The majority of respondents agree that executive pay has risen to unacceptable levels in some cases given performance, however they did not agree on the causes or the best methods of mitigation ... There was a mixed response on the issue of whether boards understand effectively the long-term implications of takeovers or communicate these effectively to investors. However, there was not much support for requiring a vote for shareholders in acquiring companies involved in a takeover". 

Later this year the Government will provide further information about the next stage of its review of corporate governance.

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