Governance in Brief – May 25, 2023
Activist investor pushes for leadership and strategy changes at NRG Energy Activist investor Elliott Investment Management has disclosed a 13% stake in the US-based NRG Energy and called for leadership and operational changes at the company to remedy its “meaningful underperformance.” The investor urged NRG to add independent directors with experience in the power and energy sector to its board, noting that it has already identified five executives to guide the operational and strategic changes.
Governance in Brief – May 19, 2023
EU court sides with Ryanair on Lufthansa’s 2020 bailout. The EU General Court, the second-highest court in the EU, has annulled the European Commission’s decision on the approval of state bailout for Deutsche Lufthansa prompted by the 2020 pandemic. The judgment found the EC erroneously considered that Lufthansa could not obtain financing on the markets and failed to ask for the implementation of an incentive mechanism for the airline to buy back the German Government’s stake.
Governance in Brief – May 11, 2023
JPMorgan Chase takes over failed First Republic Bank JPMorgan Chase has acquired the assets and deposits of First Republic Bank after California authorities seized and auctioned the troubled lender. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”), an independent governmental agency established to maintain financial stability through the insurance of banks’ deposits, took possession of First Republic Bank after the lender suffered a severe liquidity crisis following the failure of SVB and Signature Bank earlier in March.
Governance in Brief – May 4, 2023
TotalEnergies sells Canadian oil sands operations to Suncor TotalEnergies has announced that it will sell its Canadian operations to Suncor Energy, in an agreement worth up to CAD 6.1 billion (USD 4.47 billion). The French energy giant had originally planned to exit Canadian oil sands by spinning off TotalEnergies EP Canada, but later agreed to instead sell the operations after having received unsolicited offers from both Suncor and other parties.
Governance in Brief – April 27, 2023
ValueAct Capital pushes to oust Seven & i Holdings President Activist investor ValueAct Capital has submitted a shareholder proposal to remove four of the 14 directors of Japan’s Seven & i Holdings Co, including company President Ryuichi Isaka. The investor, which holds a 4.4% stake in the Japanese convenience store operator, has nominated four new independent directors to the board. ValueAct alleged that Isaka acted in bad faith and was responsible for a “flawed” corporate strategy. The investor has been calling on the Japanese company to improve its valuation and “pursue bold, structural reform.”
Why Impact Matters: Seven Essential Considerations for Investors
Today’s investors are facing increased scrutiny from stakeholders for greenwashing risk. ESG-related disclosure regulations are quickly advancing and more customers are seeking impact-focused products. This market environment demands heightened transparency and credibility, and investors need to know how Impact can help them rise to these challenges and meet their diverse sustainability goals.
Will SVB’s Failure Create Headwinds in Clean Technology?
SVB's failure could create a domino effect in the IT and banking sectors, whereby the default of one company would trigger the default of another one across sectors, and so on. In this article, we explore that possibility for the cleantech sector.
Governance in Brief – April 20, 2023
Softbank liquidates most of its Alibaba stake Softbank has reportedly sold around USD 7.2 billion worth of Alibaba shares this year via prepaid forward contracts, causing its stake to drop from almost 15% to 3.8% and Alibaba’s share price to falter. Softbank has gradually decreased its stake, which as recently as three years ago was valued at USD 100 billion and represented 25% of Alibaba’s share capital.
A New Tool at the Table: Understanding Low Carbon Transition Risk By Industry and How Companies Are Managing It
Discover how leading companies are managing their low carbon transition risks. Using data from the Low Carbon Transition Ratings, we identify the industries with a large portion of the companies with strong management of transition issues and examine the factors contributing to their strong management scores.
Governance in Brief – April 13, 2023
Switzerland cracks down on Credit Suisse bonuses The Swiss government has ordered Credit Suisse to eliminate or reduce all outstanding variable compensation for the top three layers of bank management, following the lender's collapse and unexpected takeover by rival UBS. The cutbacks will affect around 1,000 employees, resulting in about CHF 50 to CHF 60 million less in bonus payouts.
Governance in Brief – April 6, 2023
Alibaba to cleave off business units Chinese e-commerce group Alibaba has announced plans to split its operations into six separate business groups. The units are Cloud Intelligence Group, Taobao Tmall Commerce Group, Local Services Group, Cainiao Smart Logistics Group, Global Digital Commerce Group and Digital Media and Entertainment Group.
Governance in Brief – March 23, 2023
SVB Financial Group sued after the collapse of Silicon Valley bank unit SVB Financial Group, the parent company of Silicon Valley Bank, and two of its top executives, CEO Greg Becker and CFO Daniel Beck, are being sued by shareholders following the bank’s collapse. The lawsuit, filed by retail shareholder Chandra Vanipenta on behalf of a group of shareholders, accuses the bank and its two top executives of filing false and misleading financial reports.
Governance in Brief – March 16, 2023
Canada introduces climate reporting framework Canadian regulators have issued new guidance for the country's banks and insurance companies to better manage climate-related risks. The framework, which requires disclosure on governance, strategy, risk management, and metrics related to financial institutions’ greenhouse-gas emissions, was first drafted in 2022.