In Focus

CII Applauds FTSE Russell Decision to Set Voting Rights Minimum for Inclusion on Indexes

CII applauded FTSE Russell’s July 26 preliminary decision to bar Snap and companies with virtually zero voting rights in the hands of public shareholders from inclusion in the Russell 3000 and other FTSE Russell indexes. “This is an important breakthrough for all investors,” said Ken Bertsch, CII’s executive director. “FTSE Russell’s decision is a rebuke to companies that would deny public shareholders any voice in company matters and ensures that some minimal corporate governance standards are required to get into indexes.” Bertsch praised FTSE Russell for conducting “a thoughtful and relatively transparent” public consultation and noted that more than two-thirds of investors who responded agreed that some minimum hurdle for the percentage of voting rights in public hands is appropriate. In response to Snap’s IPO solely with non-voting stock, CII publicly urged all three main index providers (including S&P Dow Jones and MSCI) to bar such shares from their indexes. Read the full press release here.

FCA Proposes Relaxed Governance and Conflict of Interest Rules to Pave Way for Aramco Listing

The United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on July 13 proposed a new listing category for sovereign controlled companies that would reduce standards for “premium” listings by such entities on related party transactions and control shareholder rules. The FCA seeks to pave the way for winning a London Stock Exchange listing from the huge Saudi Aramco without damaging standards applicable to non-sovereign entities. Other potential listings of sovereign-controlled entities may include Abu Dhabi and Kazakhstan entities. LSE is in competition with the NYSE for the IPO of Aramco, expected to have a market cap of well over $1 trillion. FTSE Russell indicated that it will not relax rules on float requirements for the FTSE 100, which means that Saudi Aramco will be ineligible for inclusion in that important index. Comments on the FCA proposal are due Oct. 13, 2017.

Registration Open for CII's Fall Conference

Registration is open for CII's fall conference, September 13-15, 2017, at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel. The agenda for this members-only gathering features compelling speakers on a range of investment and business topics. Beyond the ballroom, CII will offer a class on evaluating directors—taught by governance professionals for governance professionals—and the Engagement Exchange, an organized meet-up for investors and companies. Attendees can also participate in several member-hosted events on specific topics, from climate risk to board composition to human capital management. And as always, there will be unparalleled networking opportunities. Join us in San Diego!

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CII Priorities

Fair Financial RulesSensible, effective rules safeguard investors and strengthen markets.

Dual-Class StockEach share of a public company's common stock should have one vote.

Majority Voting for DirectorsIn uncontested elections, directors should be elected by majority vote.

Universal ProxyIn contests, investors should be free to vote for the nominees they prefer.

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