The following lists the various consultation responses submitted by the Forum on key government proposals regarding corporate governance, environmental reporting and investor stewardship.
LAPFF’s response focuses on how to ensure that executive pay is properly aligned to long-term performance and on giving greater voice to employees and consumers in the boardroom. It also sets out where there are major problems with the FRC as the regulator of governance, accounts and financial reporting.
LAPFF supports the recommendations of the FSB Taskforce and considers all market participants should be encouraged to aim for full implementation. The Forum further considers that guidance could go beyond promoting disclosure of scenario that reflects a 1.5 – 2 degree future, to recommending that companies should be positioning themselves for a low carbon future by disclosing a strategic business transition plan.
The Forum encourages a forward-looking focus on detailed quantitative and qualitative reporting, supported by additional narrative where necessary, across five elements: operational emissions; strategic resilience; research and development; the governance of company policy implementation on climate change and key performance indicators; and public policy. Within this framework, LAPFF strongly encourages scenario and sensitivity analysis, to rigorously test companies’ assumptions, and to provide a comparable and consistent approach to disclosure.
LAPFF has responded to a consultation on the development of a corporate human rights benchmark calling for increased reporting of examples pertaining to the implementation of corporate human rights policies and systems. LAPFF finds that often annual reports and CSR reports provide great detail and evidence of the existence of policies and systems but very little information on how these tools work in practice. In order to assess the actual impact of the tools, an explicit request for examples would be extremely helpful in understanding whether financial, operational and reputational risks are likely, and if so, what they are likely to be.
LAPFF has responded to a consultation paper issued by the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Reporting Guide calling for mandatory reporting of carbon emissions. The Forum has welcomed and endorsed the move towards a ‘comply or explain’ approach for other aspects of reporting and considers this may set a model for other exchanges for reporting on the governance of material environmental and social issues.
LAPFF is a member of the Investor Group of the 30% Club which has responded to the consultation. The 30% Club is a group of Chairmen voluntarily committed to bringing more women onto UK corporate boards.
LAPFF has responded to the draft endorsement advice by the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) on the proposed replacement of EU-IAS 39 with IFRS 9. LAPFF believes that EFRAG has been lacking objective and transparent legal criteria for assessing the true and fair view principle of the law for IFRS endorsement and as a result has not been following the correct model of true and fair view in endorsing IFRS.
LAPFF has responded to a BIS discussion document to express its concern about the delegation of any statutory powers to the Financial Reporting Council (“FRC”) and its constituent boards unless there is substantial reform of the governance of the FRC and its boards.
LAPFF does not support any further powers being given to the FRC without substantial governance reform of the FRC resulting in demonstrable independence of the FRC from the auditing profession, and has written to BIS accordingly.
The LAPFF response is confined to matters that also relate to the investment activities of local authority pension funds and that have implications for LGPS investment regulations currently in place.
LAPFF, together with a group of nine UK organisations has made a joint submission to the European Commission on the impact of International Financial Reporting Standards. The participating institutions include individual asset management firms, pension funds and associations.
LAPFF welcomes some proposed changes to the Code such as those relating to new regulatory initiatives on directors’ remuneration, but flags up concerns in the wording of other areas such as on going concern.
The LAPFF response to the Law Commission consultation presents a LGPS perspective on key issues of stewardship, short termism and beneficiaries' interests.
LAPFF supports the original Sharman proposals, not the FRC proposed amendments. Recent FRC statements on the quality of audits at UK banks would suggest that auditors should be undertaking their basic task properly as opposed to providing assurance against financial reporting standards
LAPFF supports clawback and malus provisions for directors pay but has concerns that setting out that the purpose of pay is to ‘attract, retain and motivate’ perpetuates some common misunderstandings about how the market for executive talent operates.
LAPFF raises fundamental questions about the status and compatibility of the proposed Strategic Report with UK Company Law and the preparation of annual accounts for shareholder approval.
LAPFF is a member of the Investor Group of the 30% Club, a group of Chairmen voluntarily committee to bringing more women onto UK corporate boards. The submission focuses on paras 6.68 to 6.71 of the exposure draft.
LAPFF supports SEC action to facilitate meaningful corporate disclosure of executive pay ratios and flags up various points to consider in developing guidance for the implementation methodology.
LAPFF replies to BIS' proposal to enhance corporate transparency by improving the ability to know who really owns and controls UK companies.
LAPFF concurs with IR that corporate reporting needs to evolve to provide concise communication on strategy, governance, performance and prospects and the link to short, medium and long-term value creation.
LAPFF reiterates support for a regulatory backstop to audit firm tenure to further the protection of auditor independence as well as limits to non-audit fees.
LAPFF welcomes the requirement for the auditor’s report to address risks of material misstatement, materiality and a summary of the audit scope in the form it is proposed and identifies beneficial outcomes for both shareholders and auditors.
The Sharman Panel recognises that assessing going concern requires prudent accounting policies, and that this assessment is not consistent with IFRS in several material respects. In LAPFF’s opinion, the parties who have been setting and endorsing accounting standards have been missing the fundamentals of prudent accounting and true and fair view altogether.
It is the Forum's view that the consultation is trying to address problems of disclosure overload with IFRS, which are symptoms of its defects, rather than tackling the core problem that IFRS is not delivering a true and fair view.
LAPFF advocates greater investor protection in the UK listing regime and argues against the proposed dual voting structure for directors. LAPFF also suggests raising the free-float threshold of 25%.
LAPFF expresses support for the proposed 30% limit to investing in partnership, arguing that it will facilitate greater investment.
LAPFF welcomes the ICSA approach but suggests that an overly bureaucratic approach to engagement can dilute the investor message and lead to less productive outcomes in company meetings. The Forum sees no need for any intermediary mediation service and prefers direct engagement with company officials, November 2012.
LAPFF supports the new regulations requiring companies to report their greenhouse gas emissions and recommends that the government provide consistent guidance regarding the specific methodology required to calculate emissions, October 2012.
LAPFF's response includes views on the respective responsibilities of asset owners and asset managers and on stock lending policy, July 2012.
The 30% Club, which LAPFF is an investor supporter, advocates for voluntary measures to increase the number of women on UK corporate boards, June 2012.
Group submission supporting the upholding of minority rights and proposing amendments to listing rules for additional investor protection, April 2012.
LAPFF expresses its views on shareholder voting rights and a binding vote on executive remuneration, April 2012.
Response to FTSE consultation on index methodology and free float thresholds, November 2011.
LAPFF response to the Kay Review, November 2011.
LAPFF response to the BIS consultation on Narrative Reporting, November 2011.
LAPFF response to the BIS Discussion Paper on Executive Remuneration, November 2011.
LAPFF response to amended areas that are of relevance to the Forum's activities, October 2011.
LAPFF response to the FRC consultation document on increasing gender diversity on corporate boards, July 2011.
LAPFF response to the EC Corporate Governance paper. The EC paper focuses on three main areas: boards of directors, shareholders’ engagement and the “comply or explain” approach, July 2011.
LAPFF response to the DEFRA consultation on introducing regulations requiring companies to report on carbon emissions, July 2011
LAPFF response to the FRC consultation on the Sharman Inquiry, June 2011
LAPFF response to SEC consultation on rules requiring listing standards for compensation committees and compensation consultants, May 2011
LAPFF Response to SEC approved proposed rules implementing Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Act regarding disclosure of payment made by resource extraction users to governments, January 2011
LAPFF Response to EC Consultation on Disclosure of Non-Financial Information by Companies, January 2011
LAPFF Response to BIS Review on Corporate Governance and Short Termism, January 2011
View the consultations archive