The drafting and release of the Principles has attracted global interest. The following links are a selection of the coverage received. If you are a member of the press with a question about the Principles please contact committee (at) bppgrp (dot) info

Press Releases

July 2019: BPP Group launches new 2019 Best Practice Principles for Shareholder Voting Research Analysis Download
July 2019: Report of Independent Review Chair Download
October 2018: Appointment of New Independent Review Chair Download
April 2017: Appointment of Review Chairman Download
February 2015: Feedback & Reporting Procedures Download
May 2014: Report of Chairman Download
May 2014: Position Paper – Shareholder Rights Directive Update Download
March 2014: Final Release of Principles Download
October 2013: Consultation Announcement Download

Coverage

Financial Times

July 2019|Proxy advisers sign up to tougher scrutiny

Big proxy advisers in Europe have agreed to greater independent scrutiny as the sector scrambles to respond to allegations that it wields too much power.

…This week, Institutional Shareholder Services, Glass Lewis and three other companies agreed to a series of updated principles, as well as supervision from an independent committee set up to oversee businesses involved in shareholder voting.

Responsible Investor (£)

July 2019 | Proxy firms group renew self-regulated code of conduct with investor input

A reviewed version of the so-called Best Practice Principles (BPP) for Shareholder Voting Research Providers has been published after a two-year consultation period by the group of five firms that sponsor them link.

IPE 

July 2019 |Proxy adviser group revises best practice principles

Leading proxy advisory firms in the EU have committed to a new governance and oversight structure in updated best practice principles, in a bid to address a mix of issuer and investor concerns, regulatory developments, and “continued market misperceptions”.

The 2019 principles, formally launched today, were the culmination of a two-year independent review process…

L’AGEFI Quotidien

Leur association, le BPPG, a annoncé une révision des principes de ses membres signataires fondateurs après deux années de réflexion et de critiques.

July 2019 | Les agences de conseil en vote plient sous la pression

Global Proxy Watch ($)

July 2019 |Be Advised News on proxy advisors

Compliance with the voluntary code of conduct advisor firms created will be monitored by a new oversight committee of issuers, investors and experts under updated principles published Monday by the Best Practice Principles Group (BPPG). The as yet unnamed committee, suggested by the review to ensure the code’s conformity with the EU Shareholder Rights Directive, will be empowered to boot noncompliant advisors out of the BPPG (GPW XXIII-15).

The new approach is unlikely to dent the US business lobby campaign against advisors’ “undue influence” on investor votes against management, which has ignored the BPPG. So have SEC chair Jay Clayton and other agency officials, who again expressed support for advisor regulation at a July 16 US Chamber of Commerce event.

Les Echos

July 2019 | AG : Les agences de conseil en vote se placent sous l’autorité d’un comité de supervision indépendant

ISS, Glass Lewis, ou encore le français Proxinvest ont décidé de modifier leur code de bonne conduite et de se soumettre à des normes plus strictes pour une plus grande transparence. Ils devront rendre des comptes à un comité indépendant.
Les agences de conseil en vote, ou « proxy advisors » en anglais, sont devenues en quelques années les bêtes noires des sociétés cotées car elles ont un oeil critique sur la gouvernance d’entreprise…

Corporate Law and Governance Blogspot |Robert Goddard

July 2019 | New edition of The Best Practice Principles for Shareholder Voting Research and Analysis

The new edition of The Best Practice Principles for Shareholder Voting Research and Analysis was published yesterday by the Best Practice Principles Group: see here (pdf). Further information about the new edition, the changes made and the rationale for each of the principles can be found in the accompanying report: see here (pdf).

Corporate Secretary

July 2019 | Proxy advisers agree to new standards

Major firms sign up to revised principles and oversight committee
Leading proxy advisers have agreed to a series of updated principles and oversight from a new committee.

Glass Lewis CEO KT Rabin tells Corporate Secretary sister publication IR Magazine: ‘As a founding signatory to the Best Practice Principles [BPP] for Shareholder Voting Research and Analysis Group [BPP Group], launched in 2014, Glass Lewis is pleased to confirm that the revised BPP was updated on Monday, July 22.’

The BPP Group was set up to promote a better understanding of proxy advisers. Its committee comprises representatives from Glass Lewis, ISS, Minerva Analytics, PIRC and Proxinvest.

Activist Insight Shorts

July 2019 | Activist insight short

The longstanding adversarial approach to proxy adviser regulation in the U.S. has so far produced little if any tangible benefit for either investors or corporations, despite promises to act by the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) late last year. And while one newspaper announced this week that (outgoing) commissioner Robert Jackson Jr was increasingly supportive of regulation, the scope of that agreement looks limited. Europe, by contrast, has been more successful at updating regulation. This week, an update to the “Best Practice Principles for Providers of Shareholder Voting Research & Analysis” was published. Granted, the principle-based approach is a hopeless misfit with the U.S. regulatory system. But the process was, by all accounts, less symbolic and more productive than the proxy war in which the SEC has been rather a pawn. Serious attempts at reform could do worse than emulating some of its approaches.

Thomson-Reuters Practical Law Corporate (£)

April 2017 | Review of the best practice principles

The Best Practice Principles Group for Shareholder Voting Research has announced a review of its best practice principles for shareholder voting research and analysis.

Global Proxy Watch ($)

April 2017 | Advisors Revise

The Best Practice Principles Group of five proxy advisors said today it will open an independent review of the principles launched in 2014 to assess their implementation and address requirements in the European Union Shareholder Rights Directive ratified earlier this month (GPW XX-31). The review will be chaired by former UK Financial Reporting Council staff governance head Chris Hodge.

Responsible Investor (£)

April 2017 | Chris Hodge to steer review

“Corporate governance expert Chris Hodge – who was instrumental in the creation of the world’s first Stewardship Code while he was at the UK’s Financial Reporting Council – is in charge of reviewing the European proxy industry’s best practice code”

Wedlake Bell Legal Knowledge Portal

July 2014 | The proxy advisory industry takes a big step forward

“We are both hopeful and confident that the application of these Research Provider Principles will improve the quality of the corporate governance debate.”

Harvard Corporate Governance Blog |Dirk Zetzsche

June 2014 | Best Practice Principles for Proxy Advisors and Chairman’s Report

DusLaw |Dirk Zetzsche

May 2014 | Code of Conduct for Voting Advisers – the Chairman’s Report

Linklaters |UK Corporate Update

March 2014 | New guidance for proxy advisors to improve issuer-investor relations

“The new principles should promote higher standards, greater consistency and increased transparency for both investors, who rely on their research when making voting decisions, and issuers, who may now find it easier to engage with such advisors.”

Diritto Bancario

5th March 2014 | Proxy advisors: i nuovi Best Practice Principles for Shareholder Voting Research

Financial Times

24th February 2014 | Proxy Advisers Dodge Draconian Regulation

Financial News

17th February 2014 | Proxy group poised to pitch international code of conduct

Financial News

30th October 2013 | Proxy advisory group aims to ‘bust’ sector myths