The week in investor relations: Clayton to step down and Deutsche Börse buys ISS

Nov 20, 2020
This week’s other IR-related stories that we didn’t cover on

– Jay Clayton, chairman of the SEC, is to step down from his role by the end of 2020, according to the Wall Street Journal (paywall). The move could open ‘the door for Democrats to push for a more aggressive approach to regulation of Wall Street,’ said the article. Clayton recently caused controversy in the IR community when the SEC proposed loosening disclosure rules for investors. 

– Deutsche Börse announced it would acquire an 80 percent stake in Institutional Shareholder Services, which provides proxy voting advice to many of the world’s investors, noted Reuters. The deal is the latest in a number of transactions involving stock exchanges as they seek to build out their data offerings. 

– A coalition of 38 investors sent a letter to the chair of the audit committee at more than 30 major European companies calling on them to include the implications of moving to a low-carbon world in their financial statements, reported the Financial Times (paywall). The companies targeted include BMW, EDF and Lufthansa. 

– Tesla will join the S&P 500 Index in December, reported the New York Times (paywall). The inclusion of such a large company in the index – Tesla is worth around $390 bn – can lead to an overall drop in the benchmark as index trackers are forced to sell other constituents, according to an analysis by Bespoke Investment Group.

– The Australian Securities Exchange suffered a major outage that lasted nearly a whole day on Monday, noted Bloomberg. The technical issue occurred as the exchange operator introduced an updated trading system for its equities market. The shutdown was the longest for more than 10 years, explained the article. 

– Countryside Properties became the latest UK company to be targeted by an activist investor, reported Sky News. Hedge fund Browning West is pushing the company to break up by selling one of its main business units, and has also requested a board seat, the story noted. Other British companies recently targeted include Barclays, Pearson and St James’s Place.

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