Just one in 10 ASX 200 are chaired by a woman

Original article by Sally Patten
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 21 : 2-Jul-21

Analysis by the Australian Institute of Company Directors shows that women held 33.6 per cent of board seats at companies in the S&P/ASX 200 Index at the end of May. This compares with 30.9 per cent at the same time in 2020. However, the AICD figures also show that just 21 companies in the ASX 200 are chaired by women, compared with 18 in 2020 and 14 in the previous year. Lendlease director Nicola Wakefield Evans says action is needed to boost the number of women who chair blue-chip companies.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF COMPANY DIRECTORS, STANDARD AND POOR’S ASX 200 INDEX, LENDLEASE GROUP – ASX LLC

Directors warn of gradual recovery

Original article by Damon Kitney, Glenda Korporaal
The Australian – Page: 13 & 17 : 4-Jan-21

The Australian Institute of Company Directors’ final sentiment survey for 2020 revealed that 80 per cent of directors expect an increase in mergers and acquisitions over the coming year. BlueScope Steel, Fortescue and Dexus director Penny Bingham-Hall has told an AICD round table forum that there is a lot of overseas money looking to "find a home" at the moment, while Amcor and ANZ director Graeme Liebelt told the forum that there was a risk that business expectations might get ahead of reality in 2021.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF COMPANY DIRECTORS, BLUESCOPE STEEL LIMITED – ASX BSL, FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG, DEXUS – ASX DXS, AMCOR LIMITED – ASX AMC, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, COLES GROUP LIMITED – ASX COL, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, SANTOS LIMITED – ASX STO

Crown role makes Coonan unfit to lead financial ombudsman: Labor

Original article by John Kehoe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 2-Nov-20

Opposition financial services spokesman Stephen Jones claims Helen Coonan’s role as chairman of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority is "untenable". Coonan is also the chairman of casino operator Crown Resorts, which is currently the subject of inquiry by the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority. Jones says Coonan should not be head of a body that determines whether financial entities have been acting with probity while at the same time trying to push off allegations that Crown’s casinos have been used for significant money laundering. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says establishing the Authority is a "proud achievement" of the federal government, and that Coonan is a "widely respected" former MP.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL COMPLAINTS AUTHORITY, CROWN RESORTS LIMITED – ASX CWN, NEW SOUTH WALES. INDEPENDENT LIQUOR AND GAMING AUTHORITY

Forrest boosts his stake in Fortescue

Original article by Melissa Yeo
The Weekend Australian – Page: 24 : 29-Feb-20

Fortescue Metals Group has advised that chairman and founder Andrew Forrest bought more than 22 million shares in the pure-play iron ore miner between 20 and 27 February. Forrest paid some $242m to lift his stake in Fortescue from 30 per cent to about 36 per cent. Forrest will receive $828m in dividends for the first half of 2019-20 after Fortescue recently announced an interim dividend of $0.76 per share.

CORPORATES
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG

Hayne rebukes directors, PM on climate risk failure

Original article by James Fernyhough
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 9-Dec-19

Royal commissioner Kenneth Hayne says there is no excuse for inaction when it comes for the need for directors to deal with climate change risk. Hayne says it is now international expert consensus that such risk exists, and that Australia’s financial regulators are all clear that climate change represents real and measurable financial risks. Hayne was speaking at a recent gathering of business leaders, regulators and government officials that was organised by the Centre for Policy Development.

CORPORATES
CENTRE FOR POLICY DEVELOPMENT LIMITED, HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, QBE INSURANCE GROUP LIMITED – ASX QBE, COLES GROUP LIMITED – ASX COL

Underpay bosses face bans

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 7-Nov-19

Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter says the first responsibility of an employer is to ensure that their staff are being paid fairly. Porter has flagged the possibility of making company directors liable for wage theft by banning them from future directorships, although he adds that such legislation is unlikely to be retrospective. Porter also says there is merit in a proposal to allow the Fair Work Commission to hear claims for underpayment by individual workers, as suggested by ACTU secretary Sally McManus.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF EMPLOYMENT, SKILLS, SMALL AND FAMILY BUSINESS, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, ACTU, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK OMBUDSMAN

Director insider trading is rife

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 19 : 23-Sep-19

Australian National University academic Dr Dean Katselas has studied the trading of shares by directors following the release of listed companies’ earnings announcements. He says directors typically sell shares when positive information about their company is released and spark a jump in its share price, while they buy shares after the release of negative information that sees the share price depressed. Katselas says ‘contrary’ share trades are being made on the basis of non-public information about a company’s future performance, which he says essentially amounts to insider trading.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION

Former Arrium directors face recovery action

Original article by Simon Evans
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 16 : 22-Jul-19

Insolvency firm KordaMentha has launched legal action in the New South Wales Supreme Court in an attempt to pursue former directors of failed steel firm Arrium for monies owed to its creditors. Arrium was placed in administration in April 2016 owing $2.8 billion to banks and noteholders. KordaMentha then operated the business as administrators until it was purchased by British billionaire Sanjeev Gupta for around $700 million in August 2017.

CORPORATES
KORDA MENTHA AND COLLEAGUES PTY LTD, SUPREME COURT OF NEW SOUTH WALES, ARRIUM LIMITED

NAB bosses dig in: we’ll fix culture

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 1 & 5 : 6-Feb-19

Brett Le Mesurier of Shaw & Partners expects National Australia Bank CEO Andrew Thorburn to resign by the end of February, followed by chairman Ken Hendy later in the year. However, Thorburn has indicated that he will remain in his role despite attracting criticism in the final report of the financial services royal commission. He also says NAB will review and revise its strategy to improve its culture and governance.

CORPORATES
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, SHAW AND PARTNERS LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN FOUNDATION INVESTMENT COMPANY LIMITED – ASX AFI

NAB singled out for most Hayne pain

Original article by James Thomson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: W1 & W4 : 5-Feb-19

Key executives of National Australia Bank have been criticised in the financial services royal commission’s final report, including CEO Andrew Thorburn and chairman Ken Hendry. Commissioner Kenneth Hayne says the appearances of Thorburn and Henry before the inquiry raised questions as whether NAB had learnt from its past mistakes with regard to the fee-for-no-service scandal. However, Hayne noted that the evidence of Commonwealth Bank CEO Matt Comyn and ANZ counterpart Shayne Elliott showed that they understand the challenges that their banks face.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY