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

Little time for strategy on busy boards: Mullen

Original article by Damon Kitney
The Australian – Page: 13 & 14 : 7-Jan-19

Telstra chairman John Mullen says there is a greater degree of resentment towards those who make it to the top of the business world when compared to those in fields such as sport and entertainment. Mullen, who is also the chairman of Toll Holdings, is also concerned that company boards do not have enough time to deal with strategy, due to having to spend too much time on corporate governance issues. He is worried that it will be harder to attract quality people to become company directors in the future.

CORPORATES
TELSTRA CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX TLS, TOLL HOLDINGS LIMITED, OWNERSHIP MATTERS PTY LTD, INSTITUTIONAL SHAREHOLDER SERVICES INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIANSUPER PTY LTD, CGI GLASS LEWIS PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF COMPANY DIRECTORS, ASCIANO LIMITED

Directorships now a risky business

Original article by James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 4-Jan-19

Business executives say there is a growing reluctance to take on board seats due to heightened financial and reputational risk in the wake of corporate scandals and revelations of misconduct in the financial services sector. CSL non-executive director Christine O’Reilly says personal liability has become a key concern for many company directors. She stresses the importance of undertaking due diligence on a company before accepting a directorship. Hugh Morgan notes that a director’s reputation can be tainted by a scandal of which they were not aware.

CORPORATES
CSL LIMITED – ASX CSL, WESTERN MINING CORPORATION, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, TRANSURBAN GROUP LIMITED – ASX TCL, MEDIBANK PRIVATE LIMITED – ASX MPL, STOCKLAND – ASX SGP, ENERGYAUSTRALIA PTY LTD, COLONIAL FIRST STATE GLOBAL ASSET MANAGEMENT, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, SORRENTO SAILING CLUB

CBA, NAB chairmen to face Hayne heat

Original article by Richard Gluyas
The Australian – Page: 23 : 14-Nov-18

Commonwealth Bank of Australia chair Catherine Livingstone will appear before the financial services royal commission on 19 November. National Australia Bank chairman Ken Henry is expected to front the inquiry in the following week. The CEOs of the four major banks will also give evidence during the final round of public hearings, along with Macquarie Group’s Nicholas Moore, AMP’s Mike Wilkins and the heads of ASIC and APRA. CBA and NAB attracted criticism in the royal commission’s interim report.

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

Fortescue up after Forrest buys shares

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 19 : 2-Nov-18

Fortescue Metals Group chairman Andrew Forrest has increased his stake in the pure-play iron ore miner from 32.46 per cent to 33.87 per cent after buying 3.95 million shares in late October. Fortescue’s shares closed at a 10-week high of $4.11 on 1 November, and the stock has gained 13 per cent since Forrest’s on-market share transaction. Fortescue has also repurchased about $7m worth of share since it announced a $500 million share buyback in mid-October.

CORPORATES
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG, MINDEROO PTY LTD, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO

Directors back tougher corporate penalties

Original article by Sally Patten
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 10 : 25-Oct-18

Rising global protectionism has been identified as the biggest economic challenge facing local companies, according to a new survey by the Australian Institute of Company Directors. The bi-annual sentiment survey also shows that long-term growth prospects is the key issue that keeps directors awake at night. Meanwhile, more than 80 per cent of respondents have expressed support for the federal government’s push to increase the criminal and civil penalties for misconduct in the corporate sector.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF COMPANY DIRECTORS, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, FISHBURNERS LIMITED, SIRTEX MEDICAL LIMITED – ASX SRX