$834m in blowouts spur Fortescue exits

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 15 & 18 : 17-Feb-21

Fortescue Metals Group has advised that chief operating officer Greg Lilleyman has left the pure-play iron ore miner in the wake of a sharp rise in the cost of its Iron Bridge magnetite project. Fortescue’s director of projects Don Hyma and Iron Bridge project manager Manie McDonald also recently stepped down. The Iron Bridge project was initially slated to cost $US2.6bn, but this is believed to have blown out by about $US650m. CEO Elizabeth Gaines and CFO Ian Wells will forgo their annual bonuses for 2020-21 due to the cost blowout.

CORPORATES
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG

Australia Post chair to front Senate inquiry

Original article by Tom McIlroy
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 27-Oct-20

Australia Post chairman Lucio Di Bartolomeo has been asked to appear before a special Senate estimates hearing on 13 November. The call for Di Bartolomeo to appear at the special hearing came as the terms of reference for an inquiry into the purchase of expensive watches for senior Australia Post executives were released by the federal government. Australia Post CEO Christine Holgate, who purchased the watches, has stood aside during the investigation, while John Stanhope, who was chairman of Australia Post at the time Holgate bought the watches, says he will co-operate with the inquiry.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA POST

Shipton likely to follow Crennan in ASIC exit ‘by year’s end’

Original article by Richard Gluyas
The Australian – Page: 13 & 17 : 27-Oct-20

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission’s deputy chairman Daniel Crennan maintains that he had received advice that his expense claims had been line with the corporate regulator’s policy. Crennan formally resigned on 26 October in the wake of the expenses scandal that has embroiled himself and chairman James Shipton; Crennan indicated that he had intended to retire from ASIC in mid-2021 anyway. Meanwhile, former Australian Competition & Consumer Commission chairman Allan Fels expects Shipton to resign before the end of 2020. Fels says ASIC has had a "very poor record over many years".

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION

ASIC overhaul as chair faces exit

Original article by Richard Gluyas
The Australian – Page: 13 & 16 : 26-Oct-20

An independent review into the expenses of Australian Securities & Investments Commission chairman James Shipton is expected to be completed before the end of 2020. Shipton has stepped aside pending the outcome of the review, but sources have suggested that he is unlikely to remain in the role. ASIC’s acting chair Karen Chester is tipped to succeed Shipton, who has agreed to repay the expenses he incurred in relocating from the US to Australia. ASIC’s deputy chair Daniel Crennan will also repay expenses associated with moving from Melbourne to Sydney.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION

Bank concerns don’t apply to us: super funds

Original article by James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 & 16 : 6-Feb-20

The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia has questioned the need to expand the Banking Executive Accountability Regime to include super funds and insurers. ASFA CEO Martin Fahy describes the proposal as an ‘overkill’, and he argues that the super industry is already subject to tough regulation. He adds that the proposal will discourage product innovation and affect funds’ returns. Australian Banking Association CEO Anna Bligh has expressed support for extending the regime beyond the bank sector.

CORPORATES
THE ASSOCIATION OF SUPERANNUATION FUNDS OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN BANKING ASSOCIATION, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY

Westpac execs still in the money

Original article by Richard Gluyas, Joe Kelly
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 25-Nov-19

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has stressed the need for accountability over Westpac’s massive breach of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws. He notes that in addition to Austrac’s civil prosecution, there is the potential for Westpac executives and directors to be disqualified under the Banking Executive Accountability Regime. Meanwhile, Westpac chairman Lindsay Maxsted says executives’ short-term bonuses will be frozen; however, their long-term bonuses are not expected to be affected. Other measures taken by Westpac in response to the scandal include shutting down the LitePay international fund transfer network.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT. AUSTRALIAN TRANSACTION REPORTS AND ANALYSIS CENTRE, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY

ABC goes begging as it pays execs 70pc more

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 3 : 17-Oct-19

The ABC’s latest annual report shows that its executive management team and board of directors received total remuneration of $6.1m in 2018-19, compared with $3.6m in 2017-18. The public broadcaster added two people to its executive ranks during the latest reporting period. MD David Ander­son was paid $1.14m in 2018-19, while predecessor Michele Guthrie received a $1.35m termination payout. The ABC has reported a 2018-19 net operating surplus of $38.3m.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION

Boards feel the pinch on pay as Hayne fallout hits home

Original article by Eli Greenblat
The Australian – Page: Online : 4-Jun-19

A new survey shows that company secretaries in the financial services sector have received an average pay rise of 24 per cent in 2018-19. In contrast, the remuneration of directors and chairpersons in the industry have fallen by 11 per cent in the wake of the Hayne royal commission. Likewise, the remuneration of CEOs in the sector fell by 21 per cent and managing directors’ pay was cut by 10 per cent. The survey was undertaken by the Governance Institute, in partnership with McGuirk Consultants and Board Direction.

CORPORATES
GOVERNANCE INSTITUTE OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED, McGUIRK MANAGEMENT CONSULTANTS PTY LTD, BOARD DIRECTION, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY

Rio links pay to climate change

Original article by Nick Evans, Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 19 & 22 : 12-Apr-19

Shareholders at Rio Tinto’s annual meeting in London have been told that progress in achieving greenhouse gas emission reduction targets could be included in its performance bonus system. A revised executive incentive scheme will be put to shareholders in 2021, and chairman Simon Thompson said short-term bonus plans could potentially be linked to its emission reduction targets. He has ruled out setting targets for Rio Tinto’s customers to reduce their own carbon emissions. A resolution on the issue will be put to the Australian annual meeting in May.

CORPORATES
RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, CLIMATE ACTION 100+, ALUMINIUM CORPORATION OF CHINA LIMITED, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD, ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC

Rethink company strikes: Maxsted

Original article by Eli Greenblat
The Australian – Page: 15 & 16 : 4-Jan-19

The remuneration reports of three major banks attracted large protest votes at AGMs in December, putting them at risk of a board spill in 2019. Westpac chairman Lindsay Maxsted says the threshold for a ‘first strike’ is too low at 25 per cent, arguing that most resolutions put to annual meetings require a minimum vote of 50 per cent. Some 88 per cent of National Australia Bank shareholders voted against its remuneration report, while Westpac’s attracted a ‘no’ vote of 64.2 per cent.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL OF SUPERANNUATION INVESTORS INCORPORATED