UK - The NAPF is calling for two key changes to the government's pending white paper on company law.
The body objects to the proposal that the minimum notice period for AGMs should be reduced from three to two weeks and that the disclosure of proxy voting should be made compulsory.
NAPF investment director David Gould believes reducing the AGM notice period would encourage bad corporate practice.
In a letter to the Department for Trade and Industry, Gould said: “The NAPF is particularly concerned that the proposed change would allow the directors of troubled companies to avoid accountability to shareholders when it was most required.”
He advised instead that the minimum notice period for AGM’s should be changed from the present 21 calendar days to 20 working days – as recommended by the Combined Code.
The company law white paper also suggests that it would be in the public interest for institutional investors to disclose how they have voted.
But Gould attacked the measure as something that would make the role of a trustee “impossible”.
“No individual would be prepared to take on the role of trustee if the confidentiality associated with the exercise of his/her discretions was to disappear.”
*The consultation period for the Company Law white paper ended last week.
The DTI said it has “no time scale” as to when the government intends to create legislation to follow.
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