UK/EUROPE - A leading asset manager has warned that a harmonisation of corporate governance practices across Europe could lead to a lowering of standards in the UK.
Differences in operating cultures and legal frameworks in some European countries would make bringing those corporate governance practices in line with the UK “virtually impossible”, according to F&C.
The UK has a record of greater independence and better disclosure which would be lost if standardisation was brought about. We believe that best practice should be judged and made to suit to each country,” said David Manning, director of client relationships at F&C.
The backdrop to the comments include the recent Higgs Review on the effectiveness of non-executives, as well as long-held anxieties in the City over a forthcoming European directive that could curtail shareholder voting rights in the UK.
Manning added: Non-executives should be paid well and indemnified, and in return they should build up contact with shareholders and discuss the roles of executives and any possible issues in advance of any impending problems.
A back to basics approach with bespoke packages is the most successful means of retaining high quality executives and the use of peer-focused, sector-based, performance comparisons could help drive better construction of long-term incentive plans.
Eureko-owned F&C has E100bn assets under management.
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