Daily ESG Briefing: Proxinvest becomes latest proxy advisor to sell stake

The latest developments in sustainable finance

Banque Hottinguer founder and president Jean-Philippe Hottinguer has acquired a stake in French proxy advisor, Proxinvest. Hottinguer has been on the board of Proxinvest since June when the board’s chairman, Alain Demarolle, acquired a controlling stake in the advisor. Hottinguer becoming a shareholder was described by Demarolle as a “key vote of confidence in our strategic ambition to be the leading European advisory agency”. The financial details were not disclosed. This is the latest in a string of acquisitions in the proxy advisory space. Earlier this year, a private equity firm and a Canadian entrepreneur bought Glass Lewis from the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board and Alberta Investment Management Corporation. Last year, private equity firm Genstar sold ISS to Deutsche Börse.

The Swedish Corporate Governance Board, which promotes the development of Swedish corporate governance, has published a white paper on the challenges EU regulation has posed to Swedish corporate governance in recent decades. The “main message” of the report, which was compiled by economist Per Lekvall, is that Europe’s attempts to harmonise corporate governance have not been “ambitious enough when it comes to understanding and respecting differences in corporate governance systems”.

Australian investment manager First Sentier Investors and its parent company Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation, have today launched a body to commission sustainable investment research. The First Sentier MUFG Sustainable Investment Institute will be overseen by an external academic advisory board, which includes London Business School‘s Professor of Finance Alex Edmans. Its launch coincides with the release of its first report, titled Microplastic Pollution: Causes, Consequences, and Issues for Investors.  

The South Korean Government has put its weight behind a new green finance forum in the country, run by Yonsei University. The Green Finance Forum-Korea (GFF-K) will connect experts domestically and overseas, in a bid to “revitalize green finance” in the country. It includes representatives from South Korea’s Ministry of Economy and Finance and the country’s financial regulator, the Financial Supervisory Service. International representatives include Japan’s financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Climate Bond Initiative and the Asian Development Bank. 

A circular economy ‘roadmap’ for Germany has been published by the Circular Economy Initiative Germany (CEID), an initiative composed of 130 experts across business, civil society and science. The Circular Economy Roadmap for Germany is described as a “scientifically sound framework” offering the steps required for Germany to transition to a circular economy.