Saturday, July 22, 2017

Nippon Life silent on investor voting

Nippon Life Insurance will defy a guideline asking it to disclose details of how it votes in shareholder meetings.

Under the Stewardship Code revised by the Financial Services Agency of Japan, institutional investors are encouraged to make public their votes, or else explain the reason for not disclosing.

For its part, Nippon Life has said that it will not disclose its votes. At a general meeting of representatives, director Hiroshi Ozeki said such disclosure would be an effective tool to strengthen transparency, but might also hamper mid- to long-term growth of companies.

The code is part of the government’s plan to improve corporate governance in Japan under prime minister Shinzo Abe, as part of a bid to modernise the economy, boost competitiveness and reduce corruption, which asset managers have been accused of doing too little to address.

Not all insurers are following Nippon Life’s lead. Dai-ichi Life Insurance plans to publish detailed quarterly reports on how it votes on a range of issues.

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