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There is a global increase in shareholder activism and an even steeper rise off a lower base in SA. This has been fuelled by a surge in the rate of corporate failures eg Steinhoff, Tongaat etc accompanied by declining confidence in traditional systems such as auditing, ratings agencies and regulatory frameworks and institutions. With the switch to virtual engagements and virtual shareholder meetings such as AGMs due to Covid-19 this has seen engagements in general and activism in particular increase further in the last year. Company secretaries have a critical role to play. We will discuss some of the players and tactics emerging in SA and look at measures and countermeasures that make for more constructive engagements and outcomes.
Join us for an interesting discussion at our next Directors' Hour on Thursday, 12 November 2020 at 12h30 on the topic of stakeholder activism... where are we heading? with Jacques de Bie.
Jacques currently heads up the Outsource Division at Singular Systems, including Investor Relations, Register Analytics, Share Trust Administration/Transfer Secretarial. He is a shareholder and member of Singular’s executive leadership team. Previous roles include Senior Business Unit Head at Magna Carta responsible for IR and the Standard Bank PR account. A former partner at Instinctif (formerly College Hill) from 2006 to 2013 after returning to SA in late 2005.
He was Marketing Director for Standard & Poor’s structured finance credit ratings and Corporate Communications Officer at Chase Manhattan Bank in London. Additionally, he worked for three specialist agencies in London, namely Doremus & Co. (financial advertising), Agency.Com (Online/digital consultancy) and Echo Communications (Media/PR evaluation). Previously a non-executive director of WESSA an NPO and the oldest Wildlife & Environmental Society in SA, on-boarded to provide access to the corporate sector for funding sustainability projects.
An MBA graduate from City University Business School London (2000) attained iCIR international Certificate Investor Relations from the UK IR Society, 2018