Paul Myners spoke on corporate governance. He criticised end investors for not taking enough interest and action and said it was up to the ultimate institutional shareholders of public companies to look after their own interests. They should not rely on their investment managers to take all action for them. He looked at practical problems fund managers face and why there are no incentives for them to address underlying issues but rather to avoid exposure to them. He spoke of the changes recommended by the Walker Review, the Stewardship Code and initiatives already under way and proposed in the Financial Services Bill on remuneration. Finally he looked at equity underwriting and again commented that investors complain about profits made by investment banks but take no action. He welcomed OFT’s stated interest in competition in the investment banking market but stressed that investors and owners must take on more responsibility than they have to date.
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