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CII welcomes updated corporate governance principles

Corporate governance principles unveiled Thursday represent "significant improvement," said Council of Institutional Investors Executive Director Ken Bertsch.

The CommonSense Principles 2.0 are an update to those developed by a group of business and investment leaders, including J.P. Morgan Chase &Co. Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon, in 2016. They were signed by CEOs of 20 leading public companies, pension funds and investment firms, including the C$366.6 billion ($281.4 billion) Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Toronto, and $129.1 billion Washington State Investment Board, Olympia.

One difference in the latest version is stronger support for the annual election of directors, which was not addressed in the original principles, Mr. Bertsch said.

Other changes welcomed by the CII include a strong statement of the shareholders' right to elect directors best suited to represent shareholder interests, better language encouraging a consequential majority vote standard, endorsement of proxy access; and a statement that the annual election of all directors can help promote board accountability to shareholders.