bOARD DIVERSITY HONG KONG'S
WOMEN ON BOARD INVESTOR INITIATIVE
We believe gender diversity on boards encourages better leadership, better corporate governance and ultimately increases corporate performance and global competitiveness for both companies and their shareholders. While research continues to point to benefits of improving diversity on boards and in senior management, Hong Kong has continued to lag behind other major financial centers. As investors we can contribute to improving diversity by pledging to engage with our investee companies in Hong Kong and hold them accountable on all matters related to diversity and gender representation.
As investors, we aim to engage with Hong Kong's publicly-listed companies and encourage them to commit to better gender diversity at all levels of their organizations starting with the Board of Directors.
As investors, we believe diversity is paramount for best decision making.
As investors, we believe better gender diversity in boardrooms of Hong Kong listed companies would set the tone from the top.
As investors, we want to contribute to the needed and urgent collective effort to improve diversity on Hong Kong's boards.
We support the voluntary aspirational targets set by the 30% Club Hong Kong to achieve 20% female representation on boards of listed companies by 2020, and we want to achieve zero all-male Boards in Hong Kong by the end of 2020.
August 15, 2019, Tencent announced that Professor Ke Yang has been appointed as an Independent Non-Executive Director and a member of the Corporate Governance Committee of the Company. This announcement is great news, as many of our signatories have been actively engaging with Tencent to encourage the company to improve board diversity. It’s great to see Tencent deliver on this message. We believe this step underscores the importance of our purpose, and is evidence that engaging with investee companies as shareholders to improve governance is paramount. Thank you for your support and efforts towards improving board diversity.
June 12, 2019, we are happy to announce a new signatory of the Initiative: Timbercreek, a global asset manager specializing in real estate and other alternative asset classes.
May 22, 2019, we had our semi-annual meeting, find out more here.
May 8, 2019, we shared with HKIFA members, mostly long-only fund managers, about the initiative.
March 29, 2019, Nasrine Ghozali, one of our founding members, talked about the Board Diversity initiative with World bachelor in Business “WBB” students of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
January 1, 2019, the market operator, HKEX, amended the Corporate Governance Code, introducing changes mainly to improve transparency and to keep the rules broadly in line with international best practice. One key change is an expectation to “promote board diversity, including gender diversity”. This will be achieved not through quotas or targets, as in many markets, but by the publication by each issuer of a diversity policy.
December 5, 2018, we are proud to announce that the Hong Kong Investment Funds Association (“HKIFA”) which is a non-profit-making industry organization that represents the fund management industry of Hong Kong is now a Sponsor of the Board Diversity Hong Kong Investor Initiative.
Echoing Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s strong call on all listed companies to appoint more women on their boards in her annual policy speech last month, TWF and the 30% Club Hong Kong have taken a fresh approach to address the lack of gender diversity on Hong Kong boards issue - presenting a light-hearted video “Flipping the Script”.