Ann Crotty Writer-at-large

Shareholder activists have resorted to a rarely used section of the Companies Act to table the very first shareholder resolution at a JSE-listed company. Standard Bank informed shareholders last week that one of the 11 resolutions tabled for the coming annual general meeting was proposed by shareholders and not by the board. The resolution, proposed by shareholder activist Theo Botha and the Raith Foundation — a nonprofit organisation campaigning for social justice, supported by responsible-investment lobby group Just Share — would require the bank to prepare a report on its exposure to climate risk in its lending, financing and investment activities. Just Share executive director Tracey Davies commended Standard Bank, saying: "This is a ground-breaking step that shows courageous leadership, and which will dramatically alter the landscape of shareholder activism and responsible investment in SA." The resolution will have to get the backing of at least 50% of shareholders to be imple...

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