The Steinhoff corporate scandal and ongoing revelations of private- and public-sector corruption have heightened shareholder activism and risk aversion, says Metair chair Brand Pretorius. Pretorius, a former CEO of motor retail group McCarthy Limited, said the recent developments had resulted in “serious erosion” in the trust and belief in government and business. “Shareholders require boards to remain fiercely independent and vigilant, highly engaged in strategy formulation and focused on effective and responsible allocation of capital. Corporate governance is under the spotlight and a more inclusive and transparent approach to governance and business is a necessity,” Pretorius said in Metair’s 2018 annual report. The listed battery and automotive components maker recently tasted shareholder vigilance, resulting in its 2018 decision to drop a bid to buy battery maker Tovarna Akumulatorskih Baterij (TAB) for €300m. When the company announced its plans in June 2018, CEO Theo Loock sa...

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