The Act of Doing the Right Thing

Good governance essentially boils down to one phrase – “the act of doing the right thing” – and requires boards to examine employee compensation, how they prioritise stakeholder relationships and long term-investment, Man Group Chairman Ian Livingston says in a podcast hosted by Co-Head of Responsible Investment Jason Mitchell.


Good governance essentially boils down to one phrase – “the act of doing the right thing” – according to Man Group Chairman Ian Livingston.

“If you treat governance as some sort of side activity, it’s not going to work; unless you treat governance as a core part of your business, you will not get the right results,” Livingston said in a podcast hosted by Jason Mitchell, Co-Head of Responsible Investment at Man Group. “This sense that you can do good and be good, it starts with people within the business.”

Livingston also argued that good governance requires boards to look closer at how they are prioritising relationships with different stakeholders. “When you hold an AGM on a wet Wednesday in London, you possibly do not get the widest range of investors coming to visit,” he said. “Most boards today spend a lot of time talking about shareholders, a fair amount of time talking about customers, a bit less talking about employees and very little talking about suppliers and society. And they are all really important groups, and we’ve got to, in the long term, service them all properly.”

Expanding on this theme, he pointed to the need for companies to ensure that employees benefit from corporate success via schemes such as share incentive plans (‘SIPs’), rather than just being exposed to the consequences of corporate failure through job losses. Indeed, while about two-thirds of FTSE 100 companies offered SIPs as of April, only 56% of FTSE 250 firms do the same1.

Figure 1. Percentage of UK Companies With SIPs

Source: Man Group, Equiniti, as of April 19, 2018.

Livingston also singled out the pressure to deliver results quarterly as a contributing factor to short-termism in governance and argued for the introduction of reporting every six months. “Businesses do not go in one direction every quarter – you get bad weather if you are a retailer, you get single customer movements,” he said. “There is still too much pressure on companies to make things look like a straight line, and this makes them do things like hold back on investment and not do the right long term thing for the sake of quarterly performance.”

To listen to the full podcast go to


Download Full Article

Important information

Opinions expressed are those of the author and may not be shared by all personnel of Man Group plc (‘Man’). These opinions are subject to change without notice, are for information purposes only and do not constitute an offer or invitation to make an investment in any financial instrument or in any product to which the Company and/or its affiliates provides investment advisory or any other financial services. Any organisations, financial instrument or products described in this material are mentioned for reference purposes only which should not be considered a recommendation for their purchase or sale. Neither the Company nor the authors shall be liable to any person for any action taken on the basis of the information provided. Some statements contained in this material concerning goals, strategies, outlook or other non-historical matters may be forward-looking statements and are based on current indicators and expectations. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and the Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in the statements. The Company and/or its affiliates may or may not have a position in any financial instrument mentioned and may or may not be actively trading in any such securities. This material is proprietary information of the Company and its affiliates and may not be reproduced or otherwise disseminated in whole or in part without prior written consent from the Company. The Company believes the content to be accurate. However accuracy is not warranted or guaranteed. The Company does not assume any liability in the case of incorrectly reported or incomplete information. Unless stated otherwise all information is provided by the Company. Past performance is not indicative of future results.


Please update your browser

Unfortunately we no longer support Internet Explorer 8, 7 and older for security reasons.

Please update your browser to a later version and try to access our site again.

Many thanks.