EquitiesFirst(TM) Launches Asia Pacific Corporate Governance Initiative

Actionable Insights for Public Companies from Experts in Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, South Korea, Mainland China, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and India

Equities First Holdings, LLC, (“EquitiesFirst“) a global specialist in asset-backed financing today announced a strategic collaboration with Nasdaq Governance Solutions to launch a series of co-branded whitepapers, providing actionable insights on the latest in corporate governance best practice in Asia Pacific. This project aims to add value to investors and management as they pursue long-term value creation in their enterprises.

The partnership will see the launch of “Corporate Governance: Driving Value Creation in Asia Pacific”. This will involve a series of reports being published throughout the year focusing on selected markets including Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, South Korea, Mainland China, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and India. A team of experts has been assembled to explore topics in corporate governance tailored to each market. The first three reports under the campaign include:

  1. Japan: Findings show a strong correlation between the adoption of good governance practices and market outperformance, including the inclusion of female directors, independent directors and nomination committees. The market has compressed decades of corporate governance development into just a few years, amounting to a virtual revolution. Total market capitalization and aggregate net income of TOPIX 1000 firms have grown by 2.3X and 2X respectively from 2012 to 2020, even amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite the positive trajectory, more effort is needed to keep momentum going and unlock untapped value.
  2. Hong Kong: Today’s corporate governance landscape has a high degree of compliance with standards introduced 20 years ago. There is also an emerging trend for “corporate purpose” as a key consideration for rising generations and the implementation of new technology in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the next phase of development will need to move beyond superficial compliance to embedding governance as a core element of business strategy. This view underlies recent regulatory initiatives, culminating in the latest corporate governance framework revisions. The latter focuses on instilling change in the mindset of listed boards, board independence, succession planning, and diversity.
  3. Australia: Past corporate controversies have resulted in unprecedented responses from government and legislators in the market, most notably the Hayne Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry established in 2017. This provided reform blueprints which fundamentally reshaped corporate governance in Australia. Many of the recommendations have been incorporated into legislation and the Hayne Report has also empowered two regulatory bodies, Australian Prudential Regulation Authority and Australian Securities and Investments Commission and informed a new set of corporate governance principles. The impact of these changes goes beyond the financial industry, affecting all companies currently listed or planning to be listed in the market.

The EquitiesFirst-Nasdaq Governance Solutions collaboration is built on a shared interest in good governance. As a global specialist in equity-backed financing, EquitiesFirst works exclusively with corporate leaders, founders and long-term investors to drive transformational change for companies worldwide. Its investment model positions EquitiesFirst as a co-investor alongside these partners with shared objectives of continued business stability and maturation. Nasdaq Governance Solutions offers an integrated suite of technology and solutions designed to advance governance excellence worldwide as well as streamline and manage boardroom processes and requirements. The two have joined forces to provide an open resource for corporate governance best practices, technological shifts, regulatory trends and more.

“We are pleased to partner with Nasdaq Governance Solutions, providing stakeholders in listed companies with the resources and insights needed to create long-term value,” EquitiesFirst’s Founder and CEO, Alexander Christy, Jr. said today. “These reports tackle topics and ideas which our partners engage with on a daily basis. Investors and management are focused relentlessly on value creation, so we wanted to share ideas that will help them grow, sustain and protect what they have built. This is one aspect of the wider Asia Pacific development story we have explored in major markets across the region.”

On the Hong Kong report, EquitiesFirst’s Chief Executive Officer, Asia, Gordon Crosbie-Walsh said, “As a leading international financial center, Hong Kong attaches great importance to good corporate governance. We are now seeing a push by regulators, corporate leaders and consumers for companies to move beyond mere compliance and put corporate governance at the heart of their strategy.”

On the Australia report, EquitiesFirst’s Chief Executive Officer, Australia, Mitchell Hopwood said, “Corporate governance has an increasingly prominent role in Australia’s business environment. As a listing venue for both domestic and international companies, Australia wields outsized influence and is well positioned to promote best practices on a global scale.”

The Japan, Hong Kong and Australia reports are available at www.equitiesfirst.com/int/corpgov/, while the remaining reports will be published monthly from June to October 2021.

About Equities First Holdings

Founded in 2002, EquitiesFirst is a global investor specializing in long-term asset-backed financing. EquitiesFirst’s approach overcomes traditional limitations and redefines the financing experience through providing efficient access to capital for listed companies, entrepreneurs and investors against publicly traded securities. The total value of loans transacted stands at US$2.5 billion as of 1 December 2020.

Headquartered in Indianapolis, USA, EquitiesFirst maintains an international footprint of twelve offices in eight countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Spain, China, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore and Australia. EquitiesFirst is appropriately licensed and/or registered in all jurisdictions.

EquitiesFirst is the pioneer of Progressive Capital – a partnership approach to investment, rooted in respect, mutual interest and understanding. EquitiesFirst delivers liquidity solutions that are vital, transformative and move partners forward.