UK blue-chip firms told to stop reporting every quarter –

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Although several big companies – including Unilever and Legal & General – have signalled an end to quarterly reporting, the vast majority continue to publish at least some numbers on a three-monthly basis. The institutional lobby group will make the demands alongside publication of the document, which is the result of an eight-month project looking at how investors can play their part in boosting the UK’s ailing productivity levels.

The report is understood to look at five key areas: company reporting, investor stewardship, the relationship between owners and companies, capital markets, and the legal and regulatory framework.

One source said that the majority of conversations between institutional shareholders and company management are focused narrowly on financials, or on corporate governance.

The report, the source said, is aimed at “expanding the dialogue with companies” to look at a larger set of variables and how they link to long-term performance. But far more important will be the 11 action points to ensure the findings do not fall on deaf ears.

As well as the order on quarterly reporting, a second action point will focus on asking companies for capital expenditure plans over the long term, fuelled by a feeling that investment managers are not getting enough information about projects which could drive long-term performance.

The report is set to be published at an event in central London to be opened by the Treasury minister and former Goldman Sachs economist, Lord O’Neill.

Work on the report, which has been stewarded by the IA’s head of corporate governance, Andrew Ninian, followed a letter that several members wrote to the Chancellor, George Osborne, after last summer’s post-election Budget in which they said they had a role in solving the productivity problem.

The body will commit to reviewing take-up of its action points every six months, and writing to Mr Osborne on the first and third anniversary of the launch to update him on progress.

UK blue-chip firms told to stop reporting every quarter –