Corporate Eye

Corporate Governance Summit: putting an end to risky business

Corporate Governance Summit

When President Barack Obama said in his inaugural address earlier in the year that:

“Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, (and) our collective failure to make hard choices”

what he highlighted is that the recent lack of strong corporate governance, while facilitating the acquisition of large sums of money for a minority of people in the short term, has damaged the majority of people in the long term.

We all know that this is the most tumultuous time for UK business in years; this is exactly the right time for a major summit to discuss all the biggest issues in Corporate Governance – from executive remuneration to the role of the non-executive director, from risk management to improved shareholder dialogue.

How can you develop a strong corporate governance strategy that filters down from the board, with appropriate policies and programmes that reach into every corner of your business?

What should you do? Where should you start?

Take a step back, a deep breath and a clean sheet of paper

Although this is a turbulent time, we believe that this is a great opportunity for people working in Corporate Governance to rebuild to create a better and stronger organisation.

Ethical Corporation clearly feel the same, and have put together a Corporate Governance summit including some of the biggest names in UK business.

Confirmed speakers come from companies like: Unilever, ABI, BP, Nestle, the Institute of Directors, Microsoft, BT, Alliance Boots, Standard Chartered, F&C Asset Management, Insight Investment, RailPEN, Hermes Asset Management, WWF and Co-Operative Asset Management.

This is an astonishing array of business stars, and should trigger a fascinating and lively debate.

What is more, as you can see from this list Ethical Corporation have included people from all the relevant stakeholder groups: major corporates and the investor community, as well as relevant stakeholders such as the Institute of Directors, the Association of British Insurers, the Serious Fraud Office, the Department for Trade and Industry and the World WildLife Fund.

Nick Johnson, Head of Conferences at Ethical Corporation said

“This show has gone fantastically well from a speaker-recruitment point of view. I have been able to secure all the ‘big names’ that the corporate governance community have requested – and I’m really looking forward to seeing them all in one place.”

The interesting thing to note here is that this is a very user-oriented event. Not only have Ethical Corporation invited speakers that the corporate governance community really want to hear from, but they’ve set up a LinkedIn group so the community can liaise and discuss these issues in advance of the main event. Plus, they’re on Twitter.

The summit: practical advice on real-world issues

The summit will be on June 16-17 in London, and you can see the full conference agenda here, but we can tell you that the speakers will be discussing a wide range of topics such as:

  • whether the UK system of corporate governance is fit for purpose following the financial crisis
  • how to effectively manage risk and opportunity
  • redesigning executive remuneration
  • alternatives to the UK system of corporate governance
  • ensuring non-executive directors work for your board and your shareholders
  • and whether the financial crisis is a crisis of shareholder accountability.

The emphasis on this conference is on practical advice, and will focus on real-world corporate governance issues, with fully interactive workshops and discussion groups so you can discuss best practices with your peers, and go home with a real action plan.

We believe that this conference will be invaluable to any of you who work at a senior level in Corporate Governance, whether you:

  • are on the Board, as Chairman, a Director, Secretary or General Counsel
  • have a job title like Head of Governance, Investor Relations, Investor Responsibility, Risk or Audit
  • or are a Corporate Governance Analyst.

And a discount for Corporate Eye readers

We are delighted to announce that we’ve agreed with Ethical Corporation that Corporate Eye readers will receive a 15% discount. Just quote CEY15 when you book …

What are you waiting for? Go and find out more about this important conference now.

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Dear sir.

I am going to write this letter, because of I want to know that what are the problems that might exist in a company that lacks a strong culture of corporate governance.

Thank you for asking this question – it’s a big one! Corporate governance models are different in different countries, but here’s a quick summary…

Corporate governance is the set of policies and processes within a company that affect and direct the way it is managed, and is intended to ensure integrity, accountability and the achievement of the corporate goals for all stakeholders. It is about ethical business conduct, and so the culture of the company is important too – and this is driven from the top, so the culture at Board level is key. In addition, there is a compliance role; the company must adhere to the regulatory and legal requirements of the countries it works within.

So if any aspect of that goes wrong, then there could be problems with business risks that aren’t identified or mitigated against – and then aren’t managed if the event they refer to happens. These risks could be external or internal, and could range from non-compliance with the regulatory framework to an individual behaving out of self-interest rather than in the interest of the company. The results of poor control could include bad decision making, poor or inaccurate reporting, inappropriate remuneration packages, loss of financial control, unethical or illegal behaviour, non-compliance with regulations, or dissatisfied stakeholders (including customers or suppliers). Any of these could have a negative effect on the business. For example, investors like to see a well-governed company, so a poorly governed one may find that the share price suffers, and that raising capital becomes more difficult or expensive.

You might find the OECD report on the Corporate Governance Lessons from the Financial Crisis interesting (here: OECD Corporate Governance and the Financial Crisis)

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