Corporate governance affects all of us – yes, even those who don’t hold stock in any companies – because the way that businesses are run matters, as we’ve all learnt over the last few years.
Paul Nixon (CEO) recently interviewed Mark Hynes from Transparency Matters, to find out what he thought about how companies communicate their corporate governance and risk management – and how it could be improved. Mark is known to be expert in this area, and spends a lot of his time advising companies on how to improve their corporate governance; we were delighted that he could take some time to share his thinking with us.
Do listen: there are lots of interesting ideas to consider, from what, specifically, you could (and maybe should) consider including on your corporate website, through fully-integrated reporting, to the use of social media to communicate with investors and other stakeholders.
I’ve broken the interview down into smaller ‘chunks’ of discussion, so that you can quickly find particular points you’d like to hear about, but I’ve also included the whole interview and a transcript.
Part 1: Web reporting: communication of risk management online
- the importance of compliance: minimum requirements
- the advantages of web reporting and different technologies
- the split between annual report and web reporting
- the desirable frequency of updates to the corporate story
Download: Transparency Matters part 1
Part 2: How can a company show that they take risk management seriously?
What should be communicated, where, and how often:
- attitude to, and appetite for, risk
- who owns the risk?
- the risk process: management, mitigation, explanation
- integrated reporting of risk: who does it well and the challenges involved
Download: Transparency Matters part 2
Part 3: Regulation, risk, and responsibility
- response to the Walker report
- investor want to understand the risks a company faces
- environmental risk and CSR reporting
- GRI, XBRL and integrated reporting
Download: Transparency Matters part 3
Part 4: Transparency, technology and communication
- do all companies worldwide really want to communicate?
- use of social media to communicate information about a company
- collaborative content and the importance of the corporate website
- use of new technologies to change the approach to communication
- difficulties of true transparency
Download: Transparency Matters part 4
Part 5: Corporate governance and the corporate website
Communication of corporate governance on the website:
- who does it well – and how?
- the ideal…
Download: Transparency Matters part 5
Part 6: The new governance code, regulators and “the fireside chat”
- the importance of the new code
- the difficulties ahead for our ‘comply or explain’ approach
- proxy voting agencies: the new stakeholder to consider
Download: Transparency Matters part 6
Part 7: What next for corporate governance?
- importance of the ‘comply or explain’ approach to governance
- engaging with investors – and investors engaging with governance
- creating a stewardship culture
Download: Transparency Matters part 7
Here’s the whole interview, for you to listen to while walking the dog, or on the tube; and the transcript, for those who prefer to read.
Thanks to Mark for taking the time to talk to Paul about transparency, corporate governance, and reporting.
Who were we speaking to?
Mark Hynes runs Transparency Matters Ltd, which provides highly specialised assistance to listed companies and those supporting them, with consultancy and education in regulatory disclosure, best practice corporate communications and investor relations strategies. He has 30 years experience in the financial news and information sector. He started his career as an investment banker, joined the Economist and subsequently was appointed a Board Director of the Financial Times, spending 18 years in continental Europe, the US and Asia. He then joined PR Newswire, where he continues to consult. Aside from his native English, Mark speaks fluent French and German.