What is ESG? Can it really unlock Brand Value?

ESG is now mainstream and holistic Corporate Governance now drives brand value. But exactly what is ESG? We look at its origins in Responsible Investing and the principles thereof, various interpretations of ESG and its evolution towards complete acceptance by the investment community of the effect of holistic corporate governance on sustainability (in the widest sense) and hence brand value.

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Corporate Governance and Islamic Principles

As the western world has been working to improve corporate governance in the years since the Cadbury Report of 1992, the Muslim world has been addressing the issue of how to reconcile the principles developed in the various codes with Islamic principles. We look at how these principles might be incorporated into western Codes and our Golden Rules.

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Stakeholder engagement and directors’ duties under company law

image of businessman with tablet showing survey results, representing stakeholder engagementWe have written often, and at length, about the imperative of taking a holistic approach to Corporate Governance, and that balancing the interests of primary stakeholders in formulating the Goal of the organisation is key to this. In UK company law, we can see that this is now effectively explicit in the statutory duties of directors.

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Impact Investing

We discussed active versus passive investment in an article last year, but what about impact investment? It comes after socially responsible investment (SRI) and environmentally sound, socially beneficial and excellent governance investment (ESG). Is it more than just another marketing tool for investment managers, and how does it rank in corporate governance compared with traditional investment?

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Personal Accountability versus Corporate Accountability

Most of the corporate governance debate focuses on corporate accountability, yet a company is, by definition, a group of people and as such, personal accountability should have primacy. How and why is it, then, that companies are fined (which affects all employees), yet very few individuals (especially directors) are actually held personally responsible for their action (or lack thereof)?

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Australia update: Charities in the Spotlight, the Big 4 Banks and MPs’ “Entitlements”

Australian charity governance in the spotlight - ACG Australia updateOur latest review of corporate governance developments in Australia places charities in the spotlight, following another scandal involving underpayment of so-called “chuggers” (street collectors or “charity muggers”), checks progress in the banking sector since the parliamentary review and comments on the expenses furore that has led to the resignation of the health minister. By Malcolm Sealy, Australia Correspondent.

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Innovation: Corporate Governance’s hidden but vital contribution

innovation: corporate governance's hidden but vital contribution

Good corporate governance must encourage innovation to drive productivity, which creates high profits, well-paid employment and social benefits

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Risk Management and Corporate Governance: Topical or Typical?

risk-management

Risk Management is the latest topic to get our Golden Rules treatment, this time with a convenient Infographic. We look at the different types of risk and how our cardinal principles of good corporate governance can guide identification and management of these risks.

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Australia’s Parliament Questions Big Banks

australia-bank-inquiry

On 3 October 2016 a Parliamentary Committee Inquiry, set up by the Liberal Party as a counter to a Labor call for a Royal Commission, began to question all four CEOs of the Big Four Banks (Westpac, ANZ, NAB, Commonwealth), on separate days. Was this a genuine effort to change banking culture or a political box-ticking exercise? Our Australia Correspondent, Malcolm Sealy, discusses the issue.

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Shareholder Value and Corporate Governance

shareholder-valueHas Alfred Rappaport been unfairly judged?

A recent article by Professor Alfred Rappaport in the Financial Times defended his very influential and widely followed philosophy of the primary importance of the pursuit of shareholder value. This has come under increasing criticism in recent years, as the concept of a more balanced stakeholder approach has gained wider acceptance, and particularly as capitalism itself has come under fire since the 2008 financial collapse. So we thought it would be interesting to go back to the source of the controversy and review Prof. Rappaport’s defining book, Creating Shareholder Value, thirty years after its publication, in the light of current views about corporate governance, and see whether we agreed with Prof. Rappaport’s self-justification. 

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