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?

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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

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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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The UK’s National Health Service and Governance

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In the UK the National Health Service (NHS), once described as “the closest thing the English people have now to a national religion” is in the spotlight once again as the junior doctors are about to embark on a series of strikes. How can an organisation so popular with the public have developed such a bad relationship with a key group of employees? We look here at the failings in corporate governance which have led to this situation and suggest how applying our Five Golden Rules of Good Corporate Governance could help the situation.

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ARM’s board accepts Softbank takeover: was this good corporate governance?

arm-softbankFollowing the shock result of the Brexit referendum and the subsequent collapse in the value of the pound, the next shock – at least in technology circles – was the announcement that Japanese telecoms and internet giant, Softbank, had made an agreed offer to buy leading UK chip designer, ARM. 

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