We 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.
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?
Our 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.
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.
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.
Following 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.
In Part 2 of our look at Brexit, it seemed a useful exercise to examine the governance of the country that led to this most disruptive result, against the principles of our Applied Corporate Governance and their application to organisations generally. We analyse the issues considered in the referendum, the key stakeholders and how they have been affected, and set out how our ACG approach would assess this as an exercise in governance.
On 23 June the UK narrowly voted to leave the European Union in a single issue referendum. The result has shocked everyone in the UK, not least those who voted to Leave, who had no real expectation of winning. Indeed, so convinced were they that they were going to lose that they set up a website to gather support for a second referendum. This website then became the vehicle for those disappointed Remain voters who quickly registered over 4 million pleas for a re-run of the Referendum.
There is an on-going debate about whether one person should be allowed to combine the roles of chairman and chief executive. We look at both sides of the argument, studies, statistics and examples of companies with both a separate and combined chairman and CEO and analyse the issue from the perspective of our Golden Rules of Corporate Governance.