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.
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.
The relevance of corruption to corporate governance is clear. A well-governed organisation will not allow corruption either in external transactions or internally. Yet in many companies and indeed regions around the world bad governance and corruption is still endemic. In our quest to improve standards of corporate governance, we review global progress in fighting corruption.
In this article about corporate taxation, we consider the issue of ethics in relation to the way companies currently approach the arrangement of their tax affairs. How do they respond to the tax inducements and the tax demands of the governments under whose regimes they carry out their businesses? How should the boards of multinational corporations and other international companies approach the making of policy in regard to paying taxes, and where do ethics come into it?
How Nat Rothschild’s attempts to improve corporate governance in emerging markets (and so achieve much higher valuations) met with the Bakries’ narrow goal of shoring up the ailing financial position of their businesses. An ACG case study in the need for awareness and congruence of goals.
So-called “Passive” investment funds, which follow the markets rather than invest actively in companies, are growing in number. But are they really “passive” owners? Research suggests otherwise. We look at the data and whether, as stewards, they can and do influence corporate governance and performance in their investee companies.
In recent years the Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs) have started to make waves in Corporate Governance. In our regular look at governance in a range of sectors and regions, we examine SWFs and assess their governance code, the Santiago Principles, against our own Golden Rules.