Governance Watch - Issue 21

Governance Watch - Issue 21

CORPORATE GOVERNANCE: THE ESSENCE OF A BUSINESS

The demands of rapid technological transformation are casting fresh light on the urgent need for every business to be able to ‘join the dots’ into a clear line on how it functions on multiple fronts through its own corporate governance.

Governance Watch - Issue 20

Governance Watch - Issue 20

Culture

On a fundamental level, good governance is about good behaviour, and conduct contributes to culture – whether it is business culture, or what is considered acceptable in civil society. In Britain, in corporate governance circles we talk about the need to ‘tone from the top’, with the implication being that those in leadership roles set an example by their behaviour. But when the media headlines are full of revelations about sexual harassment in the corridors of political power, and the country has a female Prime Minister, it all starts to get interesting in terms of the winds of change.

Governance Watch - Issue 19

Governance Watch - Issue 19

Listing Rules

The mutterings have been getting louder since the UK regulator the Financial Conduct Authority first proposed changing the premium listing rules to entice Saudi Aramco to the London market. The pretence of its consideration as a general rule change for ‘state-owned companies’ evaporated even as the announcement was made and hit the media headlines.

Governance Watch - Issue 18

Governance Watch - Issue 18

Trust

'Trust' is a word we have heard a lot of in Britain since the 2008 financial crisis. It has been commonly uttered and muttered by senior names in business, analysed and spun by corporate governance experts, corporate communications, consultancies, think-tanks and politicians. It is well-established as a subject that commands attention, inspires conferences and events, and is an essential component of the relationship between business and society.

Governance Watch - Issue 17

Governance Watch - Issue 17

Audit and Regulation

The reprieve of KPMG, cleared of misconduct by the audit watchdog the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) in relation to its work for the UK lender HBOS will not go unmarked. It is likely to take its toll in the ongoing battle for public trust in the financial services sector and in those responsible for its regulation. 

Governance Watch - Issue 16

Governance Watch - Issue 16

Reputation, Reputation, Reputation

What a nasty shock for the UK’s publicly listed companies. Those they entrust to help tell (and sell) their stories to the world don’t all operate with the same moral compass, it seems. Anyone who thought it was like casually looking into a mirror and then being reflected on with added glory will be reconsidering. No, it’s potentially downright dangerous, this vast corporate expenditure on public relations, or #PR.

Governance Watch - Issue 15

Governance Watch - Issue 15

Pensions

All UK plc boardrooms should be watching carefully. Pensions keep coming up in the headlines and the stories rarely reflect well on the businesses concerned. They are increasingly being viewed as a corporate governance issue, and from there it is a small leap to reputation. 

Governance Watch - Issue 14

Governance Watch - Issue 14

Appointments and conflicts

There are so many good corporate governance reasons to read this story with interest. 

The Bank of England has created a new role of ‘conflicts officer’ in the wake of the events resulting in the resignation of its Deputy Governor, Charlotte Hogg. I covered that story at the time here, on Forbes

Governance Watch - Issue 13

Governance Watch - Issue 13

Regulation and Accountability

It has been an eventful fortnight in UK financial regulation, spewing food for thought on a whole spate of issues around accountability and trust, and their role in better corporate governance.

Almost exactly nine months ago Andrew Bailey, CEO of the UK regulator the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), spoke out for the first time in the media via an opinion piece in The Guardian to firms that were not applying the senior managers regime that had been in place since March 2016.

Governance Watch - Issue 12

Governance Watch - Issue 12

Gender Diversity

One might think that gender diversity could be the easiest component to achieve of any bid to get true cognitive diversity around a boardroom table. But, despite a great deal of effort in the last six years from the U.K. government, CBI support, and cheerleading from a plethora of independent bodies - all well supported by coverage from the mainstream British business media - one sad fact remains true: progress on gender diversity in U.K. boardrooms seems to stall whenever it thinks nobody is watching.

This is not the place to dwell on ‘why is that, exactly?’ But it is a good place to ask what it is that needs to change.