Monthly Archives: February 2016
It was to be my pièce de résistance. Not six months into a new role, I had diligently, thoroughly and proudly investigated an expense reimbursement fraud and all that was left to do was to present my findings to the audit committee and to bask in the glow of the congratulations of my esteemed and learned colleagues for a job well done.
We are different from most activists in that we are not a fund, but rather we invest our own capital in, among other things, activist targets. With the use of our own capital, we can focus on the longer term instead of the short attention span of a ‘two-and-twenty’ fund. Our job is to build a portfolio for the long term and we can make investments of money and of our time in businesses that let us follow Warren Buffett’s golden rule for investors “Our favorite holding period is forever”.
Singapore’s corporate governance landscape has evolved in tandem with its development as a country from Third World status to a developed nation. Its corporate governance regulations and guidelines, which are rooted in English law, have sought to be world-class. Looking back, there have been two key drivers of Singapore’s corporate governance development: vision and crises.
As regulations get tougher and risks get more complex and interconnected, the success – and very survival – of any business will depend largely on how risk-aware, compliant and well-governed they are. RAK Insurance’s objective of good governance is to promote a strong, viable and a competitive corporation. RAK Insurance’s board of directors is steward of the corporation’s assets and its behaviour is to focus on adding value to those assets by working with management to build a successful corporation and enhance shareholder value.
As president of QDiligence, I meet with hundreds of governance professionals every year to discuss migrating their D&O questionnaires online. “We need a better way to handle our Directors and Officers (D&O) questionnaires every year. Our current process takes everyone way too much time,” is the universal D&O questionnaire challenge.
Women’s empowerment in the workplace and the building of high-performing diversified teams are drivers of positive change and matters of corporate governance. The resultant more balanced environment paves the way for a future in which corporate leadership roles will be filled by an equitable balance of men and women leading to healthier and more competitive organisations and consequently to a better economy and growth in regional GDP.
One of the biggest challenges facing founders of family firms is to design long-term solutions that will ensure their sustainability for decades to come. But allocating time to develop these plans has never been an easy sell for founders, even though research shows that the lack of long-term planning can often lead to unexpected costs to the firm and to family members.
Seven years on from the global financial crisis and the pressure on boards and directors to raise their game and perform more effectively is growing. The aftermath of the 2007/08 crash, and a spate of highly publicised corporate scandals relating to poor risk management and fraud has seen the scrutiny placed upon company boards intensify.
Will your organisation’s ethics and compliance programme withstand scrutiny? This question has become a very real one for many organisations based or operating in the US in recent months as the US Department of Justice has increasingly focussed on whether a programme should earn a reduction or elimination in the charges that are contemplated against organisations targeted by DOJ investigations.
Imagine you’re a chairman of a listed company and an activist shareholder comes knocking at your door. He has accumulated seven per cent of your shares within a short period of time and presents a detailed report, claiming your margins are too thin, your product range is too broad and your restructuring costs are out of control. He further claims your top management team is short of industry specific skills and concludes that these shortcomings are to be blamed on the board of directors for having failed in its monitoring and strategic advice duties.
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