Monthly Archives: March 2016
It wasn’t too long ago that board members were plucked from the ranks of serving CEOs and were expected to instantly know about governance, how it operated and where it intersected with the operational system. Yet, more often than not, directors didn’t understand their role; some digging too deeply into operational issues and others rubber-stamping everything management proposed. While CEOs generally excel in their operational roles, it would be a mistake to assume that they will excel in overseeing CEOs or that they fully grasp the role of board member.
The importance of diversity in the boardroom has become increasingly relevant in recent years, not only due to evidence strongly supporting its managerial merits, but also due to societal trends towards greater inclusiveness. However, there are fundamental hurdles to be overcome in achieving true diversity, largely due to historical prejudices and systems, as well as the practical obstacles in identifying suitable candidates for appointment.
The problem of women’s under-representation in high-level economic decision-making has been a talking point across Europe for several years now. Although there is a growing consensus in Europe that this is a serious issue, improvements have been slow and uneven.
We understand corporate governance to be the guidelines and structure of a company that enables business goals to be fulfilled in a manner that adds value while at the same time keeping in mind the best interests of all shareholders. In the last 10 years, Mexico has been witness to a growing and richer corporate governance culture and companies have seen the benefits and profits of its application. But is it enough?
Over recent years, Nestlé has demonstrated that shareholder dialogue in a highly diversified shareholder structure – Nestlé has approximately 150,000 registered shareholders – is both possible and beneficial. Through shareholder meetings, surveys, chairman’s roundtables and engagement calls, bilateral investor meetings and engagement with investors at press conferences, roadshows and investor conferences, the company regularly solicits input from investors on governance topics. Insights are regularly incorporated in the board’s governance documentation and practices. These efforts are not unique to Nestlé. They have been driven by companies’ recognition of the benefits of such dialogue, as well as by emerging best practices and new legal requirements.
Forte Oil Plc is a leading indigenous, integrated energy company in Nigeria involved in petroleum marketing, power generation and upstream oilfield services. With more than 450 retail distribution outlets for petroleum products, the company holds approximately eight per cent market share in the downstream oil and gas sector in Nigeria.
Vodacom is committed to the highest standards of business integrity, ethics and professionalism and this commitment is the golden thread that runs through our operations. We are honoured to be the recipient of the Ethical Boardroom Best Corporate Governance Award for the Telecoms sector.
Zenith Bank was incorporated in 1990 and transformed into a public limited company following a highly successful Initial Public Offering. The bank’s shares were listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange on 21 October 2004 and it trades freely on the London Stock Exchange after $850milion worth of shares were listed at $6.80 each in a major step to improve liquidity in its stock through global depository receipts.
Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors are slowly making their way into the mainstream investment process. Investors want more information on ESG issues to understand the ESG-related risks and opportunities of the companies in which they invest, or as we like to say, ‘know the whole story’. Proponents of ESG integration in the investment process.
If progress is measured by the amount of information available about a specific topic, then one could easily conclude that increasing female representation on boards is no longer an issue. However, while there may be more widespread theoretical acceptance of the value of board diversity, the numbers present a more sobering perspective.