Corporate Governance Winners 2016 – Europe & Africa

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Good corporate governance is recognised by responsibility, accountability, consistency, fairness and transparency and enhances a company’s reputation among customers and investors.

The UK has some of the highest standards of corporate governance in the world but there are concerns that some companies are failing to be as transparent and consistent as they could be.

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC), the watchdog responsible for promoting quality corporate governance and reporting in the UK – setting the UK Corporate Governance and Stewardship Codes as well as standards for accounting, auditing and actuarial work – has signalled its intention to get tougher on compliance. The UK regulator has become concerned over the failure of some asset managers to engage with companies on important issues, such as pay, investment strategy, succession and the quality of auditing.

So, from July 2016, the FRC will name and shame investors that have signed the Stewardship Code but are failing to engage more with companies. According to the FRC, this public tiering of signatories to the Code will ‘improve reporting against the principles of the Code and assist investors’.

The first tier of managers will be those that have met expectations. A second tier will be those that have not met expectations and will be given six months’ notice to improve. The FRC will also look particularly at conflicts of interest disclosures and approaches to resourcing and integration of stewardship.

In Africa, World Bank Group member International Finance Corporation is working with the Ghanaian chapter of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) to promote improved corporate governance practices in the West African nation.

To help companies implement corporate governance practices, improve their productivity and contribute to economic development in Ghana’s economy, the partnership will host a series of activities. In December,  a workshop for company secretaries at the World Bank Group office explained their role within the corporate governance framework and introduced participants to IFC’s corporate secretary toolkit, which helps practitioners understand their roles as governance professionals.

In Nigeria, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has unveiled a national fund to insure investors against losses caused by local capital market operators. It has also created a governance scorecard to rate local publicly traded companies in an effort to attract international investors to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). In a bid to instil confidence in the Nigerian stock market, the SEC has set aside a N5 billion fund to compensate investors for losses arising from the insolvency, bankruptcy or negligence of non-broker/dealer capital market operators.

Initiatives such as these demonstrate the importance of sustaining investor confidence and the work that is being done to improve standards.

Ethical Boardroom is proud to announce the winners of “Best Corporate Governance” in their respective industry sectors across Europe and Africa for 2016. The Awards recognises and rewards outstanding leadership from boards of public companies who have raised the bar to ensure strong corporate governance plays an essential part in protecting and enhancing long term value for all stakeholders. Our awards program is a vital part of our continuing mission to elevate corporate governance standards globally.

For those in Europe and Africa who have made it to the top of the mountin for 2016, we salute you for leading the way.

EUROPE

Best Corporate Governance Utilities Iberdrola S.A
Best Corporate Governance Construction Skanska AB
Best Corporate Governance Telecoms Vodafone Group Plc
Best Corporate Governance Financial Services BBVA S.A
Best Corporate Governance Transportation & Logistics Kuehne + Nagel Intl AG
Best Corporate Governance Airlines Deutsche Lufthansa AG
Best Corporate Governance Oil & Gas BP Oil Plc
Best Corporate Governance Mining BHP Billiton plc
Best Corporate Governance Food & Beverage Nestlé S.A.
Best Corporate Governance Retail J. Sainsbury Plc
Best Corporate Governance Automotive BMW AG
Best Corporate Governance Insurance AXA Group

AFRICA

Best Corporate Governance Financial Services Zenith Bank Plc
Best Corporate Governance Telecoms Vodacom Group Limited
Best Corporate Governance Industrial Services Sasol Limited 
Best Corporate Governance Media Naspers Limited
Best Corporate Governance Oil & Gas Forte Oil Plc
Best Corporate Governance Mining Anglo American Platinum Limited
Best Corporate Governance Pharmaceuticals Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Limited
Best Corporate Governance Retail Mr Price Group Limited
Best Corporate Governance Construction Materials Dangote Cement Plc
Best Corporate Governance Insurance Sanlam Limited

Please note that the winners for the Middle East region will be announced in the Spring 2016 edition.