Corporate Governance Winners 2016 – The Americas

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Corporate governance – the dynamic between a company’s management, its board, its shareholders and other stakeholders – provides the structure through which the objectives of the company are set, achieved and monitored.

In Colombia, Latin America’s fourth largest economy, significant progress has been made through reforms to improve the management of state enterprises and increased efforts to raise corporate governance standards.

Earlier this year, Colombia was accepted into the Corporate Governance Committee of the international economic organisation the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) – recognition of the country’s work towards becoming more efficient, more transparent and more successful.

According to the OECD, the Colombian state has demonstrated its commitment to facilitating minority shareholders’ and interest groups’ rights and has practices that could be regarded as good examples internationally for their effectiveness, such as in matters relating to equal treatment of shareholders’ or stakeholders’ engagement.

In the US, practicing sound corporate governance, to ensure better long-term growth and performance at public companies, sits at the top of the agenda for many business leaders.

In an open letter and nine-page document of governance principles, the heads of major investment firms, including the CEOs of heads of JP Morgan Chase, General Electric, General Motors and Verizon Communications, outlined their effort to find common ground on how US public companies should be run.

The principles, intended to provide a basic framework for sound, long-term oriented governance, include the notion that “truly independent corporate boards are vital to effective governance”, so no board should be beholden to the CEO or management and that “every board should meet regularly without the CEO present, and every board should have active and direct engagement with executives below the CEO level”.

Another principle proposes that effective governance requires constructive engagement between a company and its shareholders – so that a company’s institutional investors making decisions on proxy issues important to long-term value creation should have access to the company, its management and, in some circumstances, the board. Similarly, a company, its management and board should have access to institutional investors’ ultimate decision makers on those issues.

Ethical Boardroom is proud to announce the winners of “Best Corporate Governance” in their respective industry sectors across the Americas for 2016. The awards recognise the outstanding leadership from boards of public companies who have raised the bar to ensure that 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 who have made it to the top of the mountain for 2016, we salute you for leading the way.

NORTH AMERICA

Best Corporate Governance Pharmaceuticals Bristol-Myers Squibb
Best Corporate Governance Oil & Gas Suncor Energy Inc.
Best Corporate Governance Food & Beverage General Mills Inc.
Best Corporate Governance Conglomerates General Electric Company
Best Corporate Governance Financial Services BMO Financial Group
Best Corporate Governance Utilities AVANGRID Inc.
Best Corporate Governance Retail Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
Best Corporate Governance Technology Microsoft Corporation
Best Corporate Governance Automotive Ford Motor Company
Best Corporate Governance Telecoms Verizon Communications Inc.
Best Corporate Governance Airlines Delta Air Lines Inc.

SOUTH AMERICA

Best Corporate Governance Construction Grupo Graña y Montero 
Best Corporate Governance Airlines Gol Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes S.A.
Best Corporate Governance Financial Services Banco de Chile
Best Corporate Governance Oil & Gas Ultrapar Participacoes S.A.
Best Corporate Governance Utilities Endesa Chile
Best Corporate Governance Conglomerates Grupo Sura
Best Corporate Governance Retail Cencosud S.A.
Best Corporate Governance Mining Vale S.A.
Best Corporate Governance Industrial Services Ferreycorp SAA

Please note that the winners for the Asia & Australasia region will be announced in the Autumn 2016 edition.