Corporate Governance Winners 2018 – Europe

Good corporate governance is an essential tool for business performance and the cornerstone of trust between business and society.

In 2017, the UK government unveiled corporate governance reforms aimed at enhancing the public’s opinions of business after admitting that recent behaviour had damaged trust. It has pressed ahead with plans to improve transparency and accountability and give employees a voice in the boardroom.

Corporate governance reforms include support for a public register of FTSE-listed companies where more than one fifth of shareholders have opposed resolutions on executive pay packages and other issues; new legislation requiring companies to annually report and explain the pay ratio between chief executives and their UK employees; the first-ever corporate governance principles for large private companies; and a revised UK Corporate Governance Code.

According to the Financial Reporting Council, which launched a consultation in December 2017 on the comprehensive shake-up, the revised Code emphasises the value of good corporate governance to the sustainable growth of a company and encourages policies and practices that generate value for shareholders and aim to benefit society. There is a new focus on stakeholders, integrity and corporate culture, diversity and how the overall governance of the company contributes to its long-term success.

In Italy, the country’s Corporate Governance Committee has outlined plans to enhance the evolution of corporate governance standards and the behaviour of Italian listed companies, as well as promote stronger engagement by investors. Additional increasing attention is given to board effectiveness, including the disclosure about the effective completeness and promptness of pre-meeting information and the role of the board in ensuring adequate skills and competencies of its members.

The Italian Corporate Governance Committee has also identified the board evaluation process as a key tool for dealing with board effectiveness and the goal of smooth but thoughtful decision-making.

It has called upon issuers to carefully consider the opportunity to widen assessment of a board’s performance, and consider – among other tools – adoption of strategic plans and more effective board oversight, especially with regard to an appropriate system of internal control and risk management. These goals will be pursued through the strengthening of code recommendations on the main critical issues highlighted in the Committee’s monitoring activity and, more generally, to support companies to develop strong corporate governance, focussing on sustainability of business activity.

Ethical Boardroom is proud to announce the winners of “Best Corporate Governance” in their respective industry sectors across Europe for 2018. The awards recognise the outstanding leadership from boards 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 2018, we salute you for leading the way.

EUROPE

Best Corporate Governance Engineering GKN Plc
Best Corporate Governance Construction Skanska AB
Best Corporate Governance Insurance Aviva Plc
Best Corporate Governance Financial Services Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria S.A. (BBVA)
Best Corporate Governance Transportation & Logistics Deutsche Post DHL Group AG
Best Corporate Governance Technology Smiths Group Plc
Best Corporate Governance Airlines International Consolidated Airlines Group S.A.
Best Corporate Governance Utilities Enel S.p.A.
Best Corporate Governance Mining Randgold Resources Ltd
Best Corporate Governance Food & Beverage Nestlé S.A.
Best Corporate Governance Electric Power Transmission Red Eléctrica Corporacion S.A.
Best Corporate Governance Pharmaceuticals Roche AG
Best Corporate Governance Pulp & Paper Smurfit Kappa Group Plc
Best Corporate Governance Conglomerate Siemens AG

Please note that the winners for the Middle East & Africa region will be announced in the Spring 2018 edition.