29 October 2017 | Peter High, Contributor| Forbes.com
James Lam has been an advisor to boards on matters of risk management and mitigation for roughly 25 years. He has been the Chief Risk Officer at GE Capital Markets Services, and Fidelity Investments. He was a partner at Oliver Wyman, and started ERisk under its auspices. That unit would later be sold to SunGard. He started an eponymous risk management company in 2002. Since then, he has served on the boards of several companies including E*TRADE Financial Corporation, where he is the chair of the risk oversight committee, as well as a member of the audit committee.
As someone with deep experience in advising companies on how best to de-risk the enterprise, I wanted to find out what advice he would offer to boards and to management teams. For instance, he notes that his top five recommendations for boards to consider in their oversight roles are (1) Double down, or triple down, on the basics; (2) establish a cybersecurity risk policy with clear risk appetite statements; (3) ask for an effective risk report with qualitative assessments and quantitative analytics; (4) provide credible challenge and oversight of the cybersecurity program; and (5) focus on people and culture. He provides thoughts on each of these, and many other suggestions in this interview. Read more
1 November 2017 | Cesar L. Villanueva| BusinessWorld M.A.P. Insights
Among the essential features of an effective corporate governance (CG) regime would be the proper designation of the agency in the corporate setting that is primarily responsible for promoting CG: Who is primarily responsible for promoting CG principles and best practice within the company setting?
This would include establishing the hierarchy of responsibilities and accountabilities among the various agencies operating within the corporate setting, and answers the critical question: With whom does the buck stop when it comes to the duties and responsibilities for CG?
It is equally important for an effective CG regime to properly delineate the constituencies to whom such primary fiduciary duties of CG are owed to: To whom do we owe the fiduciary duty to properly govern the corporate affairs? Read more
18 July 2017 | Ian Waxman | Risk Management Monitor
According to an April New York Times article, “Uber’s core company values included making bold bets, being “obsessed” with the customer, and to “always be hustling.” The company emphasized meritocracy, setting employees up as rivals and overlooking transgressions of its high performers. At its worst, Uber maintained an “unrestrained culture” that has since resulted in several allegations of harassment. A published blog post by engineer Susan Fowler, indicated that “the culture was stoked—and even fostered—by those at the top of the company.”
Adoption of a strong risk culture
An effective risk culture is not a matter of risk assessment or level of compliance; it is a matter of “conviction” – a corporate state of mind where human beings can take well-informed risk decisions because they want to, not because they have to.—@RiskCultureBuilder on Twitter Read more
30 July 2017 | Matt Alderton | Successful Meetings
Face-to-face meetings can yield tremendous benefits not only for attendees, but also for their employers. To demonstrate how, meeting planners must have a seat at the corporate table. Understanding the issues that face corporate boards of directors can help them get it. Here are the most pressing, according to the WomenCorporateDirectors Foundation (WCD), which recently released its list of "10 Issues Topping Board Agendas in 2017":
10. Gender Diversity
Having more women in the boardroom challenges boards to ask questions they wouldn't otherwise ask, according to WCD, which says boards increasingly are examining their gender makeup in order to improve confidence in their decision making. Read more
4 October 2017 | Jane Stevenson | Korn Ferry Institute
During the recent National Association of Corporate Directors summit in Washington, DC, there was lots of time spent on shareholder activism, executive compensation, and several other key in-the-moment issues. But Jane Stevenson, Korn Ferry’s vice chairman of the firm’s Board & CEO Services practice, says that those issues overshadow three, considerably more existential issues modern board directors have to address. Before her own panel presentation, Stevenson laid out what she thinks board directors should have on their minds.
1. Risk Management: Figure out what’s an opportunity and what’s a threat.
In today’s global and active economy, the lines between competitive markets have never been blurrier.
is Amazon a consumer company, for example, since it sells everything from groceries to garage door openers? Or is it a technology company, since it owns and operates the legions of computer servers that make e-commerce—its own and others—possible? With all the crossover, it’s very difficult for board members to assess whether all the disruptions are accelerators to the organization’s growth, or roadblocks. Read more