Featured Articles

#MeToo in the boardroom: It takes more than a ‘symbolic gesture’ to change corporate culture

11 January 2018 | Martha C. White| NBC News

While the Golden Globe Awards put the #MeToo movement on the red carpet, creating real change in boardrooms and corner offices will be a heavier lift.

Even one woman in a top management role can make a difference, say experts, because that enhances the company’s ability to recruit and retain women in rank-and-file jobs.

Former Small Business Administration head Maria Contreras-Sweet, a front-runner in the bidding to purchase Harvey Weinstein’s scandal-scarred company, is going one step further — proposing a woman-led board of directors. Read more

Boardroom excesses can no longer be tolerated. The economy has to work for all

20 January 2018 | Theresa May| The Guardian

Public-private partnerships are essential. I won’t let bad businesses threaten them.

When it comes to the vital public services that we all rely on, I want the British people to have the very best.

A first-class health service, which is there for all of us in our time of need. Brilliant schools that give every child the very best start in life. Twenty-first century infrastructure in every community, which serves the needs of our economy. We should always aim for the best and never settle for anything less.

And government and private enterprise have always worked together to achieve great things. From the Royal Navy warships, built by private businesses on the Clyde and elsewhere, to the Channel Tunnel and Crossrail, which were delivered by a consortium of firms in partnership with the state, the partnership between the public and private sectors has delivered for this country. Read more

Warren Buffett Says This 1 Simple Habit Separates Successful People From Everyone Else

18 January 2018 | Marcel Schwantes | Inc.com

The 87-year-old chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway once gave us a breakthrough principle of taking charge of one's life. Let's revisit it.

Billionaire Warren Buffett, the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, is 87 years old and still capturing the world's attention as the second richest person on the planet (as of this writing).

So, how has he done it? Actually, it's not so much about what he has done as it is what he hasn't done. With all the demands on him every day, Buffett learned a long time ago that the greatest commodity of all is time. He simply mastered the art and practice of setting boundaries for himself.

That's why this Buffett quote remains a powerful life lesson. The mega-mogul said:

The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.  Read more

Public consultation on recommendations to enhance corporate governance launched

16 January 2018 | Brandon Tanoto | Channel NewsAsia

SINGAPORE: A "nine-year rule" that will reassess whether an independent director (ID) still qualifies as independent after nine years in serving on the board has been proposed to be enforced by the Corporate Governance Council.

This is under rule changes suggested by the council on Tuesday (Jan 16), which will apply to companies listed in Singapore.

With the review, the Council is proposing two alternatives on the nine-year rule: to either set a hard limit or put it to an annual two-tier shareholders’ vote.

The council has launched a public consultation on its recommended revisions, which it said are aimed at "supporting sustained corporate performance" and ramping up investor confidence in Singapore's capital markets. Read more

The world’s largest investment firm wants corporations to “serve a social purpose”

17 January 2018 | Emily Stewart | Vox.com

BlackRock’s Larry Fink is telling CEOs to consider their societal responsibilities — but it’s not entirely clear what he means.

The man at the helm of the world’s largest investment company raised eyebrows on Tuesday with a letter to the CEOs of the biggest public companies on the globe: Be good with your business decisions, or else.

Larry Fink, the founder and chief executive of investment firm BlackRock, penned a letter to the CEOs of the companies in which his more than $6 trillion firm invests encouraging them to consider the societal implications of their business decisions and to focus on their long-term plans. “Indeed, the public expectations of your company has never been greater,” he wrote, continuing:

Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose. To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society. Companies must benefit all of their stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, customers, and the communities in which they operate. Read more

Do Family Businesses Need Independent Directors?

2 January 2018 | Bernie Tenenbaum , Contributor| Forbes

What value do they offer? Are they a threat to control? Does the family need to retain a majority in case of a vote?

Why would a family business not want the benefit of an independent director who might bring insight, perspective, varied experiences, and a wide range of contacts that could help propel the business? In the past year, I have delivered seminars in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and North America on building high performance boards in family businesses. In every location, these are some of the excuses I heard from attendees:

  • We don’t want any outsiders
  • We don’t want to lose control
  • We don’t want anybody telling us what to do
  • We don’t wash our dirty linen in public
  • We don’t want to be accountable to anybody else
  • It’s not broken why fix it

Read more

The Philippines' biggest business deals in 2017

28 December 2017 | Chris Schnabel and Chrisee Dela Paz| Rappler.com

The country's conglomerates have acquired everything from digital payment tech to coal power plants this year, as they acquire the tools they hope will shape the economy’s future

The country’s economic renaissance continued in 2017, and the top dogs of Philippine business – the conglomerates – have taken full advantage.

They have been wheeling and dealing, creating partnerships, merging and acquiring everything from digital payment platforms to logistics to coal-fired power plants.

While some observers may shrug it off as just the big boys moving money around, it is worth taking note of because the conglomerates affect so many aspects of Philippine life, from banking, food, telecommunications, even electricity. Read more

A Board Member's Top Five Recommendations For Cybersecurity And Risk Management

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

Revisiting the fiduciary duties of the board of directors and management

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

Corporate Culture and Risk Management

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

Top 10 Issues Facing Corporate Boards in 2017

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

The Three Most Critical Issues for Today's Board Directors

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

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