Against a backdrop of cheap oil, low interest rates, and record high U.S. equity markets, the corporate governance environment for public companies continues to evolve in 2016. And by almost every measure, investors are now exerting more influence than ever on how boards and management teams operate.
In some ways, the pendulum has swung from a ‘board-centric’ model that took root after the governance and accounting scandals of the 1990s to an ‘investor-centric’ model today—in which institutional investors and shareholder activists have an unprecedented say about board composition, executive compensation, and even how companies choose to allocate their capital.
With these observations in mind, we structured PwC’s 2016 Annual Corporate Directors Survey to gauge director sentiment on board governance in this new age of shareholder empowerment. The survey results clearly indicate that directors are being more responsive to investor pressure on a range of corporate governance issues.