Added Perspective

Global and Regional Trends in Corporate Governance for 2016

January 5, 2016

By Anthony Goodman and Jack “Rusty” O’Kelley, III, Russell Reynolds Associates

Anthony Goodman and Jack "Rusty" O'Kelley at Russell Reynolds Associates have published a piece resulting from numerous interviews with executives and consultations with colleagues around the globe. Goodman (pictured, top) is a member of Russell Reynolds' Board Consulting and Effectiveness Practice and works with board directors and the investor community on board effectiveness and corporate governance matters. O'Kelley (pictured, bottom) is head of the Board Consulting and Effectiveness Practice and has significant experience working with clients on board effectiveness, corporate governance matters, and CEO succession planning. 

 

Following is the introduction to "Global and Regional Trends in Corporate Governance for 2016":

 

Over the past few years, institutional investors have held boards increasingly accountable for company performance and have demanded greater transparency and engagement with directors. Investors’ interest in more disclosure and interaction arises from their desire for improved performance, both on the part of boards and in terms of overall corporate governance.

 

The real question investors are asking is How can we be sure we have a high-performing board in place? Most of the governance reforms currently under discussion globally attempt to address that question. As investors drive change in governance and raise the bar for board quality, the role and job description of public company board directors is evolving—in many cases, rapidly.

 

During autumn 2015, Russell Reynolds Associates interviewed numerous governance executives and experts at some of the world’s largest asset managers, pension funds, shareholder organizations, proxy advisory firms, and activist investors to learn what trends they see emerging for 2016. Additionally, we talked with our colleagues around the world who regularly advise on governance and effectiveness issues in their work in boardrooms.

 

The drivers of global and regional trends are myriad: scandals, the globalization of companies’ investor bases, and stewardship issues are all factors. The institutional investors we spoke with want to “trust, but verify” the work of boards on behalf of the owners. 

 

To read the full report, click here.

 

 

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