The boardroom Archive

Sep 29, 2020
California law set to boost board diversity
California’s Assembly Bill (AB) 979 is set to make waves both within the state and across the country as a groundbreaking new law that would require companies to diversify their boards and reserve seats for directors from ‘under-represented communities.’ If Governor Gavin Newsom signs the bill this week, it will be the first of its kind in the US as no other law mandates representation from deemed under-represented communities on company boards. Newsom has unt...
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Sep 17, 2020
General counsel diversity progress is mixed, survey finds
There were record numbers of women and members of minority racial and ethnic groups among the ranks of general counsel at the largest US companies last year – but the picture of increasing diversity is not clear-cut, according to a new survey. The Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) finds that 29 percent of general counsel at Fortune 1000 companies were women last year, compared to just 12 percent in 2004. The 2019 total is an increase of 25 women, or 9....
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Sep 11, 2020
Companies increase board evaluation disclosures, survey finds
Major US companies are increasingly focusing on board and director evaluations and reporting around those efforts, according to a new survey. The study by the EY Center for Board Matters (CBM) of proxy statements filed by Fortune 100 companies finds that almost half (48 percent) this year disclosed that they conducted individual director evaluations in addition to board and committee evaluations, up from 24 percent in 2018 and 39 percent last year. ‘While b...
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Aug 17, 2020
Scientists discover new governance mechanism
Despite decades of academic research, little consensus has emerged as to what factors – and which configuration thereof – lead to an effective corporate governance framework. Now Canadian investigators may have discovered a missing piece of the puzzle. ‘A company’s communications culture has a profound influence on corporate governance,’ says Azadeh Babaghaderi, a PhD candidate at Concordia University and co-author – with Sam Kolahgar and Harjeet Bhabra ...
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Aug 06, 2020
Working from home, but learning together online
Changing the way the board works Health and safety issues raised by Covid-19 have led to boards taking up virtual meetings with fellow directors and executives to an unprecedented extent. Many are likely to switch to virtual meetings being the default option, at least until a vaccine is implemented, Dottie Schindlinger, executive director of Diligent Institute, told the audience. In doing so, boards will need to work out how to better conduct deeper...
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May 27, 2020
How CEOs can get the most from boards
There is no shortage of information on how boards can more effectively oversee management. But there is still much to be learned about how CEOs can orchestrate their relationship with the board to optimize its potential to become a strategic asset for the company, as distinct from its more traditional role as overseer of management. Long gone are the days when boards were composed of the CEO’s best friends and fans. The CEO is often seen as carrying the bulk of th...
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Mar 23, 2020
How board diversity is shifting in Canada
Board composition continues to be a primary area of focus, particularly as it relates to diversity and gender, in addition to tenure, overboarding and director skills. Canadian reporting issuers have now completed five years following changes adopted by the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) to National Instrument 58-101 Disclosure of Corporate Governance Practices (NI 58-101) and Form 58-101F1 Corporate Governance Disclosure that, among other things, require ...
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Feb 28, 2020
Corporate secretaries urged to stay alert on coronavirus
Corporate secretaries, general counsel and boards must stay alert to changing circumstances as they respond to the coronavirus and its potential impact on their companies, according to Alston & Bird partner David Brown. ‘They will need to be nimble in terms of disclosures and shareholder outreach’ while making sure not to be hysterical, Brown tells Corporate Secretary. He has been fielding incoming calls from clients on the coronavirus issue, with some wanti...
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Feb 20, 2020
Talent is key to corporate success, investors say
Institutional investors see talent management and climate change as the stand-out issues factoring into companies’ strategic success, according to new research. Asked which factors are critical to their portfolio issuers’ fate over the next three to five years, almost two thirds (64 percent) point to talent management – in reference to the workforce as a whole – and 56 percent cite environmental issues/climate change. Corporate culture and board composition ...
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Feb 12, 2020
Dealing with activist directors with an M&A agenda
This past year, more than ever, activist investors called for the companies they targeted to put themselves up for sale or divest assets. A record 99 campaigns launched in 2019 pushed an M&A-related agenda, according to Lazard’s shareholder advisory group. This represents 47 percent of activism campaigns launched last year, the highest proportion since Lazard has tracked this data. According to Activism Insight, roughly 60 percent of M&A-related c...
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