The boardroom Archive

Jan 17, 2020
Boards urged to target talent and strategy in 2020
The role of the board has shifted such that key targets for directors this year include releasing the value of human capital within the company while also focusing on strategy and innovation, according to Stephen Klemash, EY Center for Board Matters (EY CBM) Americas leader. Succession planning has traditionally been a central aspect of boards’ agendas and their most important human capital and talent-related work. But Klemash notes that a series of developments h...
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Jan 03, 2020
The week in GRC: SEC proposes auditor independence changes, and recession fears lead CEOs’ concerns
— The SEC proposed amendments to its auditor independence framework. The proposed changes are designed to mean that relationships and services that would not pose threats to an auditor’s objectivity and impartiality do not trigger non-substantive rule breaches or potentially time-consuming audit committee review of non-substantive matters. ‘The proposal is consistent with the commission’s long-rec...
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Dec 27, 2019
A year of firsts: AXA Equitable Holdings’ governance head discusses the company’s change in ownership
When Jessica Olich joined AXA Equitable Holdings as its vice president, senior assistant secretary and associate general counsel in September 2018, it was a different company to the one that she now works at. In the fall of 2018, the company was controlled by its French parent company, AXA. But by the end of March 2019, following three rounds of secondary offerings, AXA’s share of the company had fallen to 48 percent – meaning that AXA Equitable Holdings was no ...
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Dec 24, 2019
Mentorship has ‘been a joy,’ says CGA lifetime achievement winner
Carol Ward was the worthy recipient of the lifetime achievement award at this year’s Corporate Governance Awards and, in a brief interview with Corporate Secretary on the night, she said that she’s felt a lot of joy in watching her mentees succeed in the governance field and beyond. Ward spent 23 years working at Cigna Corporation as its corporate secretary and chief compliance officer, and a further 12 years at Kraft Foods (now Mondelez International) as vice p...
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Dec 12, 2019
Twenty-first century corporate governance moves into adulthood
Twenty-first century corporate governance is about to enter its 20s – or, phrased differently, its teenage years are about to end. Like most teenagers, it has been unpredictable and unruly, with a tendency toward melodrama. Also like most teenagers, however, it has matured almost in spite of itself and, hopefully, will enter its 20s as a more reasonable and responsible creature. With a new decade about to be upon us, I’ve been contemplating some of the highlight...
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Nov 15, 2019
Many directors thinking beyond just shareholders, research shows
New research highlights the extent to which company directors have less shareholder-centric views than has traditionally been the case, or at least has been assumed. At the same time, those directors often believe they do not get credit for thinking beyond the shareholder base. According to a report from Diligent Institute and the Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University, 89 p...
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Nov 11, 2019
How planning can help CEO transitions succeed
Executive officer transitions arise under a variety of circumstances. According to a report from recruitment firm Spencer Stuart, 69 percent of CEO departures in the US last year were the result of retirements or resignations. This is consistent with the expectation that most CEO appointments have historically been made through some form of succession planning. But Spencer Stuart also reports that 22 percent of CEOs resigned under some form of pressure, and when a C...
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Nov 08, 2019
The week in GRC: Director pay continues to rise, survey finds, and SEC proposes proxy adviser rule change
– CNN reported that McDonald’s CEO and president Steve Easterbrook was out after the board determined he had violated company policy. Easterbrook, who became CEO in 2015, ‘demonstrated poor judgment involving a recent consensual relationship with an employee,’ the company said in a statement. He has ‘separated’ from the company and has been replaced in bo...
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Oct 18, 2019
General counsel comp continues to rise, study finds
General counsel at large US public companies continue to make steady gains in compensation, according to new research, as the job evolves into a more strategic and business-focused role. A report by Equilar and search firm BarkerGilmore states that over the past five years there has been a 7.4 percent increase in general counsel median total compensation. That figure stood at $2.6 million in 2018, a 3.7 percent increase from the previous year. The study covers the 5...
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