Willis corporate governance specialists have published a technical report looking at best practice in corporate governance. The focus of the report is on using corporate governance initiatives to drive out real value for the organisation. Click here to download a copy of the report or call one of our contacts for a hard copy.

What is Corporate Governance?
Corporate governance is a major issue for all private and public companies and their stakeholders. With increasing corporate and economic globalization, corporate governance has international relevance in developing countries as well as for the global economic powers.

Corporate governance is about balance. It is about balancing the interests of shareholders with those of other stakeholders in an organization - suppliers, customers, investors, employees and the community at large. It is about balancing short-term needs with the long-term sustainability of an organization. It is about protecting investors by balancing business enterprise with accountability.

Corporate Governance Frameworks

The corporate governance framework of an organization is the system of risk management, law, regulation and practice within which it operates.

Public policy makers and stock exchanges around the world see the benefits of corporate governance and are setting deadlines for adherence to their own preferred corporate governance frameworks. Key components of corporate governance frameworks

  • Protection of shareholder rights to vote and influence critical corporate strategies
  • Strengthened boards through appointment of more skilled independents
  • Curbs on techniques that protect failing management teams
  • Wider use of international accounting standards
  • Greater disclosure of executive remuneration.

In the UK, the London Stock Exchange has appended the Combined Code to its listing rules. This code brings together the recommendations of the Cadbury, Greenbury and Hampel, reports. In September 1999 this was supplemented by the Turnbull Guidance for Directors on the Combined Code which seeks to clarify to board directors what is required of them.

Recently this Code was broadened to include the Higgs and Smiths reports, which address the role and effectiveness of non-executive directors and the role of the Remuneration Committee. In Europe, the Transparency Directive has gathered momentum, which will enable investors to sue company directors if they lose money due to errors or misinformation in the company's annual reports. The Transparency Directive is one of several measures being discussed under the European Union's Financial Services Action Plan which would create a single European market for investors and create uniform disclosure standards for all publicly traded companies.

How We Can Help

Willis has considerable experience in helping organizations with all aspects of their corporate governance initiatives. You can find details of how we have helped in the past by viewing our case studies.

We have recently introduced the Risk Integration Consultancy service to assist those experiencing difficulties with the "embedding" process. This is a short introductory education session that takes the mystery out of embedding risk management into business processes. The service is workshop-based and provides attendees with a framework within which they can build their own corporate governance implementation plan

To email a Corporate Governance professional click on the name above. For assistance with Executive or Professional Risks, visit our Executive Risks page.

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