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Governance

3 Tips for Creating a Culture of Ethics

When did CEOs decide that morality was irrelevant? Shouldn't the recent departures by the heads of United Airlines and Volkswagen send a message that cutting ethical and legal corners is a foolish business strategy?

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Cultural Homogeneity Creates Risk for Boards

When organizations think about risk, perhaps the most worrisome are those that can’t be anticipated. Boards expend tremendous effort in eliminating or at least minimizing their blind spots; that search for better information and awareness can be all-consuming.

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Does Every Board Need an Activist?

There are many different types of activism today, and shareholder activists are not all the same—they have different time horizons and strategies. CEOs’ experiences with activism can vary significantly, so they often have different perspectives on this issue. Their views can run the gamut, with a variety of CEOs expressing both the pros and cons of having an activist on the board.

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Boards Demonstrate More Willingness to Pull in Reins on CEOs

As DuPont’s recent release of CEO Ellen Kullman shows, boards are more trigger-happy these days about dismissing CEOs for poor performance, and less willing to have agreed to golden parachutes to get them out the door.

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CEO Pay-Ratio Rule Likely to Produce Little Information but Lots of Heat

The completion of the CEO-pay ratio rule won’t give boards much help in calculating the right compensation for their leaders. But it will create a public-relations pain point for many companies and their chiefs and perhaps require a proactive communications effort.

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3 Ways a CEO Can Stop Activist Investors Before They Attack

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No company, regardless of size, profitability or cash stockpile, is immune from an activist investor attack. Power players like Apple, Pepsi, Microsoft and Netflix with tons of cash and generous dividends that outperform their peers have successfully been attacked and forced to change course. Proctor & Gamble’s attacker owned less than 1% of the firm and orchestrated an event that ousted the CEO and forced a change in corporate strategy.

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6 Steps for Successfully Negotiating With an Activist Investor

Before launching an all-out offensive against an activist investor, both sides should consider a middle path. No one has a monopoly on wisdom, and often an activist will have a worthwhile suggestion. Moreover, being willing to listen to properly presented ideas from a significant shareholder is part of a CEO’s and a board’s fiduciary responsibility.

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Post-GE, How Dodd-Frank Will Affect the FinServ Market in 2015

GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt has some very specific reasons for launching a vast restructuring of the American industrial giant that will have the firm sell off GE Capital and exiting the financial services industry. But many of the forces that prompted Immelt’s major strategic move also afflict other financial-services companies, and these pressures aren’t going away.

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