April 4 2008

On UK corporate governance: columnist Jeremy Warner on the trend of adjusting executive bonus performance targets in light of economic downturn (“How reassuring it is that though the cost of your mortgage may be going through the roof, those providing it are to be be fully insulated from the pain”) and also on Marks & Spencer’s recent Chair/CEO combination (“Yet, in a curious way, the episode may have enhanced good corporate governance at M&S… the board will be doubly careful to ensure best practice[now], or at least one would hope so”). The Guardian cites dangerous precedent however, for such breaches of corporate governance regulations leading to poor performance. On M&S’ “shareholder ire” for the breach and the company’s failure to provide proper explanation.

New defensive provisions by US companies Sara Lee and Coach requiring those shareholders making proposals to disclose whether their share ownership is hedged. Japanese version of Sarbanes-Oxley Act comes into force on April 1. Report on Business‘ Janet McFarland on “personality profiles and board dynamics”.

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