February 2 2009

So why don’t we bring this old blog back to life? The Clarkson Centre spent the summer months busy with governance research towards our own Board Shareholder Confidence Index, Report on Business‘s Board Games 2008, and the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance’s Executive Compensation Report. The autumn months were devoted to an in-depth study of the corporate governance of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) listed on the TSX. We’ve also undertaken an extensive investigation into links between company performance and executive compensation, gathering five years worth of performance data. And in the midst of all this action? The economy up and died. So what’s up in the world of corporate governance now?

On “India’s Enron moment”, after the founder/chair of outsourcing firm Satyam confesses to billions in fraud, focussing attention once again on the need for independent Directors and auditors. On more corporate governance lessons we can take from Satyam. “The height of irresponsibility”: on President Obama’s reaction to Wall Street executive bonuses post bail-out. On a related note, bonuses etc. etc. for former boss at Merrill Lynch. From the U.K.: on that “part-time, old boys’ network” of non-executive Directors: “The practice of “going plural”… is increasingly being questioned. Can non-executives with multiple roles grasp the full complexity of the companies they oversee?” Regarding succession, on Apple’s disclosure of their CEO’s health problems: “a sign the board is giving him too much leeway in determining his own fitness and deciding who will run the company, while depriving shareholders of relevant information”?

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