Tag archives: board composition

Digitizing Board Meetings

In the day and age of virtual reality and delivery dinner at the click of a button, it seems almost comical to think that we use sliced bread to explain an invention’s usefulness.

Given today’s unprecedented surge in technology, it is perhaps unsurprising that the EY Center for Board Matters (“EY”) reported digital transformation as one of the most important priorities for boards. However, while it may be tempting for boards to focus on emerging competitors, tech-savvy employees, and the onset of new risks, this transformation can – and maybe should – include digitizing board meetings. Implementing board portals, digital … Continue Reading

How independent are independent directors?

Board independence is a pillar of good corporate governance. It ensures that a corporation’s management is properly monitored and that the corporation’s decisions effectively balance the various stakeholders’ interests. Over the past decades, Canadian regulators (with support from investors) have required companies to increase the number of independent directors on their boards and have created stricter requirements for what qualifies as ‘independent’. But are independent directors now truly independent?

In a US paper published by Kastiel and Nili, the authors argued that independent directors today, while technically independent, are functionally still very dependent on management. This is because of the … Continue Reading

An age of shareholder empowerment

In a corporate directors survey (the Survey) entitled “The swinging pendulum: Board governance in the age of shareholder empowerment”, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) presents current trends in investor influence and their impact on governance practices of boards and management teams.

Conducted amongst 884 company directors in the summer of 2016 with respondents representing over 24 industries, the Survey highlights the increasing influence of investors and board sentiment in this “new age of shareholder empowerment”.

Board composition

When recruiting new board members, investor recommendations appear to carry increasing weight. The Survey notes that there has been an … Continue Reading

Top board priorities for 2016

With 2016 upon us, boards are likely to reflect on the organizational challenges they expect to face in the coming year, and to develop effective strategies to tackle these challenges. A recent EY publication anticipates that in developing these strategies, boards will focus their energies on addressing the following five critical challenges:

1. Board effectiveness, composition and refreshment

Boards are always looking for ways to self-improve. It is expected that 2016 will be no different in this respect. Boards will seek ways to attain the right mix of skills and experience and to enhance transparency and accountability. Particular attention will … Continue Reading

Board renewal: A focus on board performance

Long-serving boards and board renewal policies may face increasing scrutiny in the 2015 proxy season. Canada’s Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) recently released a position paper, Beyond Term Limits: Using Performance Management to Guide Board Renewal (the ICD Paper) which calls on boards of directors to rethink their board renewal policies and encourages a more proactive and flexible approach to renewal, focusing on director performance and cautioning against over-reliance on term limits.

The ICD Paper questions the effectiveness of term limits to ensure adequate board renewal, and instead encourages boards to center their renewal policy around comprehensive … Continue Reading

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