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Opinions and views from expert CFOZone members.

Tag >> corporate boards
Oct 14

Women on corporate boards: More open to change than men

Posted by annearf in risk managementdirectorscorporate boardscompensationcareer/managementboards


 Does it really make any difference if there are more women on boards? 

 A study from Heidrick & Struggles and WomenCorporateDirectors of 400 directors indicates the answer is "probably", at least if you're talking about attitudes towards a number of important issues.  On the one hand, it found that men and women directors respond in much the same way to some key topics.  At the same time, there are a quite a few notable issues where male and female directors most definitely seem to be on Mars and Venus.

Jun 21

CFO resigns from KV Pharmaceutical two months after hiring

Posted by SherylNash01 in corporate boardsCFO resignationscareer/management


There's no shortage of drama at KV Pharmaceutical. Last week Chairman Terry Hatfield, Stephen Stamp, who was named CFO April 13, and board member John Sampson quit, citing "serious concerns" about newly elected board members and senior management.

The previous week, immediately following the company's annual meeting, the newly elected board ousted interim President and CEO David Van Vilet, who had been in charge since December 2008.

May 11

Do CFOs add or subtract value as board members?

Posted by SherylNash01 in Sarbanes-Oxleycorporate governancecorporate boardscareer/management


While shareholders and Sarbanes-Oxley demand more independent directors on boards, a new study shows companies with boards that have at least one key insider, the CFO, are better at financial reporting than those without that executive on their boards. But that doesn't necessarily mean that all companies should appoint their CFOs to their boards, not at least without taking other considerations seriously into account. In fact, most companies probably should still look elsewhere for the expertise that CFOs supply.

The study found that companies with CFOs on their boards have more effective internal controls over financial reporting, higher accrual quality and a lower likelihood of restatements.

The study measured the quality of financial reporting by examining the incidence of material weaknesses reported under Section 404 of Sarbanes-Oxley. The provisions require companies to document and test internal control over financial reporting, and the company's independent auditor to independently test those controls and opine on internal control effectiveness.

May 11

Intellectual property increasingly at risk

Posted by SherylNash01 in risk managementRisk, intellectual property, corporate governancecorporate boardscareer/management


Patent infringement has reached the point where companies can no longer rely on litigation alone to protect their intellectual property, experts say. And those on the wrong end of such suits have to take them more seriously.

The intellectual property of the world’s 500 largest corporations is now estimated to be worth over $3 trillion, roughly 80 percent of their total market value. Yet some $59 billion of that is stolen in the US each year, because few companies have systems and controls in place to manage and monitor the risk that others are to stealing their intangible assets or that they themselves are in violation of someone else’s patent.

May 02

Time for companies to get serious about lead directors

Posted by SherylNash01 in corporate governancecorporate boardscareer/management


Despite pressure to improve corporate performance, US companies have been slow to embrace the role of lead director. But critics contend that is a mistake.

Six years after the New York Stock Exchange mandated the presiding director position as a result of the corporate scandals of the last decade, little consensus has emerged regarding the roles presiding or lead directors should undertake and how they can act most effectively to improve the governance and performance of their companies. The reform was created as a compromise between having a board with no leader of its independent directors and mandating that every company have a nonexecutive chairman.

Mar 10

Directors' pay now under the spotlight

Posted by SherylNash01 in corporate governancecorporate boardscorporate board compensationcareer/management


The spotlight over executive compensation is extending to that of those who set CEO pay, says Ralph Ward, editor of governance monthly Boardroom Insider.

While there was a post-Sarbanes-Oxley run-up in public company board pay, when the economy tanked, directors felt the pain too. The last couple of years their pay has been flat. Primarily because much board pay now comes in stock and options, boards felt the stock market's woes before the recent rally in their paychecks.

Mar 05

A director’s seat will soon feel a bit warmer

Posted by SherylNash01 in secproxy seasoncorporate governancecorporate boards


Citigroup Chairman Richard Parson's recent shake-up of the bank's board or directors can be dismissed as a product of the heavy hand of government.  So can the changes seen elsewhere in the governance of TARP-assisted companies.

But Uncle Sam isn't the only source of pressure on cozy boards. Experts say new Securities and Exchange Commission rules will help ordinary shareholders exert more influence, and some of it is likely to be felt in the upcoming proxy season.

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