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Tag >> corporate governance
Nov 17
2010

Managing the perils of hoarding excess cash

Posted by dbedell in Financecorporate governancecontrolCFO, cash management, CashAFP

dbedell

A recent piece of research by academics Nils Backhaus and Luc Soenen looking at how to determine if a company is holding excess cash and what the impact is of that, which appears here on AFPOnline, made a very good case for some of the potential pitfalls that companies face when retaining extra cash.

Given the tremendous focus by much of the US business sector on stockpiling cash in recent years, understanding not just the benefits, but also the issues that could arise as a result, is an important exercise that should help finance execs to ensure that cash is put to best use.

Nov 03
2010

Citizens United: Bad for business?

Posted by annearf in shareholder valuepoltical adscorporate governancecomplianceCitizens United

annearf

Tuesday's election was, of course, the first since the Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens United case, which allowed corporations, as well as as union and other groups, to spend however much they want on political campaigns. And sure enough, during this election, the faucet opened wide and millions of dollars were spent on political ads.

But for companies, the big question is, what does this activity mean for business? And there's some indication the answer isn't as positive as you'd think.

Oct 25
2010

Improve proxy statements to better define risk management

Posted by dbedell in S&P; 500risk oversightrisk managementRiskDeloittecorporate governancecompliance

dbedell

Companies are focused on compliance with new proxy disclosure rules, but they may not be providing the whole picture of the company’s risk management strategy, according to a new report out by corporate advisory firm Deloitte.

In analyzing proxy statements by 398 S&P 500 companies, Deloitte found that although companies were meeting basic compliance requirements for risk oversight, they fell short of providing vital information on risk management practices—information which could provide greater comfort to regulators, investors and other stakeholders into risk mitigation efforts at the company.

Aug 03
2010

Dodd-Frank punts on separating chair, CEO

Posted by SherylNash01 in Dodd-Frankcorporate governanceCEOcareer/managementboard chair

SherylNash01

The Dodd-Frank Act may have gone a little further on some issues than many people had anticipated. But one potential issue that did not see meaningful change is the separation of the chairman and CEO functions.

The Act requires that the SEC issue rules requiring each public company disclose in its annual proxy materials the reasons why the company chose to have either the same person, or separate people, serve as the Chairman and CEO.

Jul 22
2010

Building microfinance into an asset class

Posted by dbedell in small businessrisk managementRiskmicrofinanceDealscorporate governance

dbedell

The $44 billion global microfinance industry got a boost recently as private equity investor BlueOrchard attracted $195 million to a new fund aimed at helping microfinance lenders modernize their organizations, improve governance and risk management, and develop into fully-fledged financial institutions.

The knock-on effect is that as the industry as a whole becomes more standardized, with stronger, regulated and rated institutions, this should attract more investment and help turn microfinance into a recognized asset class, which in turn is good news for small businesses both in the US and globally that benefit from microfinance lending.

Jul 12
2010

A season of rising shareholder discontent

Posted by SherylNash01 in shareholdersshareholder dissentshareholder activistscorporate governancecareer/management

SherylNash01

This proxy season is shaping up as one of shareholder revolt, as more and more directors fail to receive the support of a majority of owners.

While the Corporate Library, a corporate governance research firm, is still collecting data, early indications suggest that many more directors will fail to win support from less a majority of their shareholders than in previous years.

Jul 11
2010

Arms' length may not be enough for investors

Posted by SherylNash01 in shareholdersshareholder activistscorporate governancecareer/management

SherylNash01

Shareholders recently voiced fresh dissatisfaction with director R. Bruce LaBoon, who is also "of counsel" at Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell, a law firm that provides services to the company.

In its proxy statement, the company cliams that the "attorney fee arrangement with Locke Lord is negotiated on the same basis as arrangements with other outside counsel and is subject to the same terms and conditions."

Jul 06
2010

Good governance vital to going public

Posted by SherylNash01 in IPOgoing publiccorporate governancecompliancecareer/management

SherylNash01

Corporate governance can make or break an IPO, according to advisory firm KPMG. Governance topped the ranking of biggest headaches faced by companies preparing to go public, recent KPMG surveys found. And Aamir Husain, national leader for IPO Services at KPMG, says that corporate governance can be such an issue that it can kill an IPO.

The work involved in improving corporate governance can be overwhelming and complex. There is compliance with SarbOx, quarterly reports with the SEC, the annual 10k, robust auditing and internal controls -- numerous systems and processes that need to be in place.

Jun 15
2010

Emerging market companies improve governance to attract investment

Posted by dbedell in Sustainabilityemerging marketscorporate social responsibilitycorporate governancecomplianceCashCapitalBrazil

dbedell

Brazilian companies are taking a page from their US counterparts when it comes to governance and corporate social responsibility. In a recent Latin American corporate governance survey by Latin Finance and consultancy Management & Excellence, Brazilian firms topped the rankings across different industries--not only aiming for compliance, but striving for excellence in corporate social responsibility, sustainability, board independence and other governance measures.

Companies throughout the region are showing increasing interest in building their good governance reputations in order to attract capital investment from Latin America, the US, and globally.

Jun 14
2010

The "dark side" of independent directors

Posted by SherylNash01 in outside directorscorporate governancecareer/management

SherylNash01

Governance activists have argued for years that companies are better off when a majority of their board members are outsiders.

And in the aftermath of the accounting scandals at the beginning of the millennium, listing standards on US exchanges were changed to require boards contain a majority of outside directors. In addition, Section 407 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act required public companies to disclose whether their audit committees include at least one member who is a financial expert, and if so, whether the person is "independent" of management.

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