Board Hot Topics
Corporate Governance Codes
To better understand the tools and approaches that directors are using to achieve the right mix of skills, backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives in the boardroom—what works, what doesn’t, and what might get in the way—we surveyed more than 2,300 directors and senior executives in 46 countries around the world. We also explored these issues through interviews with board members and business leaders from six countries for the latest edition of Global Boardroom Insights from KPMG’sAudit Committee Institutes.
Economic and Geopolitical uncertainity, transformational technology, changing demographics, new global competitors, business model disruptions - these are just a few of external forces impacting companies today. The speed of change is accelerating rapidly: in 1960 the average S&P 500 company was 60 years; today it is less than 15. The majority of the neearly 4,000 participants in the WCD foundations/HBS/Spencer Stuart Global Board Survey indicate that growth prospects globally over the next three years are uncertain.
Businesses are operating in a climate of volatility and uncertainty resulting from a broad range of factors, from Brexit and the U.S. presidential election to the unprecedented pace of technological change, disruption, geopolitical risk, and slow economic growth. In such an environment, cultivating a strong corporate culture from the top level all the way down through the organisation is key. It is a topic high on the agenda of business leaders and regulators.
Vision. Passion. Single-minded focus and dedication. There is nothing quite like the entrepreneurial spirit thatsparks the launch—and spurs the growth—of a family business. The combination of performance, profit, and familypride can be a powerful force in driving founders and owners to build great businesses and valued brands. But familybusinesses that endure across generations tend to have an added edge: a great board.
As discussed in the following pages, strong governance plays a critical role in positioning a family business for thefuture. From helping to define and calibrate the strategy, grooming future leaders, and navigating (often thorny)family dynamics, to bringing independent perspectives into the boardroom dialogue, an effective board can be aninvaluable asset to the business—i.e., the family/owners, investors, employees, and customers.
Crisis readiness has taken on increased importance and urgency for boards and management teams.
The list of potential crises that companies can find themselves facing today looms large - from major product recalls, data breaches, health scares to natural disasters, terrorist events, ailing business leaders, to name just a few. And thanks to Social Media, the speed with which news of crisis (accurate or inaccurate) can spread has been reduced to mere minutes, making the company's ability to respond qucikly and effectively to a crisis increasingly critical
The Nigerian economy came out of recession with a growth of 0.55% at the end of the second quarter (Q2) of 2017 and ended 2017 with an annual growth of 0.83%. The modest recovery in the economy can be linked to relatively higher oil prices, stability in domestic oil production and improvement in foreign exchange markets resulting in increased foreign capital inflows and reduced volatility of exchange rates. We sought the views of CFOs on the outlook for their businesses in 2018, current strategies for cost and risk management and what they believe the Government should prioritize to create an enabling environment. In comparison to 2017, CFOs are more confident about the general business outlook for 2018. The optimism expressed by CFOs is partly attributable to the emergence of the country from recession and improving macroeconomic indicators. Despite the optimistic outlook for 2018, our study shows that CFOs still have some critical ‘stay awake’ issues including:
• Tax, regulatory and government policy
• Margin enhancement, growth & cost optimization
• Foreign exchange and macroeconomic issues
While there has been a change between last year and this year in the relative impact of each ‘stay awake’ issue,it is instructive that the issues themselves have not changed, suggesting that while these issues are being partly addressed, they are yet to be fully resolved.In the meantime, Government’s increased focus on taxation has not gone unnoticed. There is general agreement that appropriate taxes must be paid. However,CFOs are apprehensive about tax multiplicity and administration. No doubt this is an area that requires careful thought to avoid counter-productive outcomes.
The 2017 Global CEO Outlook discusses how disruption has become a fact of life for CEOs and their businesses as they respond to heightened uncertainty. As they do so, most see disruption as an opportunity to transform their business model, develop new products and services, and re-shape their business so it is even more successful than it has been in the past.
KPMG’s 2017 Global CEO Outlook reveals insights from nearly 1,300 CEOs in 10 of the world’s largest economies. With continued pressure to deliver on the bottom line, CEOs are keenly focused on managing their business’ core strengths while transforming the way they create value.
Board agendas should continue to evolve in 2019. The game-changing implications of technology/digital innovation, scrutiny of corporate culture, growing demands to address environmental and social issues, and investor expectations for greater board engagement, diversity, and long-term value creation should all drive a sharper focus on positioning the company for the future. Combined with concerns about mounting trade tensions, resurging debt, high valuations, and political swings in Nigeria, U.S., UK, and elsewhere, the year ahead will require a careful balance of near-term focus, agility, and long-term thinking.
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