Sir David Walker

UK governance review

‘[good governance] depends critically on the abilities and experience of individuals and the effectiveness of their collaboration in the enterprise. Despite the need for hard rules in some areas, this will not be assured by overly specific prescription that generates box-ticking conformity.’

Sir Stuart Rose

CR and the recession

‘Climate change won’t slow down just because the economy does. The problems of waste, obesity, the depletion of the world’s natural resources and poor working conditions in third world factories won’t go away either. So, if we believe that doing our bit to tackle these issues is the right thing to do then we have to stick to our principles. Our customers have long memories – if we fold under the first sign of pressure they won’t forget it.’

Mary Schapiro

Stricter governance rules from SEC

‘The most fundamental way in which shareholders can ensure that directors remain accountable to them is through the director election process.’

Simon CY Wong

Effective communication on compensation

‘There is nothing more disconcerting for institutional investors than a compensation adviser taking over the discussion because the remuneration committee chairman does not fully grasp the intricacies of a pay plan.’

David Wilson

Boardroom behaviour

‘We are very pleased to see that the Walker Review not only gives strong emphasis to the role of the board in setting the company’s risk appetite ... but also that appropriate boardroom behaviours have been identified as a key element of best governance practice.’

Paul-Andre Rabate

Strategy audits

‘What we have seen are examples of “group think” where, at their worst, boards are content to tick boxes instead of individually and collectively taking responsibility to challenge and systematically “audit” strategy in the interests of shareholders, customers and other stakeholders.’

Tim Copnell

Audit in the downturn

‘Part-time non-executive directors will never be able to prevent all corporate governance breakdowns. But it is encouraging to see that audit committees have been reassessing what they do and how they do it with the aim of minimising the risks to a company and, by extension, to its investors and shareholders.’

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Responsible investing

‘The global economy needs more than a quick fix. It needs a fundamental fix. ...Continuing to pour trillions of dollars into fossil-fuel subsidies is like investing in sub-prime real estate.’

Alan Scott

Combined Code review

‘We strongly believe that future efforts should largely go into improving the effectiveness of the existing provisions of the Code, rather than radical reform.’

Simon CY Wong

Crisis in Japan

‘Presently, Japan appears to be confronting an existential crisis on corporate governance because even as it discards the traditional model, it does not appear ready to embrace a new one.’

Michelle Edkins

Rethinking incentives

‘At any number of major international banks board executives as well as those in senior management were (at least notionally) holders of a significant number of shares granted through stock and restricted share plans. Yet they still bet the shop.’

Sean O’Hare

Change is coming

‘All of us involved in remuneration need to ensure that rewards reflect truly sustainable performance and are not a short-term mirage. First, because it’s the right thing to do. Second, because it is always better to embrace change than to have it forced upon you.’

Simon Osborne

Board evaluation

‘...more widespread use of external valuation will no doubt be driven by investors who will be looking for hard evidence of well-run boards in an uncertain economic climate.’

Martin Graham

AIM moving forward

‘The fact that over £3bn was raised through secondary issues last year is a reflection of long-term investor support for AIM companies, even in difficult market conditions.’

Toshiaki Oguchi

Engagement in Japan

‘In our experience, conducting engagements in private and on a confidential basis is essential to be effective and to build a sound relationship with the company. The JEC’s approach aims to allay the wariness of Japanese companies in relation to engagement with shareholders.’

David Phillips

Effective Governance

‘In fact, through our research with investors, many have made the point that the last place to look for failings in governance is the governance section of the annual report.’

Philip Dunne MP

The right touch for banking regulation?

‘The Banking crisis has exposed failings across the board. Corporate governance will not be the only aspect of corporate and regulatory life which will need to change. What was clear from our review was that time is needed to reflect on what makes sense rather than rushing to regulate.’

Peter Waine

Life in the boardroom

‘Any [non-executive director] who feels they haven’t got enough power is on a dysfunctional board and either needs to step down or work with the chairman to get it right.’

Carl Hess

An optimistic outlook

‘While the long-term effects of this global crisis will take some time to manifest, it is crucial for investment professionals to be thinking ahead so as to develop and implement winning strategies that add value for their clients in an increasingly unpredictable and competitive marketplace.’

Charlie McCreevy

EU regulation for credit rating agencies

‘I want Europe to adopt a leading role in this area. Our proposal goes further than the rules which apply in other jurisdictions. These very exciting rules are necessary to restore the confidence of the market in the ratings business in the European Union.’

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