Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Beyond shareholder value and the governance of governance

I can recommend this collection of essays on corporate governance reform highly enough. There are a lot of interesting pieces in there, and some interesting contributors too.

There is simply too much in there to summarise easily in one blog post, and anyway Janet at the TUC has done a better job than I could here. So I thought I would just highlight the fact that a couple of the pieces talk about the need for the governance of bodies with an interest in governance issues to be reformed.

The LFIG piece is most explicit, with the following ideas:

The Takeover Panel, FRC and LSE should have far wider representation from other parts of society (e.g. employees, SMEs, local government, etc.) on the boards that develop and enforce good corporate governance practices. remits should be extended to include non Plcs over a certain size. These regulatory bodies, in turn, need to be more directly accountable to one or more of the following: BIS, an expanded Companies house, the HMRC. national and local government procurement (and possibly fiscal) policy needs to be more directly tied to good corporate governance practices. 

But there's also a reference in Dan Corry's piece:

as part of such a new approach we may need a new agency: replacing the FRC with a Companies Commission that could include non-investors, to provide market intelligence, promote best practice innovation from corporate experience and provide investor leadership independent of market pressures.

As I've blogged before, when you think about the issues at stake it is odd that corporate governance in the UK is treated as a subset of financial reporting. And it's even odder that accounting and legal firms, and other service providers, seem to have more influence than employees. It's an area that is ripe for change.

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