16 May 2017 by Henry Ker
Governance can reunite business with its disenfranchised stakeholders
The BEIS Select Committee report on corporate governance appeared just as the April issue was going to press. This month we tackle the report’s contents; I spoke to former MP Iain Wright, who chaired the Select Committee, and got his views on the recommendations. Mr Wright explains that ‘the current failure of corporate governance is essentially a disconnect of the system’. Although it is not a cure for all of the corporate world’s ailments, what governance can do is reunite business with its disenfranchised employees, shareholders, and the public in general. You can read the full interview, 'Governance must evolve'.
Elsewhere, ICSA’s Peter Swabey ranks the inquiry’s recommendations in his article 'Red, amber and green'. Although we may have just moved into a regulatory limbo as the impending snap election in June curtails any likelihood of immediate action by the Government, the Select Committee’s report is still a major piece of work and we continue to welcome parliamentary focus on this most important of subjects.
The attention from the powers-that-be on governance does not mean the system is broken. The UK has one of the strongest corporate governance frameworks in the world – but the challenge is to keep it that way. As Mr Wright explains: ‘It is a strength of the UK economy that we can build on the successes of an effective corporate governance system to evolve with the requirements of the future. One of the reasons to do business in this country is that shareholders and stakeholders in general recognise that the UK is still the number one for corporate governance.’
ICSA’s Annual Conference is taking place on 4–5 July. Throughout the magazine we feature several articles by speakers from this year’s conference to give you a taste of what to expect. Lord Owen tackles the issue of hubris in 'The danger of runaway leadership'; Dr Peter Crow reconceives the role of the board at the centre of strategic operation with 'The strategic board'; and Aidan Kearney gives an insight into the human mind and controlling our ‘inner chimp’ in 'Manage the chimp'. The conference promises to be a spectacular event and I hope to see many of you there.