Vague de déréglementation des sociétés américaines sous l’administration Trump | Est-ce judicieux ?


Aujourd’hui, un article publié par Mark Lebovitch et Jacob Spaid de la firme Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann, paru dans HLS Forum, a attiré mon attention.

En effet, l’article décrit les gestes posés par l’administration Trump qui sont susceptibles d’avoir un impact significatif sur les marchés financiers en réduisant la transparence et la reddition de compte des grandes entreprises publiques soumises à la réglementation de la SEC.

Les auteurs brossent un portrait plutôt sombre des attaques portées à la SEC par l’administration en place.

« Several administration priorities are endangering financial markets by reducing corporate accountability and transparency.

Nearly two years into the Trump presidency, extensive deregulation is raising risks for investors. Several of the administration’s priorities are endangering financial markets by reducing corporate accountability and transparency. SEC enforcement actions under the Administration continue to lag previous years. The Trump administration has also instructed the SEC to study reducing companies’ reporting obligations to investors, including by abandoning a hallmark of corporate disclosure: the quarterly earnings report. Meanwhile, President Trump and Congress have passed new legislation loosening regulations on the same banks that played a central role in the Great Recession. It is important for institutional investors to stay abreast of these emerging developments as they contemplate the risk of their investments amid stark changes in the regulatory landscape ».

L’article s’intitule « In Corporations We Trust : Ongoing Deregulation and Government Protections ». Les auteurs mettent en lumière les actions menées par les autorités réglementaires américaines pour réaffirmer les prérogatives des entreprises.

La SEC fait-elle fausse route en amoindrissant la réglementation des entreprises ? Quel est votre point de vue ?

 

In Corporations We Trust: Ongoing Deregulation and Government Protections

 

 

Résultats de recherche d'images pour « SEC »

 

The number of SEC actions against public companies is plummeting

 

The number of SEC actions enforcing the federal securities laws is now lower than in previous administrations. In 2016, before President Trump took office, the SEC filed 868 enforcement actions and recovered $4.08 billion in settlements. These figures declined to 754 enforcement actions and $3.78 billion in settlements in 2017. Enforcement actions against public companies in particular dropped by a third, from 92 actions in 2016 to just 62 in 2017. The first half of 2018 witnessed an even more precipitous decline in SEC enforcement actions. Compared to the same six-month period in 2017, enforcement actions against public companies have dropped by 66 percent, from 45 such actions to just 15. More importantly, recoveries against public companies over the same time period were down a stunning 93.5 percent.

The most recently released data confirms the SEC’s retreat from enforcement. On November 2, 2018, the SEC released its fiscal year 2018 Annual Report: Division of Enforcement, which shows that the SEC’s enforcement efforts and results during the first 20 months under the Trump administration pale in comparison to those of the same period under the Obama administration, with the SEC (1) charging far fewer high-profile defendants, including less than half as many banks and approximately 40 percent fewer public companies; (2) shifting its focus from complex, market-manipulation cases involving large numbers of investors, to simpler, less time-intensive cases involving fewer investors, such as actions against investment advisors accused of lying and stealing; (3) recovering nearly $1 billion less; and (4) returning approximately 62 percent less to investors ($1.7 billion compared to $5 billion).

The enforcement numbers with regard to public companies are consistent with Chairman Jay Clayton’s stated intention to change the SEC’s focus away from enforcement actions against large companies that commit fraud. During his first speech as SEC Chairman, Clayton expressly rejected the enforcement philosophy of former SEC Chair Mary Jo White, who had pushed the SEC to be “aggressive and creative” in pursuing penalties against all wrongdoers to ensure that the SEC would “have a presence everywhere and be perceived to be everywhere.” Clayton stated that “the SEC cannot be everywhere” and that “increased disclosure and other burdens” on public companies “are, in two words, not good.” Rather than utilizing SEC enforcement powers to protect investors and deter fraud, Clayton’s priority is to provide information to investors so they can protect themselves. As Clayton explained, his “short but important message” for investors is that “the best way to protect yourself is to check out who you are dealing with, and the SEC wants to make that easier.” This comment comes dangerously close to “caveat emptor.”

A recent appointee to the SEC under President Trump, Commissioner Hester M. Peirce, is also an advocate for limiting enforcement. Peirce views civil penalties against corporations not as an effective regulatory tool, but rather as an “area of concern” that justifies her vetoing enforcement actions. Commissioner Peirce has also publicly admitted (perhaps touted) that the current SEC is not inclined to bring any cases that involve novel issues that might “push the bounds of authority,” such as those involving “overly broad interpretations of ‘security’ or extraterritorial impositions of the law.” Far from focusing on the interests of investors whose capital literally keeps our markets at the forefront of the global economy, Peirce has expressed concern for the “psychological toll” that an SEC investigation can take on suspected perpetrators of fraud.

Given the SEC’s stark departure from its previous stance in favor of pursuing enforcement actions to protect investors, investors should take extra measures to stay informed about the companies in which they are invested. Investors should also demand increased transparency in corporate reporting, and evaluate their rights in the face of suspected fraud.

 

President Trump directs the SEC to consider eliminating quarterly reporting requirements

 

For generations, investors in the US stock markets have relied on quarterly reports to apprise them of companies’ financial condition, recent developments, and business prospects. Such quarterly reports have been required by the SEC since 1970, and are now widely considered part of the bedrock of corporate transparency to investors. Even before 1970, more than half of the companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange voluntarily issued quarterly reports.

Consistent with a focus on protecting companies, some of whom may well violate SEC rules and regulations, at the expense of the investing public, in August 2018, President Trump instructed the SEC to study whether eliminating quarterly reporting requirements will “allow greater flexibility and save money” and “make business (jobs) even better.” President Trump stated that he based his instruction on advice from “some of the world’s top business leaders,” but provided no evidence of that assertion.

While eliminating quarterly reporting would certainly “allow greater flexibility” for corporations doing the reporting, investors would suffer from the resulting lack of transparency. Unsurprisingly, some of the world’s most prominent financial leaders, including Warren Buffett and Jamie Dimon, have criticized the suggested elimination of quarterly reporting. Buffett and Dimon have explained that such reporting is necessary for corporate transparency and “an essential aspect of US public markets.” This makes sense for numerous reasons, including that without quarterly reports, significant corporate events that took place in between reporting periods could go unreported. Notably, Buffett and Dimon acknowledge that quarterly earnings guidance can over-emphasize short-term profits at the expense of long-term focus and growth. Yet they still favor the transparency and accountability offered by quarterly reporting over a world in which companies can effectively “go dark” for extended periods of time.

It is unclear how quickly the SEC may move to review President Trump’s suggested elimination of quarterly reporting. In October 2018, SEC Chairman Clayton explained that quarterly reporting will remain in effect. But days later, the SEC announced that it may, in fact, draft a notice for public feedback on the proposed change.

Meanwhile, Congress is moving forward with legislation that could lead to the elimination of quarterly reporting. In July 2018, the House of Representatives passed the JOBS and Investor Confidence Act of 2018 (aka “JOBS Act 3.0”). If enacted into law, the Act would require that the SEC provide to Congress a cost-benefit analysis of quarterly reporting requirements, as well as recommendations of ways to decrease corporate reporting costs. The harm to investors from decreased reporting is not necessarily a focus of Congress’s request. The Senate is expected to consider the JOBS 3.0 in the near term.

Congress and regulators weaken banking regulations

 

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) is the landmark legislation passed in response to the high-risk, predatory and fraudulent banking practices that led to the Great Recession, and which has as a primary focus on increasing regulation of the financial services industry. President Trump, however, has referred to Dodd-Frank as a “disaster” that has prevented many “friends of [his], with nice businesses” from borrowing money. President Trump made promises on the campaign trail that he would “kill” Dodd-Frank and repeated the same vow early in his presidency, stating that he would “do a big number on” Dodd-Frank.

Making good on his promises, on May 24, 2018, President Trump signed into law Senator Mike Crapo’s Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (the Crapo Bill). The Crapo Bill removes many mandatory oversight measures put in place to ensure that banks engage in transparent and safe lending, investing, and leverage activities, striking a significant blow to Dodd-Frank protections and placing investors’ assets at risk. As Senator Elizabeth Warren stated, despite the Crapo Bill being sold as one that will relieve “small” banks from “big” bank regulation, it puts “American consumers at greater risk.” The Crapo Bill rolled back certain regulations for banks with less than $250 billion in assets under management and rolled back additional regulations for banks with less than $10 billion in assets under management.

For example, the Crapo Bill raises from $50 to $250 billion the threshold at which a bank is considered a systemically important financial institution (SIFI)—the point at which the Federal Reserve’s heightened prudential standards become mandatory (e.g., mandatory stress tests that measure a bank’s ability to withstand a financial downturn). At the time Dodd-Frank was enacted, approximately 40 banks were considered SIFIs. Only 12 banks would now meet that standard. Moreover, proponents of the bill refer to the $250 billion threshold as an “arbitrary” benchmark to assess a bank’s systemic risk, arguing that over sight should be lessened even for banks with more than $250 billion. In short, the Crapo Bill essentially opens the door for the same type of high-risk, predatory and fraudulent banking practices that led to the financial crisis and threatens the stability and prominence of the United States’ financial markets.

A new direction at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) similarly invites banks to increase their leverage and thus threatens the stability of the financial system. OCC head Joseph Otting, a former CEO of OneWest Bank, recently instructed financial institutions that they should not feel bound by OCC leverage regulations, encouraging them to “do what you want as long as it does not impair safety and soundness. It’s not our position to challenge that.” Far from “challenging” the financial entities that the OCC is tasked with regulating, Otting instead has told bankers that they are the OCC’s “customers” and the Trump administration is “very banker-supportive.”

 

Institutional investors are the last line of defense

 

Congress and federal regulators have taken significant steps to change the regulatory landscape, and new efforts are underway to weaken well-established norms from SEC enforcement to quarterly reporting requirements. The core philosophy of those running the SEC and other critical regulators seems to abandon historic concern for investors in favor of a view that government should exist to protect and benefit corporations (whether or not they comply with the law). The institutional investor community should continue to speak out in favor of corporate transparency and help ensure the continued health and prominence of the United States’ financial

Enquête de Deloitte sur la diversité des conseils d’administration ! En rappel


Il existe une solide unanimité sur l’importance d’accroître la diversité dans les conseils d’administration.

Mike Fucci, président du conseil de Deloitte, nous présente une excellente infographie* sur le sujet.

Voici un sommaire des thèmes traités dans son article, paru dans Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance.

(1) Perception de la diversité dans les conseils d’administration

Les CA sont d’accord avec la nécessité d’une grande diversité

Les leaders perçoivent clairement les bienfaits de la diversité

Cependant, il y a peu d’administrateurs qui voient le manque de diversité comme un problème majeur !

(2) Recrutement et pratiques d’évaluation

Les CA s’en remettent trop souvent aux critères traditionnels de sélection des administrateurs (grande expérience de management ou de PDG)

Environ la moitié des organisations qui ont des plans de relève n’ont pas de processus de recrutement comportant des habiletés liées à la diversité

Presque toutes les organisations sont conscientes que les politiques concernant la limitation du nombre de mandats et de l’âge sont nécessaires pour assurer le renouvellement du CA

Cependant, les pratiques utilisées semblent limiter la diversité

(3) Nouveau modèle de gouvernance — la mixtocratie

Atteindre un équilibre entre l’expérience souhaitée et la diversité requise

Nécessité de revoir la notion de risque

Faire la promotion du modèle de diversité

Revoir systématiquement la composition du conseil

Redynamiser la planification de la relève

Avoir des objectifs clairs de diversité

 

L’infographie présentée parle d’elle-même. Bonne lecture !

 

 

2017 Board Diversity Survey

 

 

 

Part 1. Perceptions of board diversity

 

The findings in this section show that the survey found nearly universal agreement on the need for diverse skill sets and perspectives on the board, and on the potential benefits of diversity.

 

Boards agree on the need for diversity

 

Note, however, that this finding does not reveal where diversity of skill sets and perspectives are needed. Thus, the skills and perspectives could be those of, say, financial or operating or information
technology executives. Such backgrounds would represent diversity of skills and perspectives, but not the demographic diversity that the term “diversity” usually implies.

Demographic diversity remains an essential goal in that gender and racial differences are key determinates of a person’s experiences, attitudes, frame of reference, and point of view.

As the next finding reveals, however, respondents do not see demographic diversity as enough.

 

Board members see diversity as going beyond basic demographics

 

Nine in ten respondents agree that gender and racial diversity alone does not produce the diversity required for an organization to be innovative or disruptive. This may be surprising, given that gender and racial differences are generally seen as contributing to diverse perspectives. Yet those contributions may be tempered if recruiting and selection methods skew toward candidates with the backgrounds and experiences of white males with executive experience.

More to the point, it would be unfortunate if a focus on diversity of skills and perspectives were to undermine or cloud the focus on gender and racial diversity. In fact, typical definitions of board diversity include a demographic component. Deloitte’s 2016 Board Practices Report found that 53 percent of large-cap and 45 percent of mid-cap organizations disclose gender data on their board’s diversity; the respective numbers for racial diversity are, far lower, however: 18 percent and 9 percent. [1]

So, the deeper questions may be these: How does the board go about defining diversity? Does its definition include gender and racial factors? Does it also include factors such as skills, experiences, and perspectives? Will the board’s practices enable it to achieve diversity along these various lines?

Before turning to practices, we consider the potential benefits of diversity.

 

Leaders overwhelmingly perceive benefits in diversity

 


Taken at face value, these answers indicate that boards believe in diversity, however they go about defining it, for business reasons and not just for its own sake or reasons of social responsibility.

 

…Yet relatively few see a lack of diversity as a top problem

 

The foregoing findings show that leaders believe that boards need greater diversity of skills and perspectives, that demographic diversity alone may not produce that diversity, and that diversity is seen as beneficial in managing innovation, disruption, and business performance. Yet, somewhat surprisingly, few respondents cited a lack of diversity as a top problem.

So, while 95 percent of respondents agree that their board needs to seek out more candidates with diverse skills and perspectives, far smaller percentages cite lack of diversity as among the top problems they face in candidate recruitment or selection.

Does this reflect contentment with current board composition and acceptance of the status quo?

Perhaps, or perhaps not.

However, we can say that many board recruitment and selection practices remain very traditional.

 

Part 2. Recruitment and evaluation practices

 

Board recruitment practices have arguably not kept pace with the desire and need for greater board diversity.

 

Boards still rely on traditional candidate criteria

 

In addition, 81 percent of respondents would expect multiple board members to see a candidate without executive experience as unqualified to serve on the board.

The low percentage of women candidates (16 percent) is striking, as is that of racial minorities (19 percent). However, that may be a logical outcome of a process favoring selecting candidates with board experience—who historically have tended to be white and male.

So, in the recruitment process, board members are often seeking people who tend to be like themselves—and like management. Such a process may help to reinforce a lack of diversity in perspectives and experiences, as well as (in most companies) in gender and race.

Relying on resumes, which reflect organizational and educational experience, helps to reinforce traditional patterns of board composition.

 

About half of organizations have processes focused on diverse skills and disruptive views

 

Given all their other responsibilities, many boards understandably rely on existing recruitment tools and processes. They use resumes, their networks, and executive recruiters—all of which tend to generate results very similar to past results.

However, our current disruptive environment likely calls for more creative approaches to reaching diverse candidates. Some organizations have taken steps to address these needs.

 

Our survey did not assess the nature or extent of the processes for recruiting candidates with diverse skills or perspectives, indicating an area for further investigation.

 

Policies affecting board refreshment

 

Policies, as well as processes, can affect board composition. Low turnover on boards can not only hinder movement toward greater diversity but also lead to myopic views of operations or impaired ability to oversee evolving strategies and risks.

While board members expressed agreement with term and age limits, the latter are far more common. Our separate 2016 Board Practices Report found that 81 percent of large-cap and 74 percent of mid-cap companies have age limits, but only 5 percent and 6 percent, respectively, have term limits. [2] This evidences a large gap between agreement with term limits as an idea and term limits as a practice.

 

Current practices tend to limit diversity

 

Deloitte’s 2016 Board Practices Report also found that 84 percent of large-cap and 90 percent of mid-cap organizations most often rely on current directors’ recommendations of candidates. [3] That same study found that 68 percent and 79 percent, respectively, use a recruiting firm when needed, and that 62 percent and 79 percent use a board skills matrix or similar tool.

Relying on current directors’ recommendations will generally produce candidates much like those directors. Recruiting firms can be valuable, but tend to adopt the client’s view of diversity. Tools such as board competency matrices generally do not account for an organization’s strategy, nor do they provide a very nuanced view of individual board members’ experiences and capabilities. In other words, bringing people with diverse skills, perspectives, and experiences to the board—as well as women and racial and ethnic minorities—requires more robust processes than those currently used by most boards.

 

Part 3. A path forward—The Mixtocracy Model

 

The term meritocracy describes organizational advancement based upon merit—talents and accomplishments—and aims to combat the nepotism and cronyism that traditionally permeated many businesses. However, too often meritocracy results in mirrortocracy in which all directors bring similar perspectives and approaches to governance, risk management, and other board responsibilities.

A board differs from a position, such as chief executive officer or chief financial officer, in that it is a collection of individuals. A board is a team and, like any other team, it requires people who can fulfill specific roles, contribute different skills and views, and work together to achieve certain goals.

Thus, a board can include nontraditional members who will be balanced out by more traditional ones. Many existing recruiting methods do too little to achieve true diversity. The prevalence of those criteria and methods can repeatedly send boards back to the same talent pool, even in the case of women and minority candidates. For example, Deloitte’s 2016 Board Diversity Census shows that female and black directors are far more likely than white male directors to hold multiple Fortune 500 board seats. [4]

Therefore, organizations should consider institutionalizing a succession planning and recruitment process that more closely aligns to their ideal board composition and diversity goals. Here are three ways to potentially do that:

 Look beyond “the tried and true.” Even when boards account for gender and race, current practices may tend to source candidates with similar views. Succession plans should create seats for those who are truly different, for example someone with no board experience but a strong cybersecurity background or someone who more closely mirrors the customer base.

Take a truly analytical approach. Developing the optimal mix on the board calls for considering risks, opportunities, and markets, as well as customers, employees, and other stakeholders. A data-driven analytics tool that assesses management’s strategies, the board’s needs, and desired director attributes can help define the optimal mix in light of those factors.

Use more sophisticated criteria. Look beyond resumes and check-the-box approaches to recruiting women, minorities, and those with the right title. Surface-level diversity will not necessarily generate varying perspectives and innovative responses to disruption. Deep inquiry into a candidate’s outlook, experience, and fit can take the board beyond standard criteria, while prompting the board to more fully consider women and minority candidates—that is, to not see them mainly as women and minority candidates.

To construct and maintain a board that can meet evolving governance, advisory, and risk oversight needs, leaders should also consider the following steps.

 

Rethink risk

 

Digitalization continues to disrupt the business landscape. The ability to not only respond to disruption, but to proactively disrupt, has commonly become a must. Yet boards have historically focused on loss prevention rather than value creation. Every board should ask itself who best can help in ascertaining that management is taking the right risks to innovate and win in the marketplace. The more diversity of thought, perspectives, experiences, and skills a board collectively possesses, the better it can oversee moves into riskier territory in an informed and useful way—and to assist management in making bold decisions that are likely to pay off.

 

Elevate diversity

 

Current definitions of board diversity tend to focus on at-birth traits, such as gender and race. While such diversity is essential, it may promote a check-the-box approach to gender and racial diversity. Boards that include those traits and also enrich them by considering differences gained through employment paths, industry experiences, educational, artistic, and cultural endeavors, international living, and government, military, and other service will more likely achieve a true mix of perspectives
and capabilities.

They may also develop a more holistic vision of gender and racial diversity. After all, woman and minority board members do not want to be “women and minority board members”—they want to be board members. In other words, this approach should aim to generate a fuller view of candidates and board members, as well as more diversity of skills and perspectives and gender and race.

 

Retool board composition

 

Current tools for achieving an optimal mix of directors can generally be classified as simplistic, generic, and outdated. They often help in organizing information, but provide little to no support in identifying strategic needs and aligning a board’s skills, perspectives, and experiences with those needs.

Successful board composition typically demands analysis of data on organizational strategies, customer demographics, industry disruption, and market trends to identify gaps and opportunities. A board should consider not only individual member’s profiles but also assess the board as one working body to ascertain that complementary characteristics and capabilities are in place or can be put in place.

A tool to support this analysis should be the initial input into the succession planning and recruitment process. It should also be used in ongoing assessments to help ensure that the board equals a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.

 

Revitalize succession planning

 

The process of filling an open board position may be seen as similar to that for recruiting C-suite candidates. But that would ignore the fact that the board is a collection of individuals rather than a single role. An approach geared to creating a mixtocracy can strengthen the board by combining individual differences in a deliberate manner. Differing gender and ethnic backgrounds as well as skills, perspectives, and experiences can make for more rigorous, far-reaching, and thought-provoking discussions, inquiries, and challenges. This can enable the board to provide a more effective counterbalance to management as well as better support in areas such as innovation, disruption, and assessments of strategies, decisions, and underlying assumptions.

In plans for board succession, the uniqueness of thought an individual will bring to the table can be as important as his or her more ostensible characteristics and accomplishments.

 

Toward greater board diversity

 

Given its responsibility to provide guidance on strategy, oversight of risk, governance of practices, and protection of shareholders’ interests, the board arguably has a greater need for diversity than the C-suite, where diversity also enriches management. The path forward remains long, but it is becoming increasing clear as boards continue to work toward achieving greater diversity on multiple fronts.

____________________________________

Endnotes

1 2016 Boards Practices Report – A transparent look at the work of the board. Tenth edition, 2017, Society for Corporate Governance and Deloitte Development LLC.(go back)

2 ibid.(go back)

3 ibid.(go back)

4 Missing Pieces Report: The 2016 Board Diversity Census of Women and Minorities on Fortune 500 Boards, 2017, Deloitte Development LLC.(go back)


*The 2017 board diversity survey was conducted in spring 2017 among 300 board members and C-suite executives at U.S. companies with at least $50 million in annual revenue and at least 1,000 employees. Conducted by Wakefield Research via an email invitation and online questionnaire, the survey sought to ascertain respondents’ perspectives on board diversity and their organizations’ criteria and practices for recruiting and selecting board members. The margin of error for this study is +/- 5.7 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

La souveraineté des conseils d’administration | En rappel


Je partage avec vous une excellente prise de position d’Yvan Allaire et de Michel Nadeau, respectivement président et directeur général de l’Institut de la gouvernance (IGOPP), que j’appuie totalement. Cet article a été publié dans Le Devoir du 6 janvier 2018.

Il est impératif que le conseil d’administration, qui est le fiduciaire des parties intéressées, conserve son rôle de gardien de la bonne gouvernance des organisations. Les règles de gouvernance sont fondées sur le fait que le conseil d’administration est l’instance souveraine.

Comme le disent clairement les auteurs : « La gouvernance des sociétés repose sur une pierre angulaire : le conseil d’administration, qui tire sa légitimité et sa crédibilité de son élection par les membres, les actionnaires ou les sociétaires de l’organisation. Il est l’ultime organe décisionnel, l’instance responsable de l’imputabilité et de la reddition de comptes. Tous les comités du conseil créés à des fins spécifiques sont consultatifs pour le conseil ».

Cet article est court et précis ; il met l’accent sur certaines caractéristiques du projet de loi 141 qui mine la légitimité du conseil d’administration et qui sont potentiellement dommageable pour la cohésion et la responsabilisation des membres du conseil.

Je vous en souhaite bonne lecture ; n’hésitez pas à nous faire connaître votre opinion.

 

Projet de loi 141: les conseils d’administration doivent demeurer responsables

 

Résultats de recherche d'images pour « projet de loi 141 »
Projet de loi 141
 

Dans son projet de loi visant principalement à améliorer l’encadrement du secteur financier, le ministre des Finances du Québec a mis la barre haute en proposant quelque 2000 modifications législatives touchant l’ensemble des institutions d’assurance, de dépôts et de fiducie relevant de l’État québécois.

Le texte de 488 pages soulèvera de nombreuses questions, notamment chez les intermédiaires financiers lors de la commission parlementaire des 16 et 17 janvier prochains. En tant qu’experts en gouvernance, nous sommes très préoccupés par certains articles du projet de loi qui enlèvent aux conseils d’administration des institutions des pouvoirs qui leur sont reconnus par la loi québécoise et canadienne sur les sociétés par actions. De plus, certaines propositions du projet de loi risquent de semer la confusion quant au devoir de loyauté des membres du conseil envers l’organisation.

La gouvernance des sociétés repose sur une pierre angulaire : le conseil d’administration, qui tire sa légitimité et sa crédibilité de son élection par les membres, les actionnaires ou les sociétaires de l’organisation. Il est l’ultime organe décisionnel, l’instance responsable de l’imputabilité et de la reddition de comptes. Tous les comités du conseil créés à des fins spécifiques sont consultatifs pour le conseil.

Arrangements insoutenables

De façon sans précédent, le projet de loi 141 impose aux conseils d’administration l’obligation de « confier à certains administrateurs qu’il désigne ou à un comité de ceux-ci les responsabilités de veiller au respect des saines pratiques commerciales et des pratiques de gestion saine et prudente et à la détection des situations qui leur sont contraires ».

À quelles informations ce « comité » aurait-il accès, lesquelles ne seraient pas connues d’un comité d’audit normal ? En quoi cette responsabilité dévolue à un nouveau comité est-elle différente de la responsabilité qui devrait incomber au comité d’audit ?

Le projet de loi stipule que dès que le comité prévu prend connaissance d’une situation qui entraîne une détérioration de la situation financière (un fait qui aurait échappé au comité d’audit ?), qui est contraire aux pratiques de gestion saine et prudente ou qui est contraire aux saines pratiques commerciales, il doit en aviser le conseil d’administration par écrit. Le conseil d’administration doit alors voir à remédier promptement à la situation. Si la situation mentionnée à cet avis n’a pas été corrigée selon le jugement de l’administrateur ou du comité, celui-ci doit transmettre à l’Autorité une copie de cet avis.

Le conseil d’administration pourrait, soudainement et sans avoir été prévenu, apprendre que l’AMF frappe à la porte de l’institution parce que certains de leurs membres sont d’avis que le conseil dans son ensemble n’a pas corrigé à leur satisfaction certaines situations jugées inquiétantes.

Ces nouveaux arrangements de gouvernance sont insoutenables. Ils créent une classe d’administrateurs devant agir comme chiens de garde du conseil et comme délateurs des autres membres du conseil. Une telle gouvernance rendrait impossibles la nécessaire collégialité et l’égalité entre les membres d’un même conseil.

Cette forme de gouvernance, inédite et sans précédent, soulève la question fondamentale de la confiance dont doit jouir un conseil quant à sa capacité et à sa volonté de corriger d’éventuelles situations préoccupantes.

Comité d’éthique

Le projet de loi 141 semble présumer qu’un comportement éthique requiert la création d’un comité d’éthique. Ce comité devra veiller à l’adoption de règles de comportement et de déontologie, lesquelles seront transmises à l’AMF. Le comité avise, par écrit et sans délai, le conseil d’administration de tout manquement à celles-ci.

Le projet de loi 141 obligera le comité d’éthique à transmettre annuellement à l’Autorité des marchés un rapport de ses activités, incluant la liste des situations de conflit d’intérêts, les mesures prises pour veiller à l’application des règles et les manquements observés. Le texte de ce projet de loi devrait plutôt se lire ainsi : « Le Comité d’éthique soumet son rapport annuel au conseil d’administration, qui en fait parvenir copie à l’AMF dans les deux mois suivant la clôture de l’exercice. »

Encore une fois, c’est vraiment mal comprendre le travail des comités que d’imputer à ceux-ci des responsabilités « décisionnelles » qui ne devraient relever que du conseil dans son ensemble.

L’ensemble des textes législatifs sur la gouvernance des organisations ne laisse place à aucune ambiguïté : la loyauté d’un membre du conseil est d’abord envers son organisme. Or, le projet de loi instaure un mécanisme de dénonciation auprès de l’AMF. Insatisfait d’une décision de ses collègues ou de leur réaction à une situation donnée, un administrateur devrait ainsi renoncer à son devoir de loyauté et de confidentialité pour choisir la route de la dénonciation en solo.

L’administrateur ne devrait pas se prévaloir de ce régime de dénonciation, mais livrer bataille dans le cadre prévu à cette fin : le conseil. Agir autrement est ouvrir la porte à des manœuvres douteuses qui mineront la cohésion et la solidarité nécessaire au sein de l’équipe du CA. Si la majorité des administrateurs ne partagent pas l’avis de ce valeureux membre, celui-ci pourra démissionner du conseil en informant l’Autorité des motifs de sa démission, comme l’exige le projet de loi 141.

Le projet de loi 141 doit être amendé pour conserver aux conseils d’administration l’entière responsabilité du fonctionnement de la bonne gouvernance des organismes visés par le projet de loi.

Les CA sont composés de plusieurs comités qui, ensemble, accomplissent l’essentiel des devoirs de fiduciaire


Il est maintenant bien établi que les conseils d’administration comptent au moins trois comités composés de membres du conseil qui se rapportent au CA : le comité d’audit, le comité des ressources humaines et le comité de gouvernance.

Les comités sont, en général, formés d’environ trois membres du conseil ; ils sont présidés par un administrateur et ils se réunissent aussi souvent que le CA lui-même.

Il est évident qu’une grande partie du travail des administrateurs du conseil se fait par l’intermédiaire des comités mis en place par le CA.

L’article ci-dessous, publié par Steve W. Klemash*, Kellie C. et Jamie Smith, provient d’une publication du Centre de la gouvernance EY. Les auteurs présentent les résultats d’une enquête sur les autres comités mis en place par les CA des entreprises du S&P 500, en sus des trois comités statutaires.

Les résultats sont  présentés succinctement dans le document qui suit. Ainsi, il ressort que :

(1) la plupart des autres comités sont les comités exécutifs et les comités des finances

(2) la nature du secteur industriel a une grande importance sur le type de comité additionnel mis en place

(3) les comités sur la gestion des risques et la technologie sont aussi présents dans environ 10 % des cas

(4) la plupart des nouveaux comités sont en lien avec la veille de la cybersécurité, la transformation numérique et les technologies de l’information.

Je vous invite à prendre connaissance des détails dans le résumé ci-dessous.

Bonne lecture !

 

A Fresh Look at Board Committees

 

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In this age of innovation and transformation, today’s board members face increasingly complex challenges in overseeing corporate culture, strategy and risk oversight.

The digital revolution has facilitated radical changes in business models and made cybersecurity a strategic business imperative. Intangible assets have become a primary driver of long-term value, making the talent agenda mission-critical. Companies are adapting to changes in the labor market, digitization and automation, and a growing spotlight on corporate values and purpose. And all of this is occurring against a backdrop of rising geopolitical tensions and trade policy challenges.

We have tracked board structures since 2013, examining how S&P 500 companies are using board committee structure to address oversight needs. This post is based on a review of the 418 proxy statements filed as of 15 May 2018. The same set of companies in 2018 and 2013 were examined to provide consistency in the review.

 

Findings

 

Amid sustained and unprecedented change, board committee structures stayed largely the same over the past six years. Across all industries, boards primarily rely on the three “key” committees generally required by the stock exchanges—audit, compensation, and nominating and governance. [1] Bank holding companies (BHCs) of a certain size, whether public or privately held, are required to also have separate risk committees—a “fourth key committee” so to speak. [2] Above and beyond these committees, institutions typically have one additional standing board committee (“additional committee”) (usually an executive or finance committee). During 2013-18, the portion of companies with at least one additional committee grew marginally from 74% to 76%, and the average number of additional committees remained largely consistent.

The most common committees remained the same. More than one-third of S&P 500 companies had an executive or finance committee. Use of executive committees declined slightly from 38% to 36%, while finance committees held steady at around 36%. Other committees were much less common.

Industry matters. Financial, telecommunications and utilities companies average two or more additional committees. Health care, consumer staples, industrials, consumer discretionary and materials average one to two. Energy, real estate and technology companies average less than one.

Few additional committees focus on emerging risk and innovation. Compliance, risk and technology committees grew marginally. In 2018, the overall percentage of S&P 500 companies with these committees remained low at 16%, 11% and 7%, respectively. Other types of committees largely held steady or declined.

A variety of additional committees oversee technology matters. Ten percent of companies assigned oversight of cybersecurity, digital transformation and information technology to an additional committee. These were typically technology, risk or compliance committees.

 

Our perspective

 

Today’s boards are navigating a sustained, highly disruptive and competitive environment. Board agendas have become increasingly packed with complex and evolving oversight topics, and key committee responsibilities have stretched beyond their core purview. Challenging the committee structure as part of the board assessment process may help the board determine the most effective oversight approach based on the company’s unique circumstances.

The ideal board committee structure is appropriate for the company’s specific needs and the board’s unique culture, is forward-looking, and supports the board’s ability to think strategically and comprehensively about key elements of the company business.

 

A closer look at the big banks

 

Large BHCs are unusual in that they are required to have a board- level risk committee. For these firms, other common additional committees included:

Questions for the board to consider

 

Is the board’s committee structure appropriate to forward-looking board priorities and company specific needs?

Is the board size and composition adaptable to changing committee responsibilities as needed based on the company’s evolving oversight needs?

Is the board familiar with how peer companies are addressing board oversight responsibilities?

Do assessments of board effectiveness reveal possible pressure points that might be resolved with changes in committee structure?

As committees assess their own effectiveness and performance, is their capacity, workload and areas of expertise part of that assessment?

As new directors join the board and bring new areas of expertise, does the board consider whether the current committee structure fully leverages those new director skills?

___________________________________________________

Endnotes

1Subject to certain exemptions, companies listed on the NYSE or NASDAQ must have independent audit, compensation and nominating/corporate governance committees. As an alternative to a nominating/corporate governance committee, director nominees may be selected by a majority of the independent directors for NASDAQ-listed companies.(go back)

2The Federal Reserve’s Enhanced Prudential Standards require separate risk committees for large publicly held US bank holding companies with total consolidated assets of \$10 billion or more.(go back)

________________________________________________________________

*Steve W. Klemash is Americas Leader, Kellie C. Huennekens is Associate Director, and Jamie Smith is Associate Director, at the EY Center for Board Matters. This post is based on their EY publication.

La gouvernance des grandes institutions bancaires européennes au cours des dix années qui ont suivi la crise financière des 2008


Voici un article publié par Lisa Andersson*, directrice de la recherche à Aktis et Stilpon Nestor, paru sur le site du Forum de Harvard Law School, qui brosse un portrait de l’évolution de la gouvernance des grandes institutions bancaires européennes au cours des dix années qui ont suivi la crise financière des 2008.

Je vous invite à prendre connaissance de ce document illustré d’infographies très éclairantes. J’ai reproduit, ci-dessous, l’introduction à l’article.

Si vous avez un intérêt pour la gouvernance dans le milieu bancaire, cet article est pour vous.

Bonne lecture ! Vos commentaires sont les bienvenus.

 

Governance of the 25 Largest European Banks a Decade After the Crisis

 

 

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This summer marked the 10-year anniversary of the start of the global financial crisis. Over the 18 months following August 2007, several bank collapses in the United States, Germany and Britain, culminating with the demise of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 shook the financial system to its core. The interconnectivity of the world’s financial system meant that the repercussions would be felt globally, and on a monumental scale. The US Department of the Treasury has estimated that total household wealth would lose some $19.2 trillion following a publicly-funded government bailout program. Over the last decade governments, regulators, banks and their investors have revamped the financial system and its supervision in order to recover the public subsidy and prevent a similar crash from happening again.

In Europe, politicians and regulators at both the national and European level abandoned the path of deregulation and dramatically increased regulatory requirements and the scope of prudential supervision with an unparalleled focus on governance. The Capital Requirements Directive IV (CRD IV) and the ensuing European Banking Authority (EBA) and European Central Bank (ECB) guidance implied stricter suitability reviews for board members and senior management, along with individual responsibility and in some cases criminal liability of non-executive directors (“NEDs”), as well as strict limits on variable remuneration. Higher regulatory requirements were compounded by the creation of a single supervisor for all systemic Eurozone banks. In many countries, especially the smaller ones, familiarity with supervisors usually allow a larger margin of forbearance and greater tolerance in assuming local sovereign risk. This has since disappeared. New rules and stricter oversight practices in the financial industry have translated into higher governance requirements and expectations for European banks’ boards of directors and senior management. So how do the boards and management committees of the top European banks measure up to their former selves? Data from the 25 largest listed banks [1] in Europe shows that boards today are smaller, work harder, and have a higher level of expertise than a decade ago.

While board sizes are getting smaller, the number of committees supporting the board has consistently grown over the years. This is in part driven by the mandatory separation of the audit and risk committee into two separate committees, but also by a general trend towards establishing more and more committees focusing on regulatory and compliance issues, as well as bank culture, conduct and reputation.

On average, 86% of board membership has been refreshed post-crisis. New board members brought with them greater independence, banking experience and general financial expertise among NEDs, as well as an improved gender balance on the board. In fact, women now comprise on average 34% of top European banks’ board membership, a development largely driven by national initiatives. Another significant change since 2007 is the fact that all the bank boards in the group now conduct regular assessments of the effectiveness of the board, a Capital Requirements Directive IV (CRD IV) requirement. The disclosure of this process has also improved significantly, with 48% of banks now disclosing specific challenges identified and actions taken to address these.

The role of a bank NED has evolved post-crisis. With increased scrutiny, boards of financial institutions are now required to adopt a more hands-on approach, requiring a greater time-commitment by their non-executive directors. On average, the workload per director has increased by over 30% compared to pre-crisis levels.

In contrast to the board, the size of management committees has grown in recent years. The top management committee now tend to include more heads of functions, reflected by the increased presence of the Chief Risk Officer, Head of Compliance and Head of Legal. Despite the positive development of a better gender balance on the board of directors, the number of women on the highest management committee has not increased significantly over the last ten years. This may suggest that the “top-down” approach of board quotas adopted in many European countries might be less than effective in promoting gender equality.


*Lisa Andersson is Head of Research of Aktis and Stilpon Nestor is Managing Director and Senior Advisor at Nestor Advisors. This post is based on their recent Nestor Advisors/Aktis publication.

 

La souveraineté des conseils d’administration


Je partage avec vous une excellente prise de position d’Yvan Allaire et de Michel Nadeau, respectivement président et directeur général de l’Institut de la gouvernance (IGOPP), que j’appuie totalement. Cet article a été publié dans Le Devoir du 6 janvier 2018.

Il est impératif que le conseil d’administration, qui est le fiduciaire des parties intéressées, conserve son rôle de gardien de la bonne gouvernance des organisations. Les règles de gouvernance sont fondées sur le fait que le conseil d’administration est l’instance souveraine.

Comme le disent clairement les auteurs : « La gouvernance des sociétés repose sur une pierre angulaire : le conseil d’administration, qui tire sa légitimité et sa crédibilité de son élection par les membres, les actionnaires ou les sociétaires de l’organisation. Il est l’ultime organe décisionnel, l’instance responsable de l’imputabilité et de la reddition de comptes. Tous les comités du conseil créés à des fins spécifiques sont consultatifs pour le conseil ».

Cet article est court et précis ; il met l’accent sur certaines caractéristiques du projet de loi 141 qui mine la légitimité du conseil d’administration et qui sont potentiellement dommageable pour la cohésion et la responsabilisation des membres du conseil.

Je vous en souhaite bonne lecture ; n’hésitez pas à nous faire connaître votre opinion.

 

Projet de loi 141: les conseils d’administration doivent demeurer responsables

 

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Projet de loi 141

 

 

Dans son projet de loi visant principalement à améliorer l’encadrement du secteur financier, le ministre des Finances du Québec a mis la barre haute en proposant quelque 2000 modifications législatives touchant l’ensemble des institutions d’assurance, de dépôts et de fiducie relevant de l’État québécois.

Le texte de 488 pages soulèvera de nombreuses questions, notamment chez les intermédiaires financiers lors de la commission parlementaire des 16 et 17 janvier prochains. En tant qu’experts en gouvernance, nous sommes très préoccupés par certains articles du projet de loi qui enlèvent aux conseils d’administration des institutions des pouvoirs qui leur sont reconnus par la loi québécoise et canadienne sur les sociétés par actions. De plus, certaines propositions du projet de loi risquent de semer la confusion quant au devoir de loyauté des membres du conseil envers l’organisation.

La gouvernance des sociétés repose sur une pierre angulaire : le conseil d’administration, qui tire sa légitimité et sa crédibilité de son élection par les membres, les actionnaires ou les sociétaires de l’organisation. Il est l’ultime organe décisionnel, l’instance responsable de l’imputabilité et de la reddition de comptes. Tous les comités du conseil créés à des fins spécifiques sont consultatifs pour le conseil.

Arrangements insoutenables

De façon sans précédent, le projet de loi 141 impose aux conseils d’administration l’obligation de « confier à certains administrateurs qu’il désigne ou à un comité de ceux-ci les responsabilités de veiller au respect des saines pratiques commerciales et des pratiques de gestion saine et prudente et à la détection des situations qui leur sont contraires ».

À quelles informations ce « comité » aurait-il accès, lesquelles ne seraient pas connues d’un comité d’audit normal ? En quoi cette responsabilité dévolue à un nouveau comité est-elle différente de la responsabilité qui devrait incomber au comité d’audit ?

Le projet de loi stipule que dès que le comité prévu prend connaissance d’une situation qui entraîne une détérioration de la situation financière (un fait qui aurait échappé au comité d’audit ?), qui est contraire aux pratiques de gestion saine et prudente ou qui est contraire aux saines pratiques commerciales, il doit en aviser le conseil d’administration par écrit. Le conseil d’administration doit alors voir à remédier promptement à la situation. Si la situation mentionnée à cet avis n’a pas été corrigée selon le jugement de l’administrateur ou du comité, celui-ci doit transmettre à l’Autorité une copie de cet avis.

Le conseil d’administration pourrait, soudainement et sans avoir été prévenu, apprendre que l’AMF frappe à la porte de l’institution parce que certains de leurs membres sont d’avis que le conseil dans son ensemble n’a pas corrigé à leur satisfaction certaines situations jugées inquiétantes.

Ces nouveaux arrangements de gouvernance sont insoutenables. Ils créent une classe d’administrateurs devant agir comme chiens de garde du conseil et comme délateurs des autres membres du conseil. Une telle gouvernance rendrait impossibles la nécessaire collégialité et l’égalité entre les membres d’un même conseil.

Cette forme de gouvernance, inédite et sans précédent, soulève la question fondamentale de la confiance dont doit jouir un conseil quant à sa capacité et à sa volonté de corriger d’éventuelles situations préoccupantes.

Comité d’éthique

Le projet de loi 141 semble présumer qu’un comportement éthique requiert la création d’un comité d’éthique. Ce comité devra veiller à l’adoption de règles de comportement et de déontologie, lesquelles seront transmises à l’AMF. Le comité avise, par écrit et sans délai, le conseil d’administration de tout manquement à celles-ci.

Le projet de loi 141 obligera le comité d’éthique à transmettre annuellement à l’Autorité des marchés un rapport de ses activités, incluant la liste des situations de conflit d’intérêts, les mesures prises pour veiller à l’application des règles et les manquements observés. Le texte de ce projet de loi devrait plutôt se lire ainsi : « Le Comité d’éthique soumet son rapport annuel au conseil d’administration, qui en fait parvenir copie à l’AMF dans les deux mois suivant la clôture de l’exercice. »

Encore une fois, c’est vraiment mal comprendre le travail des comités que d’imputer à ceux-ci des responsabilités « décisionnelles » qui ne devraient relever que du conseil dans son ensemble.

L’ensemble des textes législatifs sur la gouvernance des organisations ne laisse place à aucune ambiguïté : la loyauté d’un membre du conseil est d’abord envers son organisme. Or, le projet de loi instaure un mécanisme de dénonciation auprès de l’AMF. Insatisfait d’une décision de ses collègues ou de leur réaction à une situation donnée, un administrateur devrait ainsi renoncer à son devoir de loyauté et de confidentialité pour choisir la route de la dénonciation en solo.

L’administrateur ne devrait pas se prévaloir de ce régime de dénonciation, mais livrer bataille dans le cadre prévu à cette fin : le conseil. Agir autrement est ouvrir la porte à des manœuvres douteuses qui mineront la cohésion et la solidarité nécessaire au sein de l’équipe du CA. Si la majorité des administrateurs ne partagent pas l’avis de ce valeureux membre, celui-ci pourra démissionner du conseil en informant l’Autorité des motifs de sa démission, comme l’exige le projet de loi 141.

Le projet de loi 141 doit être amendé pour conserver aux conseils d’administration l’entière responsabilité du fonctionnement de la bonne gouvernance des organismes visés par le projet de loi.

Enquête de Deloitte sur la diversité des conseils d’administration


Il existe une solide unanimité sur l’importance d’accroître la diversité dans les conseils d’administration.

Mike Fucci, président du conseil de Deloitte, nous présente une excellente infographie* sur le sujet.

Voici un sommaire des thèmes traités dans son article, paru dans Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance.

(1) Perception de la diversité dans les conseils d’administration

Les CA sont d’accord avec la nécessité d’une grande diversité

Les leaders perçoivent clairement les bienfaits de la diversité

Cependant, il y a peu d’administrateurs qui voient le manque de diversité comme un problème majeur !

(2) Recrutement et pratiques d’évaluation

Les CA s’en remettent trop souvent aux critères traditionnels de sélection des administrateurs (grande expérience de management ou de PDG)

Environ la moitié des organisations qui ont des plans de relève n’ont pas de processus de recrutement comportant des habiletés liées à la diversité

Presque toutes les organisations sont conscientes que les politiques concernant la limitation du nombre de mandats et de l’âge sont nécessaires pour assurer le renouvellement du CA

Cependant, les pratiques utilisées semblent limiter la diversité

(3) Nouveau modèle de gouvernance — la mixtocratie

Atteindre un équilibre entre l’expérience souhaitée et la diversité requise

Nécessité de revoir la notion de risque

Faire la promotion du modèle de diversité

Revoir systématiquement la composition du conseil

Redynamiser la planification de la relève

Avoir des objectifs clairs de diversité

 

L’infographie présentée parle d’elle-même. Bonne lecture !

 

 

2017 Board Diversity Survey

 

 

 

 

 

Part 1. Perceptions of board diversity

 

The findings in this section show that the survey found nearly universal agreement on the need for diverse skill sets and perspectives on the board, and on the potential benefits of diversity.

 

Boards agree on the need for diversity

 

Note, however, that this finding does not reveal where diversity of skill sets and perspectives are needed. Thus, the skills and perspectives could be those of, say, financial or operating or information
technology executives. Such backgrounds would represent diversity of skills and perspectives, but not the demographic diversity that the term “diversity” usually implies.

Demographic diversity remains an essential goal in that gender and racial differences are key determinates of a person’s experiences, attitudes, frame of reference, and point of view.

As the next finding reveals, however, respondents do not see demographic diversity as enough.

 

Board members see diversity as going beyond basic demographics

 

Nine in ten respondents agree that gender and racial diversity alone does not produce the diversity required for an organization to be innovative or disruptive. This may be surprising, given that gender and racial differences are generally seen as contributing to diverse perspectives. Yet those contributions may be tempered if recruiting and selection methods skew toward candidates with the backgrounds and experiences of white males with executive experience.

More to the point, it would be unfortunate if a focus on diversity of skills and perspectives were to undermine or cloud the focus on gender and racial diversity. In fact, typical definitions of board diversity include a demographic component. Deloitte’s 2016 Board Practices Report found that 53 percent of large-cap and 45 percent of mid-cap organizations disclose gender data on their board’s diversity; the respective numbers for racial diversity are, far lower, however: 18 percent and 9 percent. [1]

So, the deeper questions may be these: How does the board go about defining diversity? Does its definition include gender and racial factors? Does it also include factors such as skills, experiences, and perspectives? Will the board’s practices enable it to achieve diversity along these various lines?

Before turning to practices, we consider the potential benefits of diversity.

 

Leaders overwhelmingly perceive benefits in diversity

 


Taken at face value, these answers indicate that boards believe in diversity, however they go about defining it, for business reasons and not just for its own sake or reasons of social responsibility.

 

…Yet relatively few see a lack of diversity as a top problem

 

The foregoing findings show that leaders believe that boards need greater diversity of skills and perspectives, that demographic diversity alone may not produce that diversity, and that diversity is seen as beneficial in managing innovation, disruption, and business performance. Yet, somewhat surprisingly, few respondents cited a lack of diversity as a top problem.

So, while 95 percent of respondents agree that their board needs to seek out more candidates with diverse skills and perspectives, far smaller percentages cite lack of diversity as among the top problems they face in candidate recruitment or selection.

Does this reflect contentment with current board composition and acceptance of the status quo?

Perhaps, or perhaps not.

However, we can say that many board recruitment and selection practices remain very traditional.

 

Part 2. Recruitment and evaluation practices

 

Board recruitment practices have arguably not kept pace with the desire and need for greater board diversity.

 

Boards still rely on traditional candidate criteria

 

In addition, 81 percent of respondents would expect multiple board members to see a candidate without executive experience as unqualified to serve on the board.

The low percentage of women candidates (16 percent) is striking, as is that of racial minorities (19 percent). However, that may be a logical outcome of a process favoring selecting candidates with board experience—who historically have tended to be white and male.

So, in the recruitment process, board members are often seeking people who tend to be like themselves—and like management. Such a process may help to reinforce a lack of diversity in perspectives and experiences, as well as (in most companies) in gender and race.

Relying on resumes, which reflect organizational and educational experience, helps to reinforce traditional patterns of board composition.

 

About half of organizations have processes focused on diverse skills and disruptive views

 

Given all their other responsibilities, many boards understandably rely on existing recruitment tools and processes. They use resumes, their networks, and executive recruiters—all of which tend to generate results very similar to past results.

However, our current disruptive environment likely calls for more creative approaches to reaching diverse candidates. Some organizations have taken steps to address these needs.

 

Our survey did not assess the nature or extent of the processes for recruiting candidates with diverse skills or perspectives, indicating an area for further investigation.

 

Policies affecting board refreshment

 

Policies, as well as processes, can affect board composition. Low turnover on boards can not only hinder movement toward greater diversity but also lead to myopic views of operations or impaired ability to oversee evolving strategies and risks.

While board members expressed agreement with term and age limits, the latter are far more common. Our separate 2016 Board Practices Report found that 81 percent of large-cap and 74 percent of mid-cap companies have age limits, but only 5 percent and 6 percent, respectively, have term limits. [2] This evidences a large gap between agreement with term limits as an idea and term limits as a practice.

 

Current practices tend to limit diversity

 

Deloitte’s 2016 Board Practices Report also found that 84 percent of large-cap and 90 percent of mid-cap organizations most often rely on current directors’ recommendations of candidates. [3] That same study found that 68 percent and 79 percent, respectively, use a recruiting firm when needed, and that 62 percent and 79 percent use a board skills matrix or similar tool.

Relying on current directors’ recommendations will generally produce candidates much like those directors. Recruiting firms can be valuable, but tend to adopt the client’s view of diversity. Tools such as board competency matrices generally do not account for an organization’s strategy, nor do they provide a very nuanced view of individual board members’ experiences and capabilities. In other words, bringing people with diverse skills, perspectives, and experiences to the board—as well as women and racial and ethnic minorities—requires more robust processes than those currently used by most boards.

 

Part 3. A path forward—The Mixtocracy Model

 

The term meritocracy describes organizational advancement based upon merit—talents and accomplishments—and aims to combat the nepotism and cronyism that traditionally permeated many businesses. However, too often meritocracy results in mirrortocracy in which all directors bring similar perspectives and approaches to governance, risk management, and other board responsibilities.

A board differs from a position, such as chief executive officer or chief financial officer, in that it is a collection of individuals. A board is a team and, like any other team, it requires people who can fulfill specific roles, contribute different skills and views, and work together to achieve certain goals.

Thus, a board can include nontraditional members who will be balanced out by more traditional ones. Many existing recruiting methods do too little to achieve true diversity. The prevalence of those criteria and methods can repeatedly send boards back to the same talent pool, even in the case of women and minority candidates. For example, Deloitte’s 2016 Board Diversity Census shows that female and black directors are far more likely than white male directors to hold multiple Fortune 500 board seats. [4]

Therefore, organizations should consider institutionalizing a succession planning and recruitment process that more closely aligns to their ideal board composition and diversity goals. Here are three ways to potentially do that:

 Look beyond “the tried and true.” Even when boards account for gender and race, current practices may tend to source candidates with similar views. Succession plans should create seats for those who are truly different, for example someone with no board experience but a strong cybersecurity background or someone who more closely mirrors the customer base.

Take a truly analytical approach. Developing the optimal mix on the board calls for considering risks, opportunities, and markets, as well as customers, employees, and other stakeholders. A data-driven analytics tool that assesses management’s strategies, the board’s needs, and desired director attributes can help define the optimal mix in light of those factors.

Use more sophisticated criteria. Look beyond resumes and check-the-box approaches to recruiting women, minorities, and those with the right title. Surface-level diversity will not necessarily generate varying perspectives and innovative responses to disruption. Deep inquiry into a candidate’s outlook, experience, and fit can take the board beyond standard criteria, while prompting the board to more fully consider women and minority candidates—that is, to not see them mainly as women and minority candidates.

To construct and maintain a board that can meet evolving governance, advisory, and risk oversight needs, leaders should also consider the following steps.

 

Rethink risk

 

Digitalization continues to disrupt the business landscape. The ability to not only respond to disruption, but to proactively disrupt, has commonly become a must. Yet boards have historically focused on loss prevention rather than value creation. Every board should ask itself who best can help in ascertaining that management is taking the right risks to innovate and win in the marketplace. The more diversity of thought, perspectives, experiences, and skills a board collectively possesses, the better it can oversee moves into riskier territory in an informed and useful way—and to assist management in making bold decisions that are likely to pay off.

 

Elevate diversity

 

Current definitions of board diversity tend to focus on at-birth traits, such as gender and race. While such diversity is essential, it may promote a check-the-box approach to gender and racial diversity. Boards that include those traits and also enrich them by considering differences gained through employment paths, industry experiences, educational, artistic, and cultural endeavors, international living, and government, military, and other service will more likely achieve a true mix of perspectives
and capabilities.

They may also develop a more holistic vision of gender and racial diversity. After all, woman and minority board members do not want to be “women and minority board members”—they want to be board members. In other words, this approach should aim to generate a fuller view of candidates and board members, as well as more diversity of skills and perspectives and gender and race.

 

Retool board composition

 

Current tools for achieving an optimal mix of directors can generally be classified as simplistic, generic, and outdated. They often help in organizing information, but provide little to no support in identifying strategic needs and aligning a board’s skills, perspectives, and experiences with those needs.

Successful board composition typically demands analysis of data on organizational strategies, customer demographics, industry disruption, and market trends to identify gaps and opportunities. A board should consider not only individual member’s profiles but also assess the board as one working body to ascertain that complementary characteristics and capabilities are in place or can be put in place.

A tool to support this analysis should be the initial input into the succession planning and recruitment process. It should also be used in ongoing assessments to help ensure that the board equals a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.

 

Revitalize succession planning

 

The process of filling an open board position may be seen as similar to that for recruiting C-suite candidates. But that would ignore the fact that the board is a collection of individuals rather than a single role. An approach geared to creating a mixtocracy can strengthen the board by combining individual differences in a deliberate manner. Differing gender and ethnic backgrounds as well as skills, perspectives, and experiences can make for more rigorous, far-reaching, and thought-provoking discussions, inquiries, and challenges. This can enable the board to provide a more effective counterbalance to management as well as better support in areas such as innovation, disruption, and assessments of strategies, decisions, and underlying assumptions.

In plans for board succession, the uniqueness of thought an individual will bring to the table can be as important as his or her more ostensible characteristics and accomplishments.

 

Toward greater board diversity

 

Given its responsibility to provide guidance on strategy, oversight of risk, governance of practices, and protection of shareholders’ interests, the board arguably has a greater need for diversity than the C-suite, where diversity also enriches management. The path forward remains long, but it is becoming increasing clear as boards continue to work toward achieving greater diversity on multiple fronts.

____________________________________

Endnotes

1 2016 Boards Practices Report – A transparent look at the work of the board. Tenth edition, 2017, Society for Corporate Governance and Deloitte Development LLC.(go back)

2 ibid.(go back)

3 ibid.(go back)

4 Missing Pieces Report: The 2016 Board Diversity Census of Women and Minorities on Fortune 500 Boards, 2017, Deloitte Development LLC.(go back)


*The 2017 board diversity survey was conducted in spring 2017 among 300 board members and C-suite executives at U.S. companies with at least $50 million in annual revenue and at least 1,000 employees. Conducted by Wakefield Research via an email invitation and online questionnaire, the survey sought to ascertain respondents’ perspectives on board diversity and their organizations’ criteria and practices for recruiting and selecting board members. The margin of error for this study is +/- 5.7 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

Réflexions sur les bénéfices d’une solide culture organisationnelle


Quels sont les bénéfices d’une solide culture organisationnelle ?

C’est précisément la question abordée par William C. Dudley, président et CEO de la Federal Reserve Bank de New York, dans une allocution présentée à la Banking Standards Board de Londres.

Dans sa présentation, il évoque trois éléments fondamentaux pour l’amélioration de la culture organisationnelle des entreprises du secteur financier :

 

  1. Définir la raison d’être et énoncer des objectifs clairs puisque ceux-ci sont nécessaires à l’évaluation de la performance ;
  2. Mesurer la performance de la firme et la comparer aux autres du même secteur ;
  3. S’assurer que les mesures incitatives mènent à des comportements en lien avec les buts que l’organisation veut atteindre.

 

Selon M. Dudley, il y a plusieurs avantages à intégrer des pratiques de bonne culture dans la gestion de l’entreprise. Il présente clairement les nombreux bénéfices à retirer lorsque l’organisation a une saine culture.

Vous trouverez, ci-dessous, les principales raisons pour lesquelles il est important de se soucier de cette dimension à long terme. Je n’avais encore jamais vu ces raisons énoncées aussi explicitement dans un texte.

L’article a paru aujourd’hui sur le site de la Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance.

Bonne lecture !

 

Résultats de recherche d'images pour « culture organisationnelle d'une entreprise »
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Reforming Culture for the Long Term

 

I am convinced that a good or ethical culture that is reflected in your firm’s strategy, decision-making processes, and products is also in your economic best interest, for a number of reasons:

Good culture means fewer incidents of misconduct, which leads to lower internal monitoring costs.

Good culture means that employees speak up so that problems get early attention and tend to stay small. Smaller problems lead to less reputational harm and damage to franchise value. And, habits of speaking up lead to better exchanges of ideas—a hallmark of successful organizations.

Good culture means greater credibility with prosecutors and regulators—and fewer and lower fines.

Good culture helps to attract and retain good talent. This creates a virtuous circle of higher performance and greater innovation, and less pressure to cut ethical corners to generate the returns necessary to stay in business.

Good culture builds a strong organizational story that is a source of pride and that can be passed along through generations of employees. It is also attractive to clients.

Good culture helps to rebuild public trust in finance, which could, in turn, lead to a lower burden imposed by regulation over time. Regulation and compliance are expensive substitutes for good stewardship.

Good culture is, in short, a necessary condition for the long-term success of individual firms. Therefore, members of the industry must be good stewards and should seek to make progress on reforming culture in the near term.

Le démantèlement de la réglementation « Dodd-Frank Act » est-il souhaitable du point de vue de la bonne gouvernance ?


Plusieurs experts de la gouvernance des sociétés cotées se demandent ce qu’il adviendra de la législation Dodd-Frank Act, sachant que Donald Trump a promis d’effectuer un démantèlement presque total de cette réglementation qui a été mise en place à la suite de la crise financière de 2007-2008.

L’article de Gregg Gelzinis* du Center for American Progress publié sur le site de Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance, tente de faire la lumière sur une proposition gouvernementale appelée Financial CHOICE Act ou FCA.

L’auteur montre que les raisons invoquées pour modifier la réforme Dodd-Frank Act ne tiennent pas la route. Voici un extrait de la conclusion.

The question remains: What is the problem President Trump and his allies in Congress are trying to solve? Lending is up. Bank profits are up. Consumer credit costs are down. The economy is steadily improving.

Yes, much more needs to be done to make the economy work for hard-working Americans, but financial deregulation is not the path to that end. [16]

In fact, it is a path toward exactly the opposite: booms and busts that leave taxpayers holding the bag for Wall Street’s excesses, greater concentration of economic power and less accountability for wrongdoing that harms ordinary consumers and investors, and major changes to financial regulation and monetary policy that would damage the real economy. Now that is a problem.

L’avenir nous dira ce que nous réservent les « nouvelles » règles de gouvernance prônées par la nouvelle administration américaine.

Évidemment, la réglementation canadienne, toujours très liée à celle de la SEC, devra s’ajuster, sans trop de heurts !

Bonne lecture ! Vos commentaires sont appréciés des lecteurs.

 

President Trump’s Dangerous CHOICE

 

Résultats de recherche d'images pour « dodd frank law »

 

During his campaign, Donald Trump promised a near-dismantling of the Dodd-Frank Act, the core piece of financial reform legislation enacted following the 2007-2008 financial crisis. [1] He doubled down on that promise once in office, vowing to both “do a big number” on and give “a very major haircut” to Dodd-Frank. [2] In early February, he took the first step in fulfilling this dangerous promise by signing an executive order directing U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin to conduct a review of Dodd-Frank. [3] Per the executive order, Secretary Mnuchin will present the findings in early June. [4] While the country waits for President Trump’s plan, it is useful to analyze one prominent way Trump and Congress might choose to gut financial reform—through the Financial CHOICE Act, or FCA. [5]

Introduced in the last Congress by U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) and expected to be reintroduced in the coming weeks, the Financial CHOICE Act offers a blueprint for how Trump might view these issues. During the presidential campaign, Rep. Hensarling briefed Trump on his ideas regarding financial deregulation and was reportedly on Trump’s short list for treasury secretary. [6] The FCA would deregulate the financial industry and put the U.S. economy in the same perilous position it was in right before the 2007–2008 financial crisis. The precrisis regime of weak regulation and little oversight created an environment of unchecked financial sector risk and widespread predatory consumer practices, which precipitated the Great Recession and brought the U.S. economy to the brink of collapse. And the argument repeated by President Trump and other advocates of financial deregulatory proposals—that bank lending has been crushed under the weight of financial regulations over the past six years—has been thoroughly debunked by bank lending data. [7]

Before delving into the specifics of the Financial CHOICE Act, it is helpful to put Rep. Hensarling’s deregulatory efforts in context. To justify dismantling financial reform, President Trump and his congressional allies know that they must outline a problem. President Trump argues that the main problem with financial reform is bank lending. He believes that banks are not making enough loans due to the burdens of Dodd-Frank. What is his evidence? Nothing more than anecdotal remarks that his friends cannot get loans. [8] As Figure 1 demonstrates, a lack of loans is simply not the case. Overall lending and business lending in particular, has increased significantly since the financial crisis and the passage of Dodd-Frank. Moreover, credit card lending, auto lending, and mortgage lending have increased since 2010, when Dodd-Frank was passed. [9] Bank profits are also higher than ever. [10]

 

 

Chairman Hensarling makes similar arguments about the perceived unavailability of credit, adding that financial reform has not encouraged economic growth and has hurt community banks. [11] Again, the data contradict these charges. Figure 2 highlights the steady economic growth the country experienced under President Barack Obama. And while the scars of the devastating Great Recession remain, the financial reforms put in place to prevent the recurrence of exactly that kind of economic catastrophe have not damaged growth. Indeed, since the end of the financial crisis and the passage of Dodd-Frank, community bank lending and profitability are both up. [12] It is fair to say that the number of community banks has declined over time. This trend, however, started in the 1980s and is caused by economies of scale, technology, and long-running trends toward banking deregulation, as well as other factors—not the 2010 passage of the Dodd-Frank Act. [13]

 

 

Hensarling presents his approach as a moderate adjustment to Dodd-Frank, but in reality it is a thorough demolition of financial reform. The complete publication (available here) analyzes how Hensarling’s approach erodes the financial stability safeguards that the real economy needs to thrive, from mitigation of systemic risk to financial sector accountability and consumer protection. It also explains how the bill further concentrates—and makes even more unaccountable—economic power in the hands of those that will serve their own interests at the expense of the real economy. Finally, the report details how the FCA eliminates the consumer and investor protections that guard against the predatory financial practices that wreaked havoc on consumers and investors prior to the financial crisis.

It is necessary to note that just about every provision in the report could fit under the rubric of financial stability safeguards. For example, consumer financial protection protects ordinary consumers from abuses and the broader financial system from the proliferation of dangerous consumer loans that can bring down entire firms and markets. Similarly, the Volcker Rule is a key bulwark against the high-risk bets that brought down major firms in 2008, and yet it also aims to reorient large bank trading toward real economy-serving purposes. The report discusses certain provisions under one section rather than another should not be taken as a substantive comment on the merit or usefulness of the provision to financial stability. The report’s different sections reflect an effort to highlight how the Dodd-Frank Act and financial reform yield a broad array of public benefits. Similarthe report highlights examples of broader themes in the FCA rather than focusing on minute details: Failure to discuss any particular provision should not be read as a substantive judgment regarding its relative merits.

The report is based on the version of the Financial CHOICE Act released in September 2016, as well as a memo outlining this year’s planned changes to that version. [14] A new version, which may have some further modifications, is expected to be released in the coming weeks.

Financial reform enacted through the Dodd-Frank Act has made a lot of necessary progress since the crisis. U.S. banks have more substantial loss-absorbing capital cushions, increasingly rely on stable sources of funding, undergo rigorous stress testing, and plan for their orderly failure. President Trump’s intent to dismantle these reforms only helps Wall Street’s bottom line—ignoring the memory of every family who lost their home, every worker who lost his or her job, and every consumer who was peddled a toxic financial product. [15]

The question remains: What is the problem President Trump and his allies in Congress are trying to solve? Lending is up. Bank profits are up. Consumer credit costs are down. The economy is steadily improving. Yes, much more needs to be done to make the economy work for hard-working Americans, but financial deregulation is not the path to that end. [16] In fact, it is a path toward exactly the opposite: booms and busts that leave taxpayers holding the bag for Wall Street’s excesses, greater concentration of economic power and less accountability for wrongdoing that harms ordinary consumers and investors, and major changes to financial regulation and monetary policy that would damage the real economy. Now that is a problem.

The complete publication, including footnotes, is available here.

Endnotes

1Billy House and Kevin Cirilli, “Trump’s Dodd-Frank Plan Will Be Early Test of Republican Unity,” Bloomberg, May 19, 2016, available at https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-05-19/trump-s-dodd-frank-plan-will-be-early-test-of-republican-unity. (go back)

2Glenn Thrush, “Trump Vows to Dismantle Dodd-Frank ‘Disaster,’” The New York Times, January 30, 2017, available at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/30/us/politics/trump-dodd-frank-regulations.html?_r=0; Jessica Dye, “Trump vows ‘major haircut’ for Dodd-Frank,” Financial Times, April 4, 2017, available at https://www.ft.com/content/fb08a355-f7fc-3021-8c92-d94af9a2f35b. (go back)

3Executive Order no. 13,772, Code of Federal Regulations (2017), available at https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/02/03/presidential-executive-order-core-principles-regulating-united-states. (go back)

4Ibid. (go back)

5Financial CHOICE Act of 2016, H. Rept. 5983, 114 Cong. 2 sess. (Government Printing Office, 2016), available at https://www.congress.gov/114/bills/hr5983/BILLS-114hr5983rh.pdf. (go back)

6Donna Borak, “Donald Trump, Jeb Hensarling Meet on Dodd-Frank Alternative,” The Wall Street Journal, June 7, 2016, available at https://www.wsj.com/articles/donald-trump-jeb-hensarling-meet-on-dodd-frank-alternative-1465335535; Damien Palette, Ryan Tracy, and Michael C. Bender, “Trump Team Considering Rep. Jeb Hensarling as Treasury Secretary,” The Wall Street Journal, November 10, 2016, available at https://www.wsj.com/articles/donald-trump-considering-rep-jeb-hensarling-as-treasury-secretary-1478812583. (go back)

7Jim Puzzanghera, “Trump says businesses can’t borrow because of Dodd-Frank. The numbers tell another story,” Los Angeles Times, February 26, 2017, available at http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-trump-bank-loans-20170226-story.html; Matt Egan, “Banks are lending a ton, despite Trump’s claims,” CNN Money, February 13, 2017, available at http://money.cnn.com/2017/02/13/investing/bank-business-lending-dodd-frank-trump/. (go back)

8Zeke Faux, Yalman Onaran, and Jennifer Surane, “Trump Cites Friends to Say Banks Aren’t Making Loans. They Are.,” Bloomberg, February 4, 2017, available at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-02-04/trump-cites-friends-to-say-banks-aren-t-making-loans-they-are. (go back)

9Kate Berry, “Four myths in the battle over Dodd-Frank,” American Banker, March 10, 2017, available at https://www.americanbanker.com/news/four-myths-in-the-battle-over-dodd-frank. (go back)

10Matt Egan, “American bank profits are higher than ever,” CNN Money, March 3, 2017, available at http://money.cnn.com/2017/03/03/investing/bank-profits-record-high-dodd-frank/. (go back)

11Jeb Hensarling, “After Five Years, Dodd-Frank Is a Failure,” The Wall Street Journal, July 19, 2015, available at https://www.wsj.com/articles/after-five-years-dodd-frank-is-a-failure-1437342607. (go back)

12Gregg Gelzinis and others, “The Importance of Dodd-Frank, in 6 Charts,” Center for American Progress, March 27, 2017, available at https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/economy/news/2017/03/27/429256/importance-dodd-frank-6-charts/. (go back)

13Ibid. (go back)

14Ylan Mui, “Memo from a key congressman outlines plan to gut Dodd-Frank bank rules,” CNBC, February 9, 2017, available at http://www.cnbc.com/2017/02/09/dodd-frank-hensarling-memo-reveals-plan-to-scrap-bank-regulations.html. (go back)

15Wall Street is not monolithic, and firms may have differing views on the provisions of the Financial CHOICE Act, but on the whole, this agenda is clearly aligned with the interests of financial institutions and not the American public.

_______________________________________

*Gregg Gelzinis is a Special Assistant for the Economic Policy team at the Center for American Progress. This post is based on a Center for American Progress publication by Mr. Gelzinis, Ethan GurwitzSarah Edelman, and Joe Valenti. Additional posts addressing legal and financial implications of the Trump administration are available here.

Colloque sur la gouvernance et la performance | Une perspective internationale


C’est avec plaisir que je partage l’information et l’invitation à un important colloque intitulé « Gouvernance et performance : une perspective internationale » qui aura lieu à l’Université McGill les 11 et 12 mai 2017.

C’est mon collègue, le professeur Félix ZOGNING NGUIMEYA, Ph.D., Adm.A., qui est le responsable de l’organisation de ce colloque en gouvernance à l’échelle internationale.

À la lecture du programme, vous constaterez que les organisateurs n’ont ménagé aucun effort pour apporter un éclairage très large de ce phénomène.

Ce colloque traite des récents développements et des sujets émergents en matière de gouvernance. La gouvernance, comme thématique transversale, est abordée dans tous ses aspects : gouvernance d’entreprise, gouvernance économique, gouvernance publique, en lien avec la création de valeur ou la performance des organisations, des politiques ou des programmes concernés. Dans chacun des contextes, les travaux souligneront l’effet des mécanismes de gouvernance sur la performance des organisations, institutions ou collectivités.

La perspective internationale du colloque a pour but d’examiner les modèles et structures de gouvernance présents dans différents pays et dans les différentes organisations, selon que ces modèles dépendent fortement du système juridique, du modèle économique et social, ainsi que le poids relatif des différentes parties prenantes. Les contributions sont donc attendues des chercheurs et professionnels de plusieurs champs disciplinaires, notamment les sciences économiques, les sciences juridiques, les sciences politiques, la comptabilité, la finance, l’administration et la stratégie.

Je vous invite à consulter le site web du colloque : https://gouvernance.splashthat.com/

Vous trouverez le programme détaillé du colloque à l’adresse suivante : http://www.acfas.ca/evenements/congres/programme/85/400/449/c

Le plus gros fonds souverain au monde veut plafonner la paie des patrons | Journal de Montréal


Selon un communiqué de l’Agence France Presse, publié le 7 avril 2017 dans le Journal de Montréal, « le fonds souverain de la Norvège, le plus gros au monde, a peaufiné vendredi son image d’investisseur responsable en réclamant un plafonnement de la rémunération des patrons et la transparence fiscale des entreprises ».

Bonne lecture !

Le fonds souverain de la Norvège, le plus gros au monde, a peaufiné vendredi son image d’investisseur responsable en réclamant un plafonnement de la rémunération des patrons et la transparence fiscale des entreprises

 

Dans chaque entreprise, le « conseil d’administration devrait (…) dévoiler un plafond pour la rémunération totale » du directeur général « pour l’année à venir », estime la banque centrale norvégienne, chargée de gérer le fonds, dans un nouveau « document de position ».

À une époque où les très gros salaires décollent, cette prise de position est d’autant plus importante que le fonds est présent au capital de quelque 9 000 entreprises à travers le monde, représentant 1,3 % de la capitalisation globale.

Par son poids et par sa gestion généralement jugée exemplaire en matière de transparence et d’éthique, le mastodonte scandinave donne souvent le « pas » pour d’autres investisseurs.

Résultats de recherche d'images pour « fonds souverain norvégien »

« C’est une très bonne nouvelle », s’est réjouie Manon Aubry, porte-parole d’Oxfam France. « Il s’agit d’un levier qui peut avoir un impact important sur le comportement des entreprises », a-t-elle expliqué à l’AFP, soulignant que le fonds norvégien n’était pas le seul à avoir pris ce genre de décision.

La contestation a un effet, parfois. Le directeur général du géant pétrolier britannique BP, Bob Dudley, a ainsi vu sa rémunération diminuer de 40 % en 2016, un an après un vote des actionnaires contre une hausse de son salaire, uniquement consultatif, mais offrant un désaveu cinglant.

Sous la pression de la classe politique et des syndicats, six hauts dirigeants de Bombardier ont accepté dimanche au Canada de réduire de moitié l’augmentation de 50 % initialement promise. Volkswagen a aussi décidé le mois dernier de plafonner les salaires pour les membres de son conseil d’administration, une question souvent débattue en Allemagne.

«Say on pay»

Le principe du « say on pay » vient par ailleurs d’entrer pour la première fois dans le droit français. Le vote des actionnaires en assemblée générale sur la rémunération des dirigeants est désormais contraignant grâce à la loi « Sapin 2 », dont le décret d’application a été publié en mars.

En 2016, la rémunération des dirigeants de trois entreprises, dont Carlos Ghosn chez Renault et Patrick Kron chez Alstom, avait été rejetée par les actionnaires. Mais ces avis, alors purement consultatifs, n’avaient pas été pris en compte par les conseils d’administration.

Longtemps peu regardant en la matière, le fonds norvégien s’implique de plus en plus dans la gouvernance des entreprises dont il est actionnaire. Il a par exemple voté l’an dernier contre la politique de rémunération des dirigeants d’Alphabet (Google), Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan ou encore Sanofi, selon le Financial Times.

« Nous ne sommes plus en position, en tant qu’investisseur, de dire que c’est une question sur laquelle on n’a pas d’avis », a déclaré au FT le patron du fonds, Yngve Slyngstad, en notant que le « say on pay » se répandait dans toujours plus de pays.

Jugeant que cela contribuerait à aligner les intérêts du patron sur ceux des actionnaires, le nouveau document prône aussi pour qu’« une part significative de la rémunération totale annuelle (soit) fournie en actions bloquées pour au moins cinq ans, et de préférence dix ans, indépendamment d’une démission ou d’un départ en retraite » et sans condition de performances.

Non à l’optimisation fiscale 

Dans un autre document publié vendredi, la Banque de Norvège a aussi exigé la transparence fiscale de la part des entreprises.

« Les impôts devraient être payés là où la valeur économique est générée », souligne-t-elle notamment, visiblement hostile à l’optimisation fiscale, technique légale qui consiste à déplacer les bénéfices là où l’imposition est moindre.

Sur le Vieux Continent, des géants comme Apple, Starbucks ou Fiat ont eu ces dernières années maille à partir avec la Commission européenne pour avoir tiré parti d’avantages fiscaux indus.

Le fonds norvégien conforte ainsi son image d’investisseur responsable.

Conformément à un vote du Parlement en 2015, le fonds — alimenté, paradoxalement, par les revenus pétroliers de l’État — se refuse à investir dans les entreprises, compagnies minières ou énergéticiens, où le charbon, néfaste pour le climat, représente plus de 30 % de l’activité.

Il n’est pas non plus autorisé à investir dans les entreprises coupables de violations graves des droits de l’Homme, dans celles qui fabriquent des armes nucléaires ou « particulièrement inhumaines » ou encore dans les producteurs de tabac.

Réflexions sur les bénéfices d’une solide culture organisationnelle


Quels sont les bénéfices d’une solide culture organisationnelle ?

C’est précisément la question abordée par William C. Dudley, président et CEO de la Federal Reserve Bank de New York, dans une allocution présentée à la Banking Standards Board de Londres.

Dans sa présentation, il évoque trois éléments fondamentaux pour l’amélioration de la culture organisationnelle des entreprises du secteur financier :

 

  1. Définir la raison d’être et énoncer des objectifs clairs puisque ceux-ci sont nécessaires à l’évaluation de la performance ;
  2. Mesurer la performance de la firme et la comparer aux autres du même secteur ;
  3. S’assurer que les mesures incitatives mènent à des comportements en lien avec les buts que l’organisation veut atteindre.

 

Selon M. Dudley, il y a plusieurs avantages à intégrer des pratiques de bonne culture dans la gestion de l’entreprise. Il présente clairement les nombreux bénéfices à retirer lorsque l’organisation a une saine culture.

Vous trouverez, ci-dessous, les principales raisons pour lesquelles il est important de se soucier de cette dimension à long terme. Je n’avais encore jamais vu ces raisons énoncées aussi explicitement dans un texte.

L’article a paru aujourd’hui sur le site de la Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance.

Bonne lecture !

 

Résultats de recherche d'images pour « culture organisationnelle d'une entreprise »
WordPress.com

 

Reforming Culture for the Long Term

 

I am convinced that a good or ethical culture that is reflected in your firm’s strategy, decision-making processes, and products is also in your economic best interest, for a number of reasons:

Good culture means fewer incidents of misconduct, which leads to lower internal monitoring costs.

Good culture means that employees speak up so that problems get early attention and tend to stay small. Smaller problems lead to less reputational harm and damage to franchise value. And, habits of speaking up lead to better exchanges of ideas—a hallmark of successful organizations.

Good culture means greater credibility with prosecutors and regulators—and fewer and lower fines.

Good culture helps to attract and retain good talent. This creates a virtuous circle of higher performance and greater innovation, and less pressure to cut ethical corners to generate the returns necessary to stay in business.

Good culture builds a strong organizational story that is a source of pride and that can be passed along through generations of employees. It is also attractive to clients.

Good culture helps to rebuild public trust in finance, which could, in turn, lead to a lower burden imposed by regulation over time. Regulation and compliance are expensive substitutes for good stewardship.

Good culture is, in short, a necessary condition for the long-term success of individual firms. Therefore, members of the industry must be good stewards and should seek to make progress on reforming culture in the near term.

Deux billets clés sur les conséquences juridiques du Brexit (en reprise)


Au lendemain du référendum mené en Grande-Bretagne (GB), on peut se demander quelles sont les implications juridiques d’une telle décision. Celles-ci sont nombreuses ; plusieurs scénarios peuvent être envisagés pour prévoir l’avenir des relations entre la GB et l’Union européenne (UE).

Ben Perry de la firme Sullivan & Cromwell et Simon Witty de la firme Davis Polk & Wardwell ont exploré toutes les facettes légales de cette nouvelle situation dans deux articles parus récemment sur le site du Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance.

Ce sont deux articles très approfondis sur les répercussions du Brexit. On doit admettre que le processus de retrait de l’UE est complexe, qu’il y a plusieurs modèles dont la GB peut s’inspirer (Suisse, Norvégien, Islandais, Liechtenstein), et que le vote n’a pas d’effets légaux immédiats. En fait, le processus de sortie et de renégociation peut durer trois ans !

Je vous invite à prendre connaissance de ces deux articles afin d’être mieux informés sur les principales avenues conséquentes au retrait de la GB de l’UE.

Le 25 juin, je vous ai déjà présenté l’article de Perry qui a suscité beaucoup d’intérêt (Brexit: Legal Implications).

Aujourd’hui, je vous présente le texte de l’article de Witty (The Legal Consequences of Brexit) qui met l’accent sur les répercussions prévisibles qu’aura ce retrait sur le marché des capitaux, les fusions et acquisitions, les différends liés aux contrats, les lois antitrusts, les services financiers et les mesures de taxation.

Bonne lecture !

On June 23, 2016, the UK electorate voted to leave the European Union. The referendum was advisory rather than mandatory and does not have any immediate legal consequences. It will, however, have a profound effect. With any next steps being driven by UK and EU politics, it is difficult to predict the future of the UK’s relationship with the EU. This post discusses the process for Brexit, the alternative models of relationship that the UK may seek to adopt, and certain implications for the capital markets, mergers and acquisitions, contractual disputes and enforcement, anti-trust, financial services and tax.

The process for exiting the EU

The treaties that govern the EU expressly contemplate a member state leaving. Under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, the UK must notify the European Council of its intention to withdraw from the EU. Once notice is given, the UK has two years to negotiate the terms of its withdrawal. Any extension of the negotiation period will require the consent of all 27 remaining member states. When to invoke the Article 50 mechanism is, therefore, a strategically important decision. In a statement announcing his intention to resign as Prime Minister of the UK, David Cameron stated that the decision to provide notice under Article 50 to the European Council should be taken by the next Prime Minister, who is expected to be in place by October 2016.

Waving United Kingdom and European Union Flag
Waving United Kingdom and European Union Flag

Any negotiated agreement will require the support of at least 20 out of the 27 remaining member states, representing at least 65% of the EU’s population, and the approval of the European Parliament. If no agreement is reached or no extension is agreed, the UK will automatically exit the EU two years after the Article 50 notice is given, even if no alternative trading model or arrangement has been negotiated. The UK continues to be a member of the EU in the interim period, subject to all EU legislation and rules.

Alternative models of relationship

It is not clear what model of relationship the UK will seek to negotiate with the EU. In the run-up to the referendum, a number of options were suggested. Politicians in favor of withdrawing from the EU did not coalesce around a specific alternative. It is, therefore, unclear what model will ultimately be followed or whether any of the models could be achieved through the Article 50 process. The principal options are outlined below.

The Norwegian model. The UK might seek to join the European Economic Area, as Norway has. The UK would have considerable access to the internal market, i.e., the association of European countries trading with each other without restrictions or tariffs, including in financial services. The UK would have limited access to the internal market for agriculture and fisheries; and it would not benefit from or be bound by the EU’s external trade agreements. In addition, the UK would have to make significant financial contributions to the EU and continue to allow free movement of persons. It would also have to apply EU law in a number of fields, but the UK would no longer participate in policymaking at the EU level, and would be excluded from participation in the European Supervisory Authorities, the key architects of secondary legislation in the financial services sphere. To adopt this model, the UK would require the agreement of all 27 remaining EU member states, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

Negotiated bilateral agreements. Like Switzerland, the UK might seek to enter into various bilateral agreements with the EU to obtain access to the internal market in specific sectors (rather than the market as a whole, which would be the case under the Norwegian model). This model would likely require the UK to accept some of the EU’s rules on free movement of persons and comply with particular EU laws. Again, the UK would not participate formally in the drafting of those laws. The UK would also have to make financial contributions to the EU. Negotiating these bilateral agreements would be a difficult and time-consuming process. Switzerland, for instance, has negotiated more than 100 individual agreements with the EU to cover market access in different sectors. As a result of its complexity, it is unclear whether the EU would work with the UK to negotiate this model within the Article 50 timeframe.

Customs union. A customs union is currently in place between the EU and Turkey in respect of trade in goods, but not services. Under this model, Turkey can export goods to the EU without having to comply with customs restrictions or tariffs. Its external tariffs are also aligned with EU tariffs. The UK might seek to negotiate a similar arrangement with the EU. Under such an arrangement, and unless separately negotiated, UK financial institutions (including UK subsidiaries of US holding companies) would not be able to provide financial and professional services into the EU on equal terms with EU member state firms. For example, the EU passporting regime would not be available, meaning UK firms would have to seek separate licensing in each EU member state to provide certain financial services. Furthermore, in areas where the UK would have access to the internal market, it would likely be required to enforce rules that are equivalent to those in the EU. The UK would not be required to make any financial contributions to the EU, nor would it be bound by the majority of EU law.

Free trade agreement. The UK might seek to negotiate a free trade agreement with the EU, which would cover goods and services. To do so, it may look to the agreement that was recently agreed between the EU and Canada after seven years of negotiations. This agreement removes tariffs in respect of trade in goods, as well as certain non-tariff barriers in respect of trade in goods and services. Although the UK would not be required to contribute to the EU budget, its exports to the EU would have to comply with the applicable EU standards.

WTO membership. Under this model, the UK would not have any preferential access to the internal market or the 53 markets with which the EU has negotiated free trade agreements. Tariffs and other barriers would be imposed on goods and services traded between the UK and the EU, although, under WTO rules, certain caps would apply on tariffs applicable to goods, and limits would be imposed on particular non-tariff barriers applicable to goods and services. The UK would no longer be required to make any financial contributions to the EU, nor would it be bound by EU laws (although it would have to comply with certain rules in order to trade with the EU).

Implications for UK legislation

Regardless of which model it adopts, the UK will no longer be required to apply some (if not all) EU legislation. The UK has implemented certain EU laws (generally, EU directives) via primary legislation that will continue to be part of English law, unless these are amended or repealed. Other EU laws (generally, EU regulations) have direct applicability in the UK without the need for implementation, which means that these laws would fall away once the UK withdraws from the EU, unless they are transposed into UK law. Finally, thousands of statutory instruments have been made pursuant to the European Communities Act 1972. If this act is repealed upon the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, then, unless transposed into UK law, these statutory instruments will cease to apply as well. Therefore, the UK will have to perform a complex exercise to determine which EU laws and EU-derived laws it wishes to retain, amend or repeal, driven in part by the nature of any agreement reached with the EU during exit negotiations.

How may Brexit affect you?

The UK’s withdrawal from the EU will impact countless areas of the economy. The following section discusses a number of Brexit’s potential implications for the capital markets, mergers and acquisitions, contractual disputes and enforcement, anti-trust, financial services and tax. The extent to which these areas will be affected by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU will depend on the model of relationship that the UK and the EU adopt following the Brexit negotiations.

Capital Markets

The financial markets will likely continue to be volatile, particularly during the Brexit negotiations. This may affect the timing of transactions or their ability to be consummated.

The EU Prospectus Directive, which has been transposed into UK law, governs the content, format, approval and publication of prospectuses throughout the EU. Following eventual Brexit, the UK may no longer be bound by the Prospectus Directive and, thus, may seek to amend its prospectus legislation. For example, the Prospectus Directive provides that a company incorporated in an EU member state must prepare a prospectus if it wishes to offer shares to the public and/or request that shares be admitted to trading in the EU, subject to certain exemptions. The UK may wish to expand these exemptions, so that more offers can be made in the UK without a prospectus. Significantly, the Prospectus Directive also provides for the passporting of prospectuses throughout the EU. This means that a company can use a prospectus that has been approved in one member state to offer shares in any other EU member state. Without this passporting regime, UK companies will have to have their prospectuses approved both in the UK and at least one other member state where they wish to offer their shares, which may be particularly costly and time-consuming if the UK amends, for instance, the content requirements for prospectuses following Brexit, so that these no longer align with those prescribed by the Prospectus Directive.

During the Brexit negotiations, transaction documents may need to include specific Brexit provisions, for example to address the uncertainty around the model of relationship to be adopted.

M&A

As a result of ongoing uncertainty around the future of the UK’s relationship with the EU, a number of transactions with a UK nexus may be affected pending the Brexit negotiations.

Share sale transactions generally are not subject to much EU law or regulation. Asset and business sales, however, may be more affected by Brexit. For example, the regulations that protect the rights of employees on a business transfer stem from a European directive. When the UK withdraws from the EU, it may no longer be bound by this directive, and, therefore, the UK may wish to amend or repeal the regulations.

Contractual Disputes and Enforcement

As a member of the EU, the UK is part of a framework for deciding jurisdiction in disputes, recognizing judgments of other member states (and having its own courts’ judgments recognized and enforced throughout the EU) and deciding the governing law of contracts. Following Brexit, the UK may no longer be part of this framework which may affect jurisdiction and governing law choices in transaction documents.

Anti-trust

Currently, mergers that fall within the scope of the EU Merger Regulation can receive EU-wide clearance, which means that they are not also required to be cleared by individual member states. Following Brexit, mergers with a UK nexus may need to be reviewed by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority separately.

More generally, UK anti-trust legislation is currently based on, and interpreted in line with, EU law, including decisions of the European Commission and the European Court of Justice. Given that UK courts may no longer be required to interpret national law consistently with EU law once the UK withdraws from the EU, businesses face the prospect of having to comply with divergent systems.

Financial Services

Much of the UK’s financial services regulation is based on EU law. This includes legislation such as the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID), which regulates investment services and trading venues, the European Market Infrastructure Regulation, which regulates the derivatives market, the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive, which regulates hedge funds and private equity, and the Capital Requirements Directive and the Capital Requirements Regulation, which together represent the EU’s implementation of the international Basel III accords for the prudential regulation of banks. The Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (“BRRD”) has been implemented into UK law via the Banking Act 2009, so the fundamental bank resolution regime should initially survive Brexit. That said, substantial further EU legislative work is expected in this area to modify BRRD (e.g., in relation to the implementation of the TLAC standard), so it is possible that the regimes could diverge rapidly after Brexit. In general with financial services legislation, an assessment will need to be made whether to align with EU legislation or diverge; the greater the divergence, the more the dual burdens on cross-border firms.

As mentioned above, the UK will likely not be part of the European Supervisory Authorities framework and will have no influence in the development of primary or secondary EU legislation and guidance. The UK has been a significant force in the area of financial services legislation and has driven the introduction of, for instance, the BRRD. The UK’s withdrawal may impact the legislative agenda and ultimately the quality of the legislation produced.

Financial institutions established in EEA member states can obtain a “passport” that allows them to access the markets of other EEA member states without being required to set up a subsidiary and obtain a separate license to operate as a financial services institution in those member states. Following Brexit, UK financial services institutions, including subsidiaries of US and other non-EU parent companies, would no longer be able to benefit from passporting (unless the UK were to join the EEA pursuant to the Norway option described above).

Although the UK will likely remain a member of the EU for a substantial period while negotiations are ongoing, there are pressing questions as to how the UK will engage with the ongoing legislative processes that affect the UK financial services industry. There are a number of areas where framework legislation has been passed already, but key secondary legislation is being developed or revised. These areas include the complete overhaul of MiFID and the Payment Services Directive. Even before the UK leaves the EU, we can expect to see a diminished role for the UK Government, UK regulators and UK market participants in shaping the detailed policies and procedures in those areas.

We expect larger financial institutions in the UK, or those based outside the UK that have significant operations in the UK, will wish to contribute to the negotiation process between the EU and UK. In particular, to the extent a unique model for trading relationships is proposed, these institutions may wish to engage with policymakers to minimize disruption and damage to their EU business model.

Tax

The EU has influenced many areas of the UK’s tax system. In some cases, this has been through EU legislation which applies directly in the UK; in other cases, EU rules have been adopted through UK legislation (for example, the UK’s VAT legislation is based on principles which apply across the EU); and, in still other cases, decisions of the European Court of Justice have either influenced the development of UK tax rules, or have prevented the UK’s tax authority from enforcing aspects of the UK’s domestic tax code. This complicated backdrop means that the tax impact of Brexit will be varied and difficult to predict.

Areas to watch include the following:

Direct tax: although the UK has an extensive double tax treaty network, not all treaties provide for zero withholding tax on interest and royalty payments. Accordingly, corporate groups should consider the extent to which existing structures rely on EU rules such as the Parent-Subsidiary Directive or the Interest and Royalties Directive to secure tax efficient payment flows. Similarly, corporate groups proposing to undertake cross border reorganisations would need to consider the extent to which existing cross-EU border merger tax reliefs will survive intact. It should also be borne in mind that, even if Brexit occurs, the UK is likely to continue vigorously supporting the OECD’s BEPS initiative such that there may well be considerable constraints and complexities associated with locating businesses outside the UK.

VAT: although VAT is an EU-wide tax regime, it seems inconceivable that VAT will be abolished. However, it is likely that, over time, there will be a divergence between UK VAT rules and EU VAT rules, including as to input VAT recovery on supplies made to non-UK customers. Additionally, UK companies may lose the administrative benefit of the “one stop shop” for businesses operating in Europe.

Customs duty: if the UK left the customs union, exports to and imports from EU countries may become subject to tariffs or other import duties (as well as additional compliance requirements).

Transfer taxes: it seems that the UK would, at least in principle, be able to (re)impose the 1.5% stamp duty/stamp duty reserve tax charge in respect of UK shares issued or transferred into a clearance or depositary receipt system. Accordingly, the position for UK-headed corporate groups seeking to list on the NYSE or Nasdaq may become less certain.

______________________________

*Ben Perry is a partner in the London office of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP. This post is based on a Sullivan & Cromwell publication.

*Simon Witty is a partner in the Corporate Department at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP. This post is based on a Davis Polk memorandum.

Un guide essentiel pour comprendre et enseigner la gouvernance | En rappel


Plusieurs administrateurs et formateurs me demandent de leur proposer un document de vulgarisation sur le sujet de la gouvernance. J’ai déjà diffusé sur mon blogue un guide à l’intention des journalistes spécialisés dans le domaine de la gouvernance des sociétés à travers le monde. Il a été publié par le Global Corporate Governance Forum et International Finance Corporation (un organisme de la World Bank) en étroite coopération avec International Center for Journalists.

Je n’ai encore rien vu de plus complet et de plus pertinent sur la meilleure manière d’appréhender les multiples problématiques reliées à la gouvernance des entreprises mondiales. La direction de Global Corporate Governance Forum m’a fait parvenir le document en français le 14 février.

Qui dirige l’entreprise : Guide pratique de médiatisation du gouvernement d’entreprise — document en français

 

Ce guide est un outil pédagogique indispensable pour acquérir une solide compréhension des diverses facettes de la gouvernance des sociétés. Les auteurs ont multiplié les exemples de problèmes d’éthiques et de conflits d’intérêts liés à la conduite des entreprises mondiales.

On apprend aux journalistes économiques — et à toutes les personnes préoccupées par la saine gouvernance — à raffiner les investigations et à diffuser les résultats des analyses effectuées. Je vous recommande fortement de lire le document, mais aussi de le conserver en lieu sûr car il est fort probable que vous aurez l’occasion de vous en servir.

Vous trouverez ci-dessous quelques extraits de l’introduction à l’ouvrage. Bonne lecture !

Who’s Running the Company ? A Guide to Reporting on Corporate Governance

À propos du Guide

schema_DD_lightbox

 

« This Guide is designed for reporters and editors who already have some experience covering business and finance. The goal is to help journalists develop stories that examine how a company is governed, and spot events that may have serious consequences for the company’s survival, shareholders and stakeholders. Topics include the media’s role as a watchdog, how the board of directors functions, what constitutes good practice, what financial reports reveal, what role shareholders play and how to track down and use information shedding light on a company’s inner workings. Journalists will learn how to recognize “red flags,” or warning  signs, that indicate whether a company may be violating laws and rules. Tips on reporting and writing guide reporters in developing clear, balanced, fair and convincing stories.

 

Three recurring features in the Guide help reporters apply “lessons learned” to their own “beats,” or coverage areas:

– Reporter’s Notebook: Advise from successful business journalists

– Story Toolbox:  How and where to find the story ideas

– What Do You Know? Applying the Guide’s lessons

Each chapter helps journalists acquire the knowledge and skills needed to recognize potential stories in the companies they cover, dig out the essential facts, interpret their findings and write clear, compelling stories:

  1. What corporate governance is, and how it can lead to stories. (Chapter 1, What’s good governance, and why should journalists care?)
  2. How understanding the role that the board and its committees play can lead to stories that competitors miss. (Chapter 2, The all-important board of directors)
  3. Shareholders are not only the ultimate stakeholders in public companies, but they often are an excellent source for story ideas. (Chapter 3, All about shareholders)
  4. Understanding how companies are structured helps journalists figure out how the board and management interact and why family-owned and state-owned enterprises (SOEs), may not always operate in the best interests of shareholders and the public. (Chapter 4, Inside family-owned and state-owned enterprises)
  5. Regulatory disclosures can be a rich source of exclusive stories for journalists who know where to look and how to interpret what they see. (Chapter 5, Toeing the line: regulations and disclosure)
  6. Reading financial statements and annual reports — especially the fine print — often leads to journalistic scoops. (Chapter 6, Finding the story behind the numbers)
  7. Developing sources is a key element for reporters covering companies. So is dealing with resistance and pressure from company executives and public relations directors. (Chapter 7, Writing and reporting tips)

Each chapter ends with a section on Sources, which lists background resources pertinent to that chapter’s topics. At the end of the Guide, a Selected Resources section provides useful websites and recommended reading on corporate governance. The Glossary defines terminology used in covering companies and corporate governance ».

Here’s what Ottawa’s new rules for state-owned buyers may look like (business.financialpost.com)

The Vote is Cast: The Effect of Corporate Governance on Shareholder Value (greenbackd.com)

Effective Drivers of Good Corporate Governance (shilpithapar.com)

Deux billets clés sur les conséquences juridiques du Brexit


Au lendemain du référendum mené en Grande-Bretagne (GB), on peut se demander quelles sont les implications juridiques d’une telle décision. Celles-ci sont nombreuses ; plusieurs scénarios peuvent être envisagés pour prévoir l’avenir des relations entre la GB et l’Union européenne (UE).

Ben Perry de la firme Sullivan & Cromwell et Simon Witty de la firme Davis Polk & Wardwell ont exploré toutes les facettes légales de cette nouvelle situation dans deux articles parus récemment sur le site du Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance.

Ce sont deux articles très approfondis sur les répercussions du Brexit. On doit admettre que le processus de retrait de l’UE est complexe, qu’il y a plusieurs modèles dont la GB peut s’inspirer (Suisse, Norvégien, Islandais, Liechtenstein), et que le vote n’a pas d’effets légaux immédiats. En fait, le processus de sortie et de renégociation peut durer trois ans !

Je vous invite à prendre connaissance de ces deux articles afin d’être mieux informés sur les principales avenues conséquentes au retrait de la GB de l’UE.

Le 25 juin, je vous ai déjà présenté l’article de Perry qui a suscité beaucoup d’intérêt (Brexit: Legal Implications).

Aujourd’hui, je vous présente le texte de l’article de Witty (The Legal Consequences of Brexit) qui met l’accent sur les répercussions prévisibles qu’aura ce retrait sur le marché des capitaux, les fusions et acquisitions, les différends liés aux contrats, les lois antitrusts, les services financiers et les mesures de taxation.

Bonne lecture !

On June 23, 2016, the UK electorate voted to leave the European Union. The referendum was advisory rather than mandatory and does not have any immediate legal consequences. It will, however, have a profound effect. With any next steps being driven by UK and EU politics, it is difficult to predict the future of the UK’s relationship with the EU. This post discusses the process for Brexit, the alternative models of relationship that the UK may seek to adopt, and certain implications for the capital markets, mergers and acquisitions, contractual disputes and enforcement, anti-trust, financial services and tax.

The process for exiting the EU

The treaties that govern the EU expressly contemplate a member state leaving. Under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, the UK must notify the European Council of its intention to withdraw from the EU. Once notice is given, the UK has two years to negotiate the terms of its withdrawal. Any extension of the negotiation period will require the consent of all 27 remaining member states. When to invoke the Article 50 mechanism is, therefore, a strategically important decision. In a statement announcing his intention to resign as Prime Minister of the UK, David Cameron stated that the decision to provide notice under Article 50 to the European Council should be taken by the next Prime Minister, who is expected to be in place by October 2016.

Waving United Kingdom and European Union Flag
Waving United Kingdom and European Union Flag

Any negotiated agreement will require the support of at least 20 out of the 27 remaining member states, representing at least 65% of the EU’s population, and the approval of the European Parliament. If no agreement is reached or no extension is agreed, the UK will automatically exit the EU two years after the Article 50 notice is given, even if no alternative trading model or arrangement has been negotiated. The UK continues to be a member of the EU in the interim period, subject to all EU legislation and rules.

Alternative models of relationship

It is not clear what model of relationship the UK will seek to negotiate with the EU. In the run-up to the referendum, a number of options were suggested. Politicians in favor of withdrawing from the EU did not coalesce around a specific alternative. It is, therefore, unclear what model will ultimately be followed or whether any of the models could be achieved through the Article 50 process. The principal options are outlined below.

The Norwegian model. The UK might seek to join the European Economic Area, as Norway has. The UK would have considerable access to the internal market, i.e., the association of European countries trading with each other without restrictions or tariffs, including in financial services. The UK would have limited access to the internal market for agriculture and fisheries; and it would not benefit from or be bound by the EU’s external trade agreements. In addition, the UK would have to make significant financial contributions to the EU and continue to allow free movement of persons. It would also have to apply EU law in a number of fields, but the UK would no longer participate in policymaking at the EU level, and would be excluded from participation in the European Supervisory Authorities, the key architects of secondary legislation in the financial services sphere. To adopt this model, the UK would require the agreement of all 27 remaining EU member states, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

Negotiated bilateral agreements. Like Switzerland, the UK might seek to enter into various bilateral agreements with the EU to obtain access to the internal market in specific sectors (rather than the market as a whole, which would be the case under the Norwegian model). This model would likely require the UK to accept some of the EU’s rules on free movement of persons and comply with particular EU laws. Again, the UK would not participate formally in the drafting of those laws. The UK would also have to make financial contributions to the EU. Negotiating these bilateral agreements would be a difficult and time-consuming process. Switzerland, for instance, has negotiated more than 100 individual agreements with the EU to cover market access in different sectors. As a result of its complexity, it is unclear whether the EU would work with the UK to negotiate this model within the Article 50 timeframe.

Customs union. A customs union is currently in place between the EU and Turkey in respect of trade in goods, but not services. Under this model, Turkey can export goods to the EU without having to comply with customs restrictions or tariffs. Its external tariffs are also aligned with EU tariffs. The UK might seek to negotiate a similar arrangement with the EU. Under such an arrangement, and unless separately negotiated, UK financial institutions (including UK subsidiaries of US holding companies) would not be able to provide financial and professional services into the EU on equal terms with EU member state firms. For example, the EU passporting regime would not be available, meaning UK firms would have to seek separate licensing in each EU member state to provide certain financial services. Furthermore, in areas where the UK would have access to the internal market, it would likely be required to enforce rules that are equivalent to those in the EU. The UK would not be required to make any financial contributions to the EU, nor would it be bound by the majority of EU law.

Free trade agreement. The UK might seek to negotiate a free trade agreement with the EU, which would cover goods and services. To do so, it may look to the agreement that was recently agreed between the EU and Canada after seven years of negotiations. This agreement removes tariffs in respect of trade in goods, as well as certain non-tariff barriers in respect of trade in goods and services. Although the UK would not be required to contribute to the EU budget, its exports to the EU would have to comply with the applicable EU standards.

WTO membership. Under this model, the UK would not have any preferential access to the internal market or the 53 markets with which the EU has negotiated free trade agreements. Tariffs and other barriers would be imposed on goods and services traded between the UK and the EU, although, under WTO rules, certain caps would apply on tariffs applicable to goods, and limits would be imposed on particular non-tariff barriers applicable to goods and services. The UK would no longer be required to make any financial contributions to the EU, nor would it be bound by EU laws (although it would have to comply with certain rules in order to trade with the EU).

Implications for UK legislation

Regardless of which model it adopts, the UK will no longer be required to apply some (if not all) EU legislation. The UK has implemented certain EU laws (generally, EU directives) via primary legislation that will continue to be part of English law, unless these are amended or repealed. Other EU laws (generally, EU regulations) have direct applicability in the UK without the need for implementation, which means that these laws would fall away once the UK withdraws from the EU, unless they are transposed into UK law. Finally, thousands of statutory instruments have been made pursuant to the European Communities Act 1972. If this act is repealed upon the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, then, unless transposed into UK law, these statutory instruments will cease to apply as well. Therefore, the UK will have to perform a complex exercise to determine which EU laws and EU-derived laws it wishes to retain, amend or repeal, driven in part by the nature of any agreement reached with the EU during exit negotiations.

How may Brexit affect you?

The UK’s withdrawal from the EU will impact countless areas of the economy. The following section discusses a number of Brexit’s potential implications for the capital markets, mergers and acquisitions, contractual disputes and enforcement, anti-trust, financial services and tax. The extent to which these areas will be affected by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU will depend on the model of relationship that the UK and the EU adopt following the Brexit negotiations.

Capital Markets

The financial markets will likely continue to be volatile, particularly during the Brexit negotiations. This may affect the timing of transactions or their ability to be consummated.

The EU Prospectus Directive, which has been transposed into UK law, governs the content, format, approval and publication of prospectuses throughout the EU. Following eventual Brexit, the UK may no longer be bound by the Prospectus Directive and, thus, may seek to amend its prospectus legislation. For example, the Prospectus Directive provides that a company incorporated in an EU member state must prepare a prospectus if it wishes to offer shares to the public and/or request that shares be admitted to trading in the EU, subject to certain exemptions. The UK may wish to expand these exemptions, so that more offers can be made in the UK without a prospectus. Significantly, the Prospectus Directive also provides for the passporting of prospectuses throughout the EU. This means that a company can use a prospectus that has been approved in one member state to offer shares in any other EU member state. Without this passporting regime, UK companies will have to have their prospectuses approved both in the UK and at least one other member state where they wish to offer their shares, which may be particularly costly and time-consuming if the UK amends, for instance, the content requirements for prospectuses following Brexit, so that these no longer align with those prescribed by the Prospectus Directive.

During the Brexit negotiations, transaction documents may need to include specific Brexit provisions, for example to address the uncertainty around the model of relationship to be adopted.

M&A

As a result of ongoing uncertainty around the future of the UK’s relationship with the EU, a number of transactions with a UK nexus may be affected pending the Brexit negotiations.

Share sale transactions generally are not subject to much EU law or regulation. Asset and business sales, however, may be more affected by Brexit. For example, the regulations that protect the rights of employees on a business transfer stem from a European directive. When the UK withdraws from the EU, it may no longer be bound by this directive, and, therefore, the UK may wish to amend or repeal the regulations.

Contractual Disputes and Enforcement

As a member of the EU, the UK is part of a framework for deciding jurisdiction in disputes, recognizing judgments of other member states (and having its own courts’ judgments recognized and enforced throughout the EU) and deciding the governing law of contracts. Following Brexit, the UK may no longer be part of this framework which may affect jurisdiction and governing law choices in transaction documents.

Anti-trust

Currently, mergers that fall within the scope of the EU Merger Regulation can receive EU-wide clearance, which means that they are not also required to be cleared by individual member states. Following Brexit, mergers with a UK nexus may need to be reviewed by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority separately.

More generally, UK anti-trust legislation is currently based on, and interpreted in line with, EU law, including decisions of the European Commission and the European Court of Justice. Given that UK courts may no longer be required to interpret national law consistently with EU law once the UK withdraws from the EU, businesses face the prospect of having to comply with divergent systems.

Financial Services

Much of the UK’s financial services regulation is based on EU law. This includes legislation such as the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID), which regulates investment services and trading venues, the European Market Infrastructure Regulation, which regulates the derivatives market, the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive, which regulates hedge funds and private equity, and the Capital Requirements Directive and the Capital Requirements Regulation, which together represent the EU’s implementation of the international Basel III accords for the prudential regulation of banks. The Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (“BRRD”) has been implemented into UK law via the Banking Act 2009, so the fundamental bank resolution regime should initially survive Brexit. That said, substantial further EU legislative work is expected in this area to modify BRRD (e.g., in relation to the implementation of the TLAC standard), so it is possible that the regimes could diverge rapidly after Brexit. In general with financial services legislation, an assessment will need to be made whether to align with EU legislation or diverge; the greater the divergence, the more the dual burdens on cross-border firms.

As mentioned above, the UK will likely not be part of the European Supervisory Authorities framework and will have no influence in the development of primary or secondary EU legislation and guidance. The UK has been a significant force in the area of financial services legislation and has driven the introduction of, for instance, the BRRD. The UK’s withdrawal may impact the legislative agenda and ultimately the quality of the legislation produced.

Financial institutions established in EEA member states can obtain a “passport” that allows them to access the markets of other EEA member states without being required to set up a subsidiary and obtain a separate license to operate as a financial services institution in those member states. Following Brexit, UK financial services institutions, including subsidiaries of US and other non-EU parent companies, would no longer be able to benefit from passporting (unless the UK were to join the EEA pursuant to the Norway option described above).

Although the UK will likely remain a member of the EU for a substantial period while negotiations are ongoing, there are pressing questions as to how the UK will engage with the ongoing legislative processes that affect the UK financial services industry. There are a number of areas where framework legislation has been passed already, but key secondary legislation is being developed or revised. These areas include the complete overhaul of MiFID and the Payment Services Directive. Even before the UK leaves the EU, we can expect to see a diminished role for the UK Government, UK regulators and UK market participants in shaping the detailed policies and procedures in those areas.

We expect larger financial institutions in the UK, or those based outside the UK that have significant operations in the UK, will wish to contribute to the negotiation process between the EU and UK. In particular, to the extent a unique model for trading relationships is proposed, these institutions may wish to engage with policymakers to minimize disruption and damage to their EU business model.

Tax

The EU has influenced many areas of the UK’s tax system. In some cases, this has been through EU legislation which applies directly in the UK; in other cases, EU rules have been adopted through UK legislation (for example, the UK’s VAT legislation is based on principles which apply across the EU); and, in still other cases, decisions of the European Court of Justice have either influenced the development of UK tax rules, or have prevented the UK’s tax authority from enforcing aspects of the UK’s domestic tax code. This complicated backdrop means that the tax impact of Brexit will be varied and difficult to predict.

Areas to watch include the following:

Direct tax: although the UK has an extensive double tax treaty network, not all treaties provide for zero withholding tax on interest and royalty payments. Accordingly, corporate groups should consider the extent to which existing structures rely on EU rules such as the Parent-Subsidiary Directive or the Interest and Royalties Directive to secure tax efficient payment flows. Similarly, corporate groups proposing to undertake cross border reorganisations would need to consider the extent to which existing cross-EU border merger tax reliefs will survive intact. It should also be borne in mind that, even if Brexit occurs, the UK is likely to continue vigorously supporting the OECD’s BEPS initiative such that there may well be considerable constraints and complexities associated with locating businesses outside the UK.

VAT: although VAT is an EU-wide tax regime, it seems inconceivable that VAT will be abolished. However, it is likely that, over time, there will be a divergence between UK VAT rules and EU VAT rules, including as to input VAT recovery on supplies made to non-UK customers. Additionally, UK companies may lose the administrative benefit of the “one stop shop” for businesses operating in Europe.

Customs duty: if the UK left the customs union, exports to and imports from EU countries may become subject to tariffs or other import duties (as well as additional compliance requirements).

Transfer taxes: it seems that the UK would, at least in principle, be able to (re)impose the 1.5% stamp duty/stamp duty reserve tax charge in respect of UK shares issued or transferred into a clearance or depositary receipt system. Accordingly, the position for UK-headed corporate groups seeking to list on the NYSE or Nasdaq may become less certain.

______________________________

*Ben Perry is a partner in the London office of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP. This post is based on a Sullivan & Cromwell publication.

*Simon Witty is a partner in the Corporate Department at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP. This post is based on a Davis Polk memorandum.

Un guide essentiel pour comprendre et enseigner la gouvernance | En reprise


Plusieurs administrateurs et formateurs me demandent de leur proposer un document de vulgarisation sur le sujet de la gouvernance. J’ai déjà diffusé sur mon blogue un guide à l’intention des journalistes spécialisés dans le domaine de la gouvernance des sociétés à travers le monde. Il a été publié par le Global Corporate Governance Forum et International Finance Corporation (un organisme de la World Bank) en étroite coopération avec International Center for Journalists.

Je n’ai encore rien vu de plus complet et de plus pertinent sur la meilleure manière d’appréhender les multiples problématiques reliées à la gouvernance des entreprises mondiales. La direction de Global Corporate Governance Forum m’a fait parvenir le document en français le 14 février.

Qui dirige l’entreprise : Guide pratique de médiatisation du gouvernement d’entreprise — document en français

 

Ce guide est un outil pédagogique indispensable pour acquérir une solide compréhension des diverses facettes de la gouvernance des sociétés. Les auteurs ont multiplié les exemples de problèmes d’éthiques et de conflits d’intérêts liés à la conduite des entreprises mondiales.

On apprend aux journalistes économiques — et à toutes les personnes préoccupées par la saine gouvernance — à raffiner les investigations et à diffuser les résultats des analyses effectuées. Je vous recommande fortement de lire le document, mais aussi de le conserver en lieu sûr car il est fort probable que vous aurez l’occasion de vous en servir.

Vous trouverez ci-dessous quelques extraits de l’introduction à l’ouvrage. Bonne lecture !

Who’s Running the Company ? A Guide to Reporting on Corporate Governance

À propos du Guide

schema_DD_lightbox

 

« This Guide is designed for reporters and editors who already have some experience covering business and finance. The goal is to help journalists develop stories that examine how a company is governed, and spot events that may have serious consequences for the company’s survival, shareholders and stakeholders. Topics include the media’s role as a watchdog, how the board of directors functions, what constitutes good practice, what financial reports reveal, what role shareholders play and how to track down and use information shedding light on a company’s inner workings. Journalists will learn how to recognize “red flags,” or warning  signs, that indicate whether a company may be violating laws and rules. Tips on reporting and writing guide reporters in developing clear, balanced, fair and convincing stories.

 

Three recurring features in the Guide help reporters apply “lessons learned” to their own “beats,” or coverage areas:

– Reporter’s Notebook: Advise from successful business journalists

– Story Toolbox:  How and where to find the story ideas

– What Do You Know? Applying the Guide’s lessons

Each chapter helps journalists acquire the knowledge and skills needed to recognize potential stories in the companies they cover, dig out the essential facts, interpret their findings and write clear, compelling stories:

  1. What corporate governance is, and how it can lead to stories. (Chapter 1, What’s good governance, and why should journalists care?)
  2. How understanding the role that the board and its committees play can lead to stories that competitors miss. (Chapter 2, The all-important board of directors)
  3. Shareholders are not only the ultimate stakeholders in public companies, but they often are an excellent source for story ideas. (Chapter 3, All about shareholders)
  4. Understanding how companies are structured helps journalists figure out how the board and management interact and why family-owned and state-owned enterprises (SOEs), may not always operate in the best interests of shareholders and the public. (Chapter 4, Inside family-owned and state-owned enterprises)
  5. Regulatory disclosures can be a rich source of exclusive stories for journalists who know where to look and how to interpret what they see. (Chapter 5, Toeing the line: regulations and disclosure)
  6. Reading financial statements and annual reports — especially the fine print — often leads to journalistic scoops. (Chapter 6, Finding the story behind the numbers)
  7. Developing sources is a key element for reporters covering companies. So is dealing with resistance and pressure from company executives and public relations directors. (Chapter 7, Writing and reporting tips)

Each chapter ends with a section on Sources, which lists background resources pertinent to that chapter’s topics. At the end of the Guide, a Selected Resources section provides useful websites and recommended reading on corporate governance. The Glossary defines terminology used in covering companies and corporate governance ».

Here’s what Ottawa’s new rules for state-owned buyers may look like (business.financialpost.com)

The Vote is Cast: The Effect of Corporate Governance on Shareholder Value (greenbackd.com)

Effective Drivers of Good Corporate Governance (shilpithapar.com)

La mise en œuvre d’une bonne gouvernance conduit à une meilleure performance à long terme


Overall, 85 per cent said asset managers need to engage with the companies they invest in.

However, only 43 per cent of respondents said their asset managers are effective in this respect. Moreover, 37 per cent indicated that they are not.

The report found that 92 per cent of respondents believe asset managers should engage with investee companies on issues like corporate governance. Further, 83 per cent said discussions should feature diversity, structure and succession planning, with 76 per cent citing corporate actions and takeovers as a point of dialogue.

Aberdeen Asset Management Australia head Brett Jollie said: “Investors are now prepared to go further and build relationships with boards. As this research shows, such engagement can help returns over the long term.”

The report found that the majority of respondents expect governance to embrace each aspect of an organisation’s operations and finances, in addition to the economic and political risks relevant to the geographic environment in which it operates.

Aberdeen Asset Management head of corporate governance Paul Lee said: “Getting governance right, is easier if you take a long-term approach.

“A company is much more likely to talk to you if they don’t think you’ll sell their bonds or shares at the sight of one set of poor quarterly figures. We need to do more as an industry to invest for the long term ourselves and encourage the companies we own to do the same.”

In terms of the barriers restricting the practice of long-term investing, 70 per cent of respondents cited a short-term and peer-sensitive environment, while 48 per cent argued that regulation forces short-term thinking.

___________________________________

*www.investordaily.com.au is a national online news and information resource for Australia’s financial services sector, including superannuation, funds management, financial planning and intermediary distribution.

Vous accédez à un nouveau poste ? Bravo, mais attention aux premiers 100 jours !


Le 12 juin 2015, j’ai demandé à Philippe Sarrazin* d’agir à titre de blogueur invité sur mon site. Compte tenu de la popularité de cette publication sur mon blogue, j’ai décidé de vous le présenter à nouveau.

Philippe a écrit un billet très intéressant qui porte sur les aléas d’une prise de postes. L’auteur présente plusieurs conseils très pratiques afin d’éviter les erreurs que beaucoup de nouveaux dirigeants font.

Les cent premiers jours sont déterminants, mais les premières semaines le sont encore plus !

Bonne lecture. Philippe et moi souhaiterions avoir vos commentaires.

100 jours pour réussir votre prise de fonctions

Par Philippe Sarrazin

 

Vous prenez un nouveau poste ? Bravo, mais attention :

La prise de poste, cette fameuse période des 100 jours, est une étape cruciale pour réussir dans vos nouvelles fonctions. En effet, durant cette période délicate, il vous faut :

  1. Installer efficacement et durablement votre leadership auprès de l’ensemble des acteurs  et des parties prenantes.
  2. Eviter de commettre certaines erreurs qui pourraient marquer négativement et vous pénaliser dans l’accomplissement de votre mission.

La réussite ou l’échec de votre prise de poste va ainsi fortement conditionner votre légitimité, et donc votre capacité à obtenir l’adhésion et à être suivi.

Or, l’expérience montre que 5 erreurs sont fréquemment commises :

  1. Arriver avec trop de certitudes du fait de ses compétences ou parce que l’on connaît déjà bien l’entreprise (nomination interne).
  2. Ne pas tenir compte de l’inquiétude légitime des équipes face à l’arrivée d’un nouveau dirigeant, fut-il déjà connu.
  3. Négliger les acquis de son prédécesseur au poste et vouloir immédiatement imprimer sa marque, notamment en insufflant sans attendre des changements dans les équipes, l’organisation ou les process de fonctionnement.
  4. Ne pas s’appliquer à construire dès le départ une relation durable avec les différents acteurs et parties prenantes.
  5. Ne pas prendre le temps de découvrir et de s’imprégner de la culture de l’entreprise.

Bien entendu, cette liste n’est pas exhaustive et les risques de faux-pas ne manquent pas.

En ce sens, fondé sur une méthodologie éprouvée, le coaching de prise de poste vous apporte des clés essentielles qui vous permettent de baliser votre route et surtout d’éviter certains pièges, notamment au niveau relationnel.  Le coaching vous permet de voir clair et de savoir quoi faire.

Cela vous sécurise et vous met dans les meilleures conditions pour réussir dans vos nouvelles fonctions.


*Pour toute information sur le coaching de prise de poste, vous pouvez me contacter en m’écrivant à phs@sarrazin-coaching.com .

PS : J’ai été récemment interviewé par Action Co sur le coaching de dirigeants en situation de crise. Vous pouvez retrouver cette interview en cliquant ici.

sarrazin-coaching.com
1 bis, villa Alexandrine
92100 Boulogne
RCS Nanterre B 423 053 867

Vous prenez un nouveau poste ? Bravo, mais attention !


J’ai demandé à Philippe Sarrazin* d’agir à titre de blogueur invité sur mon site.

Philippe a écrit un billet très intéressant qui porte sur les aléas d’une prise de postes. L’auteur présente plusieurs conseils très pratiques afin d’éviter les erreurs que beaucoup de nouveaux dirigeants font.

Les cent premiers jours sont déterminants, mais les premières semaines le sont encore plus !

Bonne lecture. Philippe et moi souhaiterions avoir vos commentaires.

100 jours pour réussir votre prise de fonctions

Par Philippe Sarrazin

 

Vous prenez un nouveau poste ? Bravo, mais attention :

La prise de poste, cette fameuse période des 100 jours, est une étape cruciale pour réussir dans vos nouvelles fonctions. En effet, durant cette période délicate, il vous faut :

  1. Installer efficacement et durablement votre leadership auprès de l’ensemble des acteurs  et des parties prenantes.
  2. Eviter de commettre certaines erreurs qui pourraient marquer négativement et vous pénaliser dans l’accomplissement de votre mission.

La réussite ou l’échec de votre prise de poste va ainsi fortement conditionner votre légitimité, et donc votre capacité à obtenir l’adhésion et à être suivi.

Or, l’expérience montre que 5 erreurs sont fréquemment commises :

  1. Arriver avec trop de certitudes du fait de ses compétences ou parce que l’on connaît déjà bien l’entreprise (nomination interne).
  2. Ne pas tenir compte de l’inquiétude légitime des équipes face à l’arrivée d’un nouveau dirigeant, fut-il déjà connu.
  3. Négliger les acquis de son prédécesseur au poste et vouloir immédiatement imprimer sa marque, notamment en insufflant sans attendre des changements dans les équipes, l’organisation ou les process de fonctionnement.
  4. Ne pas s’appliquer à construire dès le départ une relation durable avec les différents acteurs et parties prenantes.
  5. Ne pas prendre le temps de découvrir et de s’imprégner de la culture de l’entreprise.

Bien entendu, cette liste n’est pas exhaustive et les risques de faux-pas ne manquent pas.

En ce sens, fondé sur une méthodologie éprouvée, le coaching de prise de poste vous apporte des clés essentielles qui vous permettent de baliser votre route et surtout d’éviter certains pièges, notamment au niveau relationnel.  Le coaching vous permet de voir clair et de savoir quoi faire.

Cela vous sécurise et vous met dans les meilleures conditions pour réussir dans vos nouvelles fonctions.


*Pour toute information sur le coaching de prise de poste, vous pouvez me contacter en m’écrivant à phs@sarrazin-coaching.com .

PS : J’ai été récemment interviewé par Action Co sur le coaching de dirigeants en situation de crise. Vous pouvez retrouver cette interview en cliquant ici.

sarrazin-coaching.com
1 bis, villa Alexandrine
92100 Boulogne
RCS Nanterre B 423 053 867

Comités des risques | Plus « risqués » que les comités d’audit ? *


Voici un excellent article publié hier par Howard Davies dans le FT portant sur les nouvelles réalités de la gouvernance, particulièrement dans les institutions financières.

En effet, une enquête du Financial Times (The FT’s A-List), montre, de manière convaincante, que les comités de risques sont maintenant plus « redoutés » que les comités d’audit. C’est un phénomène récent qui n’est pas encore bien documenté mais l’expérience des membres de conseils semble indiquer que ces comités sont moins recherchés, principalement parce que les experts en risques siégeant sur les conseils sont trop peu nombreux.

Il y a 10 ans, les administrateurs accordaient peu de temps à la surveillance des risques, faisant ainsi une confiance presqu’aveugle aux experts de la direction. Les préoccupations et les priorités des conseils ont changé radicalement depuis 2008, notamment depuis que les autorités réglementaires rendent obligatoire la constitution de comités de risques sur les C.A. des institutions financières.

Plusieurs autres secteurs d’activité ont suivis en accordant une place prépondérante à la gestion des risques et à la mise en place de comités de risques distincts des comités d’audit.

L’article ci-dessous présente l’état de la situation et les changements qui s’imposent dans la gouvernance des organisations, Voici un extrait de cet article. Bonne lecture !

 

 Audit is no longer the chore the board dreads most

« There is uncertainty about what risk committees should do »

 

Until recently, most non-executive directors would have told you that the audit committee is the one they really wish to avoid. The meetings are long, the papers voluminous, and the duties burdensome. So the conclusion of a recent survey by Per Ardua, an executive search company, came as a surprise. Eighty per cent of respondents in the financial sector now say that the risk committee is the one to dodge – even though audit and remuneration committees have so far more often exposed non-executives to public criticism.

The FT’s A-List

The A-list

The A-List provides timely, insightful comment on the topics that matter, from globally renowned leaders, policy makers and commentators

The survey responses suggest three possible explanations. First, the risk committee has a broad range of responsibilities. For a bank, traditional value-at-risk measures, which reflect the likelihood that the bank’s loans will go bad, are just the beginning. The agenda has broadened into operational, regulatory, legal and reputational risk, demanding detailed knowledge of all areas of the business – and of the relevant rules within which they operate. Regulation is increasingly complex, and varies significantly by country.

Second, whereas audit committees look backwards, risk committees must look forwards – a more difficult task. True, the dividing line is not quite so stark in practice; some auditors do live in the here and now. But overseeing future risks requires greater exercise of judgment, and involves the use of stress testing and other relatively novel techniques.

Third, the regulatory focus on risk committees has grown. Before the Walker review of corporate governance in financial firms, most banks in the UK did not have a separate risk committee. The same was true in the US. The audit committee did the job in its spare time. Now regulators on both sides of the Atlantic look to the risk committee and its chairman to answer for the stability of a bank, to oversee compliance with capital regulation and to take responsibility for its resolution and recovery plans. Those plans are highly technical.

Source: www.linkedin.com

Voir Scoop.itgouvernance

____________________________________

* En reprise