Les devoirs des administrateurs selon la règlementation du Royaume-Uni (UK)


Aujourd’hui, je prends l’initiative de vous présenter un résumé de la règlementation UK eu égard aux devoirs des administrateurs de sociétés, accompagnée d’une explication de David Doughty*, expert en gouvernance, sur les sept (7) principaux devoirs de ceux-ci.

Il n’y a rien de bien nouveau quant aux responsabilités qui incombent aux administrateurs en Grande-Bretagne. En fait, le UK Company Act date de 2006 et on y trouve une description claire, et toujours d’actualité, des fonctions d’administrateurs qui s’appliquent autant aux indépendants qu’aux non-indépendants (plus particulièrement, les membres de la hautes direction qui siègent au conseil).

Ce texte est tiré d’un récent billet paru sur le blogue de David Doughty. Bonne lecture !

Les devoirs des administrateurs selon la description de la règlementation UK

The 2006 Companies Act, which set out to streamline and simplify UK Company law, ended up being one of the largest pieces of legislation ever written!

However, it did, for the first time, specify exactly what a Company Director’s duties are (which apply equally to both Executive and Non-Executive Directors), as follows:

  1. To act within powers
  2. To promote the success of the company
  3. To exercise independent judgement
  4. To exercise reasonable care, skill and diligence
  5. To avoid conflicts of interest
  6. Not to accept benefits from third parties
  7. To declare interest in proposed transaction or arrangement with the company

To take them one by one – To act within powers – how does a director know what powers he or she is required to act within?

A good place to start is the Articles of Association (previously known as the Memorandum and Articles or ‘Mem and Arts’) – when was the last time you looked at these? When did your board last review them to make sure that they are still appropriate? These, together with any shareholder agreements, contracts, covenants and other items form the company’s constitutional documents which define your powers as a director.

P1020182If you haven’t looked at these for a while, or worse still, have never looked at them, then ask your Company Secretary for copies as soon as possible.

Next – To promote the success of the company – prior to the 2006 Act it used to be the case that company directors were responsible to shareholders and providing they endeavoured to ensure a decent return on the shareholders investment then they were complying with their duties.

Following the ‘unacceptable face of capitalism’ scandals of Lonrho and Slater Walker in the 1970s and the corporate failures of the ’80s leading to the Cadbury Report and the UK Corporate Governance Code it became clear that company directors had much wider duties which are now enshrined in the 2006 Companies Act, especially in respect of promoting the success of the company.

To promote the success of the company – having regard (amongst other matters) to:

The likely consequences of any decision in the long term;

The interests of the company’s employees;

The need to foster the company’s business relationships with suppliers, customers and others;

The impact of the company’s operations on the community and the environment;

The desirability of the company maintaining a reputation for high standards of business conduct; and

The need to act fairly as between the members of the company

Clearly, the new act, which applies equally to Executive and Non-Executive company directors in the UK, establishes a legal duty for directors to avoid short-termism in their strategic decision making and take into account the legitimate interests of their staff, suppliers, customers, the community and the environment as well as their shareholders.

With regard to the need To exercise independent judgement – it is important that, regardless of job title or board role or independence, all directors come to the boardroom table as equals, with joint and several liability for the decisions that they make and that they are not unduly swayed or influenced in making those decisions.

All directors are expected To exercise reasonable care, skill and diligence – which means that they should devote sufficient time to their role (which limits the number of directorships any individual may hold) and come to every board meeting well prepared, having read all the board papers and where possible, having had off-line conversations with fellow directors about key strategic matters.

Turning up to board meetings late and trying to read the papers during the meeting for the first time is unlikely to lead to an effective contribution to decision making or a satisfactory discharge of your duties as a company director.

Holding more than one board position or running your own business whilst serving on the board of another company are likely to compromise your legal duty To avoid conflicts of interest – whilst it is not always possible to avoid conflicts of interest, you should be aware of the possibility and alert the board when conflicts are likely to occur.

A well run board will have a Register of Interests, which will be reviewed annually, containing a list of all directors’ outside interests. The standing agenda for each board meeting should include an item for Declarations of Interests, at which point directors should declare if they have an interest in an agenda item. Often, if this is the case, the director will formally leave the meeting whilst the matter is being discussed and will only re-join once a decision has been made.

All directors should be aware of the requirement Not to accept benefits from third parties – compliance with this aspect of the act can be demonstrated by maintaining a Gifts and Hospitality register and ensuring that there is a company-wide policy on entertainment paid for by third parties.

Finally, directors need to comply with the requirement To declare interest in proposed transaction or arrangement with the company – most commonly this covers property transactions or contracts with businesses that a director has an interest in. The sphere of interests that need to be declared also usually includes the director’s spouse, children and immediate family.

If you are a company director and you have been aware of your duties under the 2006 Companies Act and you have been complying with them then you can be satisfied that you are acting within the law – if not, then you should review how you and your board operates to make sure that you are discharging your director’s duties correctly.


*David Doughty, Corporate Governance Expert, Chartered Director, Chairman, Non-Executive Director, Entrepreneur. He works with company directors to help them and their boards to be more effective. He provides Investment Due-dilligence, Board Evaluation, Director Development and facilitated Board Strategic Away-days.

Les devoirs des administrateurs selon la description de la règlementation UK


Aujourd’hui, je prends l’initiative de vous présenter un résumé de la règlementation UK eu égard aux devoirs des administrateurs de sociétés, accompagnée d’une explication de David Doughty*, expert en gouvernance, sur les sept (7) principaux devoirs principaux de ceux-ci.

Il n’y a rien de bien nouveau quant aux responsabilités qui incombent aux administrateurs en Grande-Bretagne. En fait, le UK Company Act date de 2006 et on y trouve une description claire, et toujours d’actualité, des fonctions d’administrateurs qui s’appliquent autant aux indépendants qu’aux non-indépendants (plus particulièrement, les membres de la hautes direction qui siègent au conseil).

Ce texte est tiré d’un récent billet paru sur le blogue de David Doughty. Bonne lecture !

Les devoirs des administrateurs selon la description de la règlementation UK

 

« The 2006 Companies Act, which set out to streamline and simplify UK Company law, ended up being one of the largest pieces of legislation ever written!

However, it did, for the first time, specify exactly what a Company Director’s duties are (which apply equally to both Executive and Non-Executive Directors), as follows:

  1. To act within powers
  2. To promote the success of the company
  3. To exercise independent judgement
  4. To exercise reasonable care, skill and diligence
  5. To avoid conflicts of interest
  6. Not to accept benefits from third parties
  7. To declare interest in proposed transaction or arrangement with the company

To take them one by one – To act within powers – how does a director know what powers he or she is required to act within?

A good place to start is the Articles of Association (previously known as the Memorandum and Articles or ‘Mem and Arts’) – when was the last time you looked at these? When did your board last review them to make sure that they are still appropriate? These, together with any shareholder agreements, contracts, covenants and other items form the company’s constitutional documents which define your powers as a director.

P1020182

If you haven’t looked at these for a while, or worse still, have never looked at them, then ask your Company Secretary for copies as soon as possible.

Next – To promote the success of the company – prior to the 2006 Act it used to be the case that company directors were responsible to shareholders and providing they endeavoured to ensure a decent return on the shareholders investment then they were complying with their duties.

Following the ‘unacceptable face of capitalism’ scandals of Lonrho and Slater Walker in the 1970s and the corporate failures of the ’80s leading to the Cadbury Report and the UK Corporate Governance Code it became clear that company directors had much wider duties which are now enshrined in the 2006 Companies Act, especially in respect of promoting the success of the company.

To promote the success of the company – having regard (amongst other matters) to:

The likely consequences of any decision in the long term;

The interests of the company’s employees;

The need to foster the company’s business relationships with suppliers, customers and others;

The impact of the company’s operations on the community and the environment;

The desirability of the company maintaining a reputation for high standards of business conduct; and

The need to act fairly as between the members of the company

Clearly, the new act, which applies equally to Executive and Non-Executive company directors in the UK, establishes a legal duty for directors to avoid short-termism in their strategic decision making and take into account the legitimate interests of their staff, suppliers, customers, the community and the environment as well as their shareholders.

With regard to the need To exercise independent judgement – it is important that, regardless of job title or board role or independence, all directors come to the boardroom table as equals, with joint and several liability for the decisions that they make and that they are not unduly swayed or influenced in making those decisions.

All directors are expected To exercise reasonable care, skill and diligence – which means that they should devote sufficient time to their role (which limits the number of directorships any individual may hold) and come to every board meeting well prepared, having read all the board papers and where possible, having had off-line conversations with fellow directors about key strategic matters.

Turning up to board meetings late and trying to read the papers during the meeting for the first time is unlikely to lead to an effective contribution to decision making or a satisfactory discharge of your duties as a company director.

Holding more than one board position or running your own business whilst serving on the board of another company are likely to compromise your legal duty To avoid conflicts of interest – whilst it is not always possible to avoid conflicts of interest, you should be aware of the possibility and alert the board when conflicts are likely to occur.

A well run board will have a Register of Interests, which will be reviewed annually, containing a list of all directors’ outside interests. The standing agenda for each board meeting should include an item for Declarations of Interests, at which point directors should declare if they have an interest in an agenda item. Often, if this is the case, the director will formally leave the meeting whilst the matter is being discussed and will only re-join once a decision has been made.

All directors should be aware of the requirement Not to accept benefits from third parties – compliance with this aspect of the act can be demonstrated by maintaining a Gifts and Hospitality register and ensuring that there is a company-wide policy on entertainment paid for by third parties.

Finally, directors need to comply with the requirement To declare interest in proposed transaction or arrangement with the company – most commonly this covers property transactions or contracts with businesses that a director has an interest in. The sphere of interests that need to be declared also usually includes the director’s spouse, children and immediate family.

If you are a company director and you have been aware of your duties under the 2006 Companies Act and you have been complying with them then you can be satisfied that you are acting within the law – if not, then you should review how you and your board operates to make sure that you are discharging your director’s duties correctly ».

__________________________________

*David Doughty, Corporate Governance Expert, Chartered Director, Chairman, Non-Executive Director, Entrepreneur. He works with company directors to help them and their boards to be more effective. He provides Investment Due-dilligence, Board Evaluation, Director Development and facilitated Board Strategic Away-days.

Modèle de supervision du management | Lignes de défense des parties prenantes


Vous trouverez ci-dessous un document de réflexion publié par Sean Lyon* et paru dans la série Executive Action du Conference Board. Ce document partagé et commenté par Denis Lefort, CPA, CA, CIA, CRMA, fait référence à cinq (5) lignes de défense interne, soit les opérations, les fonctions de surveillance tactiques comme la gestion des risques et la conformité, les fonctions d’assurance indépendante que sont le comité d’audit, l’audit interne et les autres sous-comités du conseil, et, enfin, la direction et le conseil d’administration.

Quatre lignes de défense externe sont aussi proposées, soit: les auditeurs externes, les actionnaires, les agences de notations et les organismes de réglementation.

Le modèle des 5 lignes de défense est aussi comparé au modèle traditionnel des trois lignes de défense.

Finalement, l’auteur insiste sur l’importance pour l’ensemble des lignes de défense d’agir de façon concertée, voire intégrée, pour assurer le succès global des interventions des uns et des autres pour le bénéfice de l’organisation.

Voici un extrait du document. Bonne lecture !

Corporate Oversight and Stakeholder Lines of Defense

Corporate stakeholder responsibility should take intoaccount various stakeholder groups, including shareholders, employees, customers, suppliers, special interest groups,

communities, regulators, politicians, and, ultimately, society. Consequently, a comprehensive corporate oversight framework should be multi-faceted to safeguard the diverse interests and varied expectations of all stakeholders. Increasingly, stakeholders are demanding oversight that safeguards a multitude of their interests, be they financial, economic, social, or environmental. Such an inclusive approach should include an appreciation of the symbiotic relationship that exists between business, society, and nature.

Michael Oxley , U.S. Senator from Maryland.
Michael Oxley , U.S. Senator from Maryland. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Organizations should understand the complexity of this interconnectedness to fulfill their social responsibilities. A holistic focus that includes the various lines of defense approach helps provide different stakeholders with the comfort that their interests are safeguarded, if implemented appropriately. A lines-of-defense framework provides stakeholders with a comprehensive system of “checks and balances.”

The existence of such an integrated framework means that stakeholders can reasonably rely on it to ensure that the organization is fulfilling its fiduciary duties, legal obligations, and moral responsibilities, while creating durable value and sustainable economic performance in the process. For this approach to operate effectively, however, each line of defense must play its part both individually and collectively—fulfilling its oversight duties within a holistic framework.

Accordingly, each line of defense collaborates with and challenges the other (complimentary yet antagonistic) lines of defense, as it acts in its own enlightened self-interest. Enhanced cooperation and communication between these lines of defense should be facilitated by better interaction between stakeholders through regular dialogue which is based on mutual understanding of the organization’s objectives. This, however, must be achieved without allowing respective responsibilities or accountabilities to become blurred in the process.

To strengthen corporate defense capabilities, organizations should consider fortifying the second line of defense, which provides the critical link between operational line management and executive management. For many organizations, this is still perhaps the weakest link in the chain. Unfortunately, in many organizations, the defense activities at this layer are operating in a silo; they are not in alignment with other lines, but rather, operate in isolation, with little or no interaction, sharing of information, or collaboration. The activities of an effective second line of defense must be managed in a coordinated and integrated manner.

Each of the other lines of defense requires differing degrees of fortification, but this perhaps has as much to do with best practices rather than any radical makeover. The goal is to reach a more effective balance between the spirit of guidelines based on principle and the interpretation of guidelines that are legal or more prescriptive.

____________________________________

* Sean Lyons is the principal of Risk Intelligence Security Control (R.I.S.C.) International (Ireland) and a recognized corporate defense strategist. He is published internationally and has lectured and spoken at seminars and conferences in both Europe and North America. His contributions have been acknowledged in the Walker Review ofCorporate Governance in UK Banks and Other Financial Institutions, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC)’s Review of the Effectiveness of theCombined Code and the International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN)’s ICGN Corporate Risk Oversight Guidelines. In 2010 Sean was shortlisted as a finalist in the GRC MVP 2009 Awards organized by US based GRC Group (SOX Institute) co-chaired by Senator Paul Sarbanes and Congressman Michael Oxley.

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Quelle est la place des parties prenantes dans la gouvernance ? Le rapport King III sur la gouvernance en Afrique du Sud


 

Voici un résumé des énoncés concernant l’importance à accorder aux parties prenantes dans le nouveau code de gouvernance en Afrique du Sud. Ce sont des questions qui sont de plus en plus abordées dans les discussions sur le traitement à accorder aux parties prenantes, autres que les actionnaires:

The Principles underlying King III’s Chapter 8, Managing Stakeholder Relationships are stated to be the following:

8.1. The board should take account of the legitimate interests of stakeholders in its decisions.

8.2. The company should proactively manage the relationships with its stakeholders.

8.3. The company should identify mechanisms and processes that promote enhanced levels of constructive stakeholder engagement.

8.4. The board should strive to achieve the correct balance between its various stakeholder groupings, in order to advance the interests of the company.

8.5. Companies should ensure the equitable treatment of shareholders.

8.6. Transparent and effective communication is important for building and maintaining relationships.

8.7   The board should promote mutual respect between the company and its stakeholders.

Voir le rapport au complet:

REPORT ON GOVERNANCE FOR SOUTH AFRICA (Rapport King III)