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Corporate Governance Viewpoints


QFINANCE viewpoints provide you with the distilled thoughts of finance leaders and experts, outlining their current thinking on the crucial issues and challenges facing finance managers, entrepreneurs and business executives. The contributions are drawn from an array of practitioners and thinkers from the world of finance and business.

  • Challenges to growth prove the value of sustainability for corporate Africa
    by Malango Mughogho
    Can we begin by looking at the natural constraints that the South African economy faces?One of the natural constraints on South Africa's development is the availability of water. South Africa is defined as a water-stressed country and has approximately 98% of its water resources already allocated. The straightforward fact that South Africa has to grapple with is that some 50% of all the fresh water available in the country is "created", i.e....
  • Cultures of Control: International Corporate Governance
    by Fahad Toonsi
    This article was first published in Quantum magazine.Competing models of corporate governance have grown up as cross-border ownership of major financial institutions becomes more prevalent. Dr Fahad Toonsi analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of the different systems in play round the world.
  • Days of Reckoning
    by Sir John Stuttard
    Sir John Stuttard has spent his career with accountants, PricewaterhouseCoopers, of which he is now a vice-chairman. He has focused on auditing, acquisitions, stock exchange listings, and privatizations for UK, US, and Scandinavian companies. He was made a Knight, and then a Commander, of the Order of the Lion of Finland, and has been Chairman of the Finnish–British Chamber of Commerce. He served in the Cabinet Office for two years and spent...
  • Executive Pay Structures in Financial Services: The Limitations of the “Tournament” Approach
    by Thomas Noe
    There is obviously a long-running controversy over how bankers are rewarded, but this controversy blurs the distinction between bankers and traders in banks—with the latter being the more obvious candidates for performance-related pay. What is your view of appropriate compensation structures in the financial services sector?It is useful to understand the background to some of the concepts involved, such as performance-related pay, piecework, and...
  • Lessons from Russia
    by Bruce Misamore
    Bruce Misamore was Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Chairman of Yukos, Russia’s largest oil company, from 2001 until 2005. While there, he introduced world-class standards in corporate governance, financial transparency and accounting. However, Misamore’s reforms were unwound when the company had its domestic assets seized by the Russian government after 2004 and Russia arrested its chief executive Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Misamore resigned in...
  • Lessons from the Credit Crisis: Governing Financial Institutions
    by Jay W. Lorsch
    Jay W. Lorsch is an internationally recognized expert in boards and corporate governance. Here he argues that the lack of experienced bankers on bank boards was a major contributor to the 2008 financial crisis. He believes that the “independence” criteria played a big part in banks’ preference for nonbankers as nonexecutives, and must now be reconsidered. Lorsch also argues that US companies should keep the roles of chairman and CEO separate as...
  • Making It Count: Independent Nonexecutive Directors
    by Brandon Davies
    This article was first published in Quantum magazine.The inability of independent nonexecutive directors (INEDs) to rein in banks’ excesses has been highlighted in the wake of the financial crisis. Brandon Davies, an INED himself at Gatehouse Bank, examines whether proposed reforms to strengthen their role go far enough.
  • Mobilizing the Power of Pension Funds to Transform Corporate Behavior
    by Catherine Howarth
    FairPensions owes its origins to the pioneering campaign by students and university staff to influence the investment strategy of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) in the 1990s. Campaigners pressed the fund’s trustees to invest more ethically and responsibly. The USS didn’t go as far as introducing ethically based screening, but it did adopt a robust, responsible investment strategy that committed it to active engagement with...
  • Regulation, Corporate Governance, and Boardroom Performance Must Be Shaken Up If We Are to Avoid Another Financial Crisis
    by Stewart Hamilton
    Stewart Hamilton, professor of accounting and finance at business school IMD, argues that corporate governance failures, and particularly a lack of expertise among nonexecutive directors, were largely to blame for the financial crisis. Here he proposes a number of solutions, including that shareholders should take more of an interest in the qualifications of company directors, and that the “Big Four” accountancy firms should be broken up. He has...
  • The “Comply or Explain” Approach to Improving Standards of Corporate Governance
    by Sir Christopher Hogg
    Sir Christopher Hogg was Chairman of the Financial Reporting Council from 1 January 2006 to 1 May 2010. He began his career in industry with Courtaulds in 1968, going on to become Chief Executive in 1979, executive Chairman from 1980, and non-executive Chairman from 1991 to 1996. He was a non-executive director and subsequently Chairman of Reuters Group (1984-2004), SmithKline Beecham and then GlaxoSmithKline (1993-2004), and Allied Domecq...
  • This Time It’s Serious: Shareholders and Executive Remuneration
    by Sir Howard Davies
    This article was first published in Quantum magazine.Shareholders, influenced by changing social and political attitudes to high rewards, are finally making their voices heard in protest, and chiefs of previously invulnerable institutions are feeling the heat.
  • Working Toward Equity in Africa’s Extractive Industries
    by Caroline Kende-Robb
    In 2013 the Africa Progress Panel (APP)1 focused on equity in Africa’s extractive industries. Africa is experiencing what is probably going to be a long-running bull market in commodities, driven by continued rapid expansion in emerging markets like China and India. What Africa does not need is to find that it comes out at the other end of this commodities bull market with very little to show for all the mineral and oil wealth that has vanished...

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