Governance News — 1 July: developments in Australia and overseas
Boards and directors
In a recent speech about ASIC’s expectations of directors, chairman Greg Medcraft focused on shaping a culture of compliance, lessons from Centro’s case and the gatekeeper role. Also on the podium, prominent director David Gonski has rejected the notion that a board role is suitable for someone wanting to slow down or cut back on their working hours.
In the US, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chair Mary Jo White recently spoke about the role of directors as corporate governance ‘gatekeepers’. The New York Times reported on the speech and, in doing so, discussed a study on the behavioural effects of director conflict disclosures. Also in the US, NACD’s president and chief executive officer has offered some lessons for boards when ‘their sense of corporate good conflicts with resolutions advanced by specific owners’.
On the topic of gender diversity, a study has reportedly found that in Norway, board quotas for women have had ‘little effect’ beyond ‘placing more women on boards’, but has rebutted the argument quotas would lead to unqualified female appointees…
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Michael Hughes reports on the decision of Justice Davies in the Federal Court of Australia refusing ASIC’s application to remove liquidators appointed to two companies.
SAFE has announced reforms to its foreign exchange administration in order to make it easier for Chinese individuals and companies to invest abroad.