Governance news — 19 November 2013

David Jones continues to remain in the media spotlight this week with further speculation about the board’s relations with management and the recent share purchases by two non-executive directors. Also this week, David Murray, former chief executive officer of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, clarified his position on gender diversity. And a leading American academic questioned the independent board model.

Of further relevance to boards: Ian Dunlop, who has nominated for a position on the board of BHP Billiton, has written an article asserting that boards are the key to addressing climate change; a new study by PwC compares the perspectives of directors and investors on a range of corporate governance issues; a corporate adviser has devised a 10-point plan for achieving board autonomy in a climate of increasing shareholder scrutiny; and a survey of more than 1,000 US public company directors reveals that, despite optimism about the economy, directors are burning out.

The Australian Shareholders Association is advising shareholders to vote against David Jones’ remuneration report at the retailer’s upcoming annual general meeting…

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