Governance News — 3 December 2013

Executives and researchers continued to explore issues around gender diversity this week: Dr Lisa O’Brien, chief executive officer of the Smith Family, stated that to achieve boardroom gender equality, vulnerable girls from disadvantaged backgrounds require access to education and opportunities; Dr Judith MacCormick, partner of corporate search company Heidrick & Struggles, argued that directors need to fill the role, not replace the person, to achieve better results for gender diversity; and a new study by the University of British Columbia indicates that an increased number of female directors lowers the cost of M&A activity.

According to other recent media reports, leadership in the ‘big four’ banks should remain largely unchanged in 2014. And Graincorp’s chairman refuted criticism that the board was responsible for the failed ADM takeover.

Meanwhile, academics from New South Wales University and Alabama University have published a paper on the potential effect that independent directors’ individual reputational concerns can have on board decisions. As well, renowned US lawyer Martin Lipton has expressed his views on the key corporate governance challenges facing boards in 2014…

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