Governance News — 5 February 2014

David Jones’ announcement that it received a merger proposal from Myer last year has received considerable media coverage, with the board’s actions variously questioned, criticised and commended. As well this week, AFR journalist Patrick Durkin said concern is mounting as to whether S&P/ASX100 companies are equipped to deal with growth in Asia given that less than three per cent of their directors were born in Asia, and none grew up there.

Overseas, in a ‘surprise move’, Canon has appointed its first independent directors, apparently in response to increasing pressure on large Japanese companies to improve governance and risk management. And US retailer Abercrombie & Fitch is enhancing the independence of its board by appointing three new directors.

On the topic of remuneration: a UK code of practice for independent external board evaluations has been proposed; some companies are reportedly discussing ways to ‘circumvent’ the proposed EU cap on bankers’ bonuses…

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