Jersey Business School students taught benefits of good governance

London/Jersey, 11 February 2015 – Simon Osborne, Chief Executive of ICSA, a respected global authority on governance and compliance, yesterday addressed business students and other guests at Jersey Business School about the value of good governance, the importance of transparency and disclosure, and the distinction between governance and management.

Commenting that ‘good governance can help support corporate value by reducing losses and inefficiencies, saving board time and improving the decision-making process’, Mr Osborne outlined the ten essential components of good governance as follows:

  • Clear, consistent strategy
  • Clear and appropriate communication
  • Robust processes and controls
  • Good open relationships with stakeholders
  • Board has balance of skills and experience
  • Sufficient independent directors
  • Transparent appointments process
  • Clear distinction between roles of Chairman & CEO
  • Good succession planning
  • Clear delegations of authority.

Governance hot topics such as remuneration, cyber risk, social media risk, boardroom diversity, risk management and ethics were also discussed. Mr Osborne stressed how effective governance is only possible if appropriate boardroom behaviour is in evidence.

“An effective board develops and promotes its collective vision of the company’s purpose, culture, values, and the behaviours it wishes to promote in conducting its business. Problems occur when there is no clear understanding of the board’s role, there is a lack of independent thinking and the board fails to question assumptions and accepted beliefs. A good board has diversity of knowledge, skills, experience and judgment, and encourages rigorous debate and challenges in a constructive, confident, principled and proportionate way. Fostering a supportive decision-making environment and achieving closure on each item of board business is essential.”

He recommended that all governance and compliance professionals question three things:

  • Are corporate governance policies and ‘architecture’ fit for purpose?
  • Has management installed adequate processes and systems?
  • Are directors exhibiting the appropriate behaviours?

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Notes to Editors:

  1. ICSA (Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators) is the chartered membership and qualifying body for professionals working in governance, risk and compliance, including company secretaries. Our members work in all sectors and at every level of seniority. With over 120 years of experience, we champion high governance standards by providing qualifications, training, high-quality guidance and support (including technical resources, publications and software), and through our work with regulators and policy makers. 
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