What is good governance?
1. Clear, consistent strategy
2. Clarity of business purpose
3. Board articulated values
4. Clear and appropriate communication
5. Robust processes and controls
6. Good open relationships with stakeholders
7. Board has balance of skills and experience
8. Sufficient independent directors
9. Transparent appointments process
What is good governance?
10.Clear distinction between roles of chairman & CEO
11.Good succession planning
12.Clear delegations of authority
How much attention should be given to this?
Governance measures embedded on a ‘business as usual’ basis
Factor into the annual cycle
Look at governance policies/views of major stakeholders
Engage early if planning to depart from published governance policies or the Code
Complying with governance provisions
Box ticking’ - a missed opportunity
One can tick all the boxes and miss something crucial
Not being able to tick all the boxes is not necessarily a sign of poor governance
Essential to think through what is right for your organisation
Clear board and committee structure and terms of reference and delegations of authority –
right number of meetings
Clear and embedded process and controls
A committed, skilled, ‘challenging’ board
Keeping up to date – high quality MI
Transparent and open relationships with stakeholders
• £263m accounting misstatement in accounts in 2014 due to disputed supplier agreements
• Lost £2bn in stock market value in September 2014 then further £1bn in October 2014
• Eight executives suspended and Chairman resigned.
• Former UK Finance Director, UK Managing Director and Food Commercial Director
charged with fraud and false accounting in a case brought by the Serious Fraud Office.
Pleaded not guilty and trial confirmed for September 2017.
• FRC investigation into a member firm and members – PwC and members of the
accountancy profession involved in the preparation, approval and audit of Tesco’s
accounts for the financial years 2012, 2013 and 2014 – is ongoing. Only confirmed so
far that the investigation into former Chief Financial Officer has been closed as there
was no realistic prospect that a Tribunal would make an adverse finding in relation to
• FCA also investigating and has the power to prosecute companies and individuals if
they have provided misleading information to investors
• A shareholder activist group is bringing legal claim that Tesco made misleading
statements to the stock market which investors relied on when making investment
decisions and seeking compensation for losses.
Volkswagen (aka Hoaxwagen)
• Admitted cheating emissions tests using a ‘defeat device’ in diesel engines that could
detect when they were being tested and was fitted in about 11m cars worldwide.
• Between September and October 2015, preference shares lost 45% of their value.
• Recalling millions of cars, had to set aside €18.2bn to cover costs and posted its first
quarterly loss for 15 years of €2.5bn in late October 2015.
• Agreed a $14.7bn civil settlement in the US, which involves either buying back or
repairing cars and compensation and compensation for customers
Volkswagen (aka Hoaxwagen)
• Settlement with Department of Justice – VW pleaded guilty to three felonies &
paying criminal fine of $2.8bn & $1.5bn to settle EPA & US Customs civil claims.
• German prosecutors are investigating the chairman, who was the CFO when
scandal broke in September 2015, an unnamed other member of the board, and
the former CEO.
• EU Commission is taking legal action against seven nations, including UK and
Germany, for failing to take action against VW for cheating emissions tests.
• A claim for €8.2bn in damages has been launched by 1,400 German investors.
• Legal action has been launched against VW. Asset manager Blackrock in Australia
and a group of institutional shareholders are suing for €2bn due to the fall in the
• Revealed in September 2016 that it had fired 5,300 employees, roughly 1% of its
workforce, for signing customers up for checking accounts and credit cards without their
knowledge. 2m sham accounts opened from 2011 onwards, due to pressure to meet daily
account quotas. The bank then charged customers at least $1.5m in fees for these
• $185m in fines by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in the US and $5m to
• Facing a $2bn lawsuit.
• Probed by the FBI and federal prosecutors in New York and California, which could lead to
• CEO resigned and forfeited $41m in bonuses.
• Head of Retail Operations forfeited $19m of bonuses and left without a payoff.
• Failure to prevent a cyber attack in 2015 in which 150,000 customers had their details
stolen, including bank account numbers, birth dates and addresses.
• Record fine of £400,000 by Information Commissioner’s Officer
• Went into administration in April 2016 having been sold for £1 in 2015 with a
pension fund deficit of over £570m.
• Investigated by the Work and Pensions Committee and the Business, Innovation
and Skills Committee.
• Pensions Regulator seeking £350m from Sir Philip Green and Dominic Chappell,
the former owners, to cover the deficit.
• MPs have suggested a fine from the Pensions Regulator for Sir Philip Green,
which could be as high as £1bn, and that he should be stripped of his
Benefits of good governance
1. Saving time and money
2. Better risk management
3. Lower cost of capital
4. Enhanced reputation
5. Better stakeholder relations
6. More investor support when ‘non-compliant’ or when problems arise
The value of governance
1. Good governance should help support corporate value by enhancing reputation,
reducing losses and inefficiencies, saving board time and improving the
2. Why do it otherwise?