The Conference Board Governance Center Blog

Feb
03
2016

Fact of the Week: Data on corporate giving points to correlation between societal investment and firm performance

By Matteo Tonello, Managing Director, Corporate Leadership at The Conference Board

Research conducted by CECP, in association with The Conference Board, reveals companies that increased giving by 10 percent or more saw a median 14 percent growth in pre-tax profit and a median 9 percent growth in revenue, compared with a median 9 percent growth and 2 percent growth respectively for all other companies. This correlation over a three-year time period from 2012-2014 serves to refute critics who believe that engaging with societal stakeholders is a drain on performance.
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Jan
27
2016

Fact of the Week: Societal investment remains strong, as companies embrace enterprise-wide giving strategies

By Matteo Tonello, Managing Director, Corporate Leadership at The Conference Board

Research conducted by CECP, in association with The Conference Board, shows that corporate philanthropy officers are making an evermore pervasive case for a cohesive, enterprise-wide giving strategy, urging colleagues to contribute to and inform its development while integrating it more deeply within the firm. This collaborative effort also furthers awareness across the business leadership of how the company is a force for good in society. A notable 56 percent of companies increased giving between 2012 and 2014. The reasons cited for these increases exemplify the trend towards an integrated function. These reasons include “improved tracking and measurement capabilities of corporate societal investments and activities” and “expansion of employee engagement programs such as increased participation in matching gift or pro bono opportunities.” Both of these examples indicate more resources being invested in corporate philanthropy and a strategy that embraces more internal stakeholders.

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Jan
22
2016

New Release: Handbook on Corporate Governance in India: Legal Standards and Board Practices

By Matteo Tonello, Managing Director, Corporate Leadership at The Conference Board

I am pleased to present Handbook on Corporate Governance in India: Legal Standards and Board Practices, the inaugural release of The Directors’ Collective.

The Handbook is designed as a practical reference tool reviewing key features of the legal and regulatory standards applicable to today’s Indian corporate boards, from their composition to their activities. The material is organized by the variety of functions and responsibilities in the director’s job description—the qualification and appointment process; fiduciaries’ liability and indemnification; the delegation of authority to board committees and the role and responsibilities of nomination, remuneration, and audit committees; the duty of overseeing an ethics and compliance program; and specific requirements pertaining to disclosure, related party transactions, risk management, and corporate social responsibility. Read our press release.

The release of the Handbook marks the launch of The Directors’ Collective, a new initiative that brings together the independent research and thought leadership of The Conference Board with the direct expertise that professional services firm KPMG, Russell Reynolds Associates, and Khaitan & Co. have developed while assisting Indian businesses.

To access Handbook on Corporate Governance in India, click here. For more information on The Directors’ Collective and to inquire about its membership, click here.

Jan
22
2016

Director Notes: Activist Hedge Funds, ‘Golden Leash’ Special Compensation Arrangements, and Advance Notice Bylaws

By Matteo Tonello, Managing Director, Corporate Leadership at The Conference Board

The tactics used by activist hedge funds to target companies continue to command the attention of corporate executives and board members. This Director Notes discusses recent cases highlighting activist efforts to replace directors at target companies. It also examines the use of controversial special compensation arrangements sometimes referred to as “golden leashes,” the argument for and against such payments, their prevalence, and the parallel evolution of advance notification bylaws (ANBs) to require disclosure of third party payments to directors. Download the current issue of Director Notes.

Director Notes is a complimentary publication. Please forward it to your colleagues to subscribe. Do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions or suggestions regarding future topics. For information on membership to The Conference Board, please email us at membership@conferenceboard.org.

Dec
09
2015

Fact of the Week: R&D investment of large multinationals increasingly focuses on developing sustainable products

By Matteo Tonello, Managing Director, Corporate Leadership at The Conference Board

Research conducted by The Conference Board in collaboration with the Investor Responsibility Research Center Institute reveals few companies track sustainability-specific R&D spending separately. However, among the few companies that do, the investments are significant and have been growing. A sample of seven S&P Global 100 companies allocated on average about two-fifths of R&D spending to sustainability, or $1.6 billion. Compared to 2010, sustainability-specific R&D spending by these companies increased on average by 21 percent, outpacing the 15 percent increase in overall R&D spending by these same companies.

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