Author Archives for PwC Center for Board Governance

Trust but Verify: The Power of Skepticism in the Boardroom

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Bribery and corruption risk continue to be big issues for companies—especially with the increasing number of reported incidents and regulatory enforcements in recent years. This panel of audit, legal, and governance experts discussed cultural factors that can breed fraud, and they also discussed what directors should know about combatting fraud. The experts outlined steps that boards can take in their oversight role, as well as the importance of that role in transactions. Highlights: 1. Tone at the top is paramount. The CEO sets the tone for the company, and the board should be aware of the specific tone that has... Read More

Power Breakfast: Managing Activist Shareholders

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Shareholders don’t always agree with companies’ business plans or growth models, and some are becoming more active in making their opinions heard. This panel discussed how companies and executive teams can deal with activist shareholders. Referring to Carl Icahn’s recent dealings with Transocean in March 2013, the panel also discussed the importance of shareholder activist response plans and how companies need to have them in place. Understanding how to prepare, research, incorporate, and communicate disclosure strategies through investor relations and communications teams is also essential to effectively managing and dealing with activist shareholders. Highlights: 1. Historically, large companies with good... Read More

Story Circle: Who Elected Her? America’s First Ladies

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America’s First Ladies have always been a diverse group, from Eleanor Roosevelt to Jackie Kennedy to Michelle Obama. Historian Deborah Jones Sherwood talked about the colorful, controversial, and charismatic women who have graced the White House. Some First Ladies have been criticized for being too influential, while others have been viewed as being disinterested in taking on the role of “The Nation’s Hostess.” Others have been responsible for significant acts of legislation, preserving historical treasures, and promoting awareness of social and humanitarian concerns. Some even helped get presidents elected, long before women won the right to vote. Many First Ladies... Read More