Here at NACD our annual governance surveys—public, private, and nonprofit—underlie nearly every aspect of the organization’s activity. From our Blue Ribbon Commission reports, to peer exchanges and our annual Board Leadership Conference, data collected from the thousands of respondents informs discussions, forums, topics, and future events. Beyond the boardroom, the trends, statistics, and perspectives captured in these surveys provide those in the C-suite, investors, and stakeholders with crucial information on the current state of corporate governance in the United States.
In the regulatory sphere, we use survey data to inform our comment letters and in-person testimony on behalf of boardrooms to regulators and lawmakers. Most recently, survey responses from NACD’s membership strengthened a December 2013 comment letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission on pay ratio disclosure.
NACD also uses the three annual governance surveys to create industry-specific one-page benchmark reports. Whether you use one of these or commission an NACD Custom Benchmarking Report, data broken down by industry, size, or both serves as an excellent starting point for boardroom discussions.
NACD is dedicated to providing directors with timely and pertinent content, but we need your input. As a thank you for participating in these surveys, NACD will send each participant a free electronic copy of the final report for each survey he or she takes. This is the sole opportunity for non-NACD members to receive a copy; once this window closes only NACD members and participants will be able to view the final report.
As companies prepare for and react to the unique external events that will shape their corporate climate in the months and years to come, they can benefit from external benchmarks for their corporate governance practices. However, in a year marked by a troubled economy and sweeping legislative reforms, standards for best practices in governance often become increasingly murky.
NACD helps boards tap into the latest trends and issues for boards with our 2011 Public Company Governance Survey. The survey offers a comprehensive review of the most up-to-date governance trends, incorporating input from almost 1,300 individuals from public company boardrooms. In addition, the information gleaned from respondents is enhanced by the inclusion of data from 2,400 proxy statements compiled by Institutional Shareholder Services.
The survey provides insights on a wide range of issues, including shareholder communications, CEO succession planning, director competence, and directors’ response to new proxy disclosure requirements. In addition, it features a special section on executive compensation, which is broken down into 24 industry sectors. Among the key survey findings this year:
The board’s role in overseeing strategic planning, corporate performance and valuation are top priorities for the majority of respondents.
Nearly 70 percent of respondents characterize their company’s long-term strategy as “balanced,” with moderate risk and moderate expected reward.
Directors believe that their current governance structures and practices enhance their ability to effectively and efficiently fulfill their duties.
Most boards have not formalized their CEO succession plans.
Nearly one-third of respondents feel the current disclosure requirements for corporate governance are “excessive and should be reduced.”
Data gleaned from this latest survey is also used to create the comprehensive NACD Custom Board Benchmarking Report, which provides boards with the opportunity to conduct an in-depth analysis of their current structures, practices, strategies and policies in comparison to their industry and peer group companies.