Exemplary boardroom leadership means advancing a company’s best interests while also maintaining a responsible and accountable corporate culture. Whether shareholders are seeking to remove directors or third parties are questioning corporate responsibilities, obtaining a consensus on best governance practices is a key asset for corporate leaders. Knowing what their peers are doing can help boards assess their decisions instead of working in a vacuum.
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.
To purchase a copy of the latest Public Company Governance Survey, visit http://www.nacdonline.org/Store/ProductDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=3854.