Saturday, October 25, 2008

Feds and Corporate Governance

Speakers at a two day National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) meeting in Washington, D.C., talked about a coming storm for corporate boards and chief executives.

In the first hundred days of whatever administration takes power in January, the winds are blowing in the direction of a significant Federal Government incursion into the board room and executive suite, with governance, executive compensation, "say on pay," and opening up the proxy process for shareholder proposals being high on the list of issues.

If a comprehensive, well-crafted effort is put forward, then the aftermath will be manageable. If there are a series of ad hoc measures on each issue, like Sarbanes-Oxley, then the costs will be very high and much attention will be wasted on checking more boxes rather than on governing like good stewards.

Stay tuned.

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