Posts Tagged ‘George Dallas’

Business Ethics in Emerging Markets and Investors’ Expectations Standards

Posted by George Dallas, F&C Management Ltd., on Saturday January 19, 2013 at 10:20 am
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Editor’s Note: George Dallas is Director of Corporate Governance at F&C Investments. This post is based on an article by Mr. Dallas that first appeared in the International Corporate Governance Network’s 2012 Yearbook.

Ethics is in origin the art of recommending to others the sacrifices required for cooperation with oneself.” Bertrand Russell

Since the publication of its Statement and Guidance on Anti-Corruption Practices in 2009, the ICGN has actively advocated the fight against bribery and corruption as a fundamental component of the corporate governance agenda. The Statement and Guidance takes a global perspective, making clear that anticorruption is a priority in all markets.

But is it appropriate to set the same standards for anticorruption in all jurisdictions, particularly in emerging markets, where many underlying conditions are different and where bribery and corruption are particularly acute in both the public and private sectors? This was the question posed as the main discussion point at ICGN’s “Town Hall” meeting on business ethics in its June 2012 conference in Rio de Janeiro. Meeting participants, from a range of developed and emerging markets, expressed a resounding consensus that investors should not compromise their standards on anticorruption in emerging markets, even if corruption may be a more deep-rooted problem. However, while absolute standards on anticorruption should remain undiluted — beginning with a “zero tolerance” position — there may be different anticorruption strategies to apply in emerging markets, reflecting economic, cultural and legal differences.

…continue reading: Business Ethics in Emerging Markets and Investors’ Expectations Standards

Disclosure of Corporate Political Spending a Needed First Step

Posted by George Dallas, F&C Management Ltd., on Tuesday August 30, 2011 at 9:17 am
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Editor’s Note: George Dallas is Director of Corporate Governance at F&C Management Ltd. and chair of the Business Ethics Committee at the International Corporate Governance Network. This post is based on an ICGN comment letter by Mr. Dallas and Christianna Wood submitted to the SEC, available here. The petition that is referenced in the comment letter is available on the SEC website here, and a post by Lucian Bebchuk and Robert Jackson, co-chairs of the committee submitting the petition, is available here.

The International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN) would like to voice its support for the recent petition that was sent to the Securities and Exchange Commission on August 3, 2011 by the Committee on Disclosure of Corporate Political Spending, advocating a rulemaking project to require disclosure of corporate political spending to public company shareholders. The ICGN concurs with this group of academic experts in corporate and securities law that more robust disclosure of corporate political spending is of interest to investors. While the ICGN’s purview is a global one, we believe this matter is particularly relevant in the United States given last year’s Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC, which confirmed the rights of U.S. companies to provide funding for political purposes.

The ICGN recognises that corporate political activity can be positive. However when corporate resources are deployed to seek political influence there is also potential for abuse. In the extreme this can lead to serious breaches of business ethics, particularly when influence is sought through corrupt practices or in ways that are not consistent with promoting the long-term interests of the company and its investors.

…continue reading: Disclosure of Corporate Political Spending a Needed First Step

Corporate Governance in Emerging Markets

Posted by George Dallas, F&C Management Ltd., on Wednesday August 24, 2011 at 9:22 am
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Editor’s Note: George Dallas is Director of Corporate Governance at F&C Investments. This post is based on an International Finance Corporation report by Mr. Dallas and Melsa Ararat, Director of the Corporate Governance Forum of Turkey and faculty member at Sabanci University; the full report is available here.

Emerging markets play an increasingly important role in the global economy, given their high economic growth prospects and their improving physical and legal infrastructures. Combined, these countries account for nearly 40 percent of global gross domestic product, according to the International Monetary Fund.

For some investors, emerging markets offer an attractive opportunity, but they also involve multifaceted risks at the country and company levels. These risks require investors to have a much better understanding of the firm-level governance factors in different markets.

The Complexity of What Matters in Emerging Markets [1]

Over the past two decades, the relationship between corporate governance and firm performance has received considerable attention from inside and outside academia. Most cross-country studies on corporate governance focus on the relationships between economic performance and countries’ different legal systems, particularly the level of investor protections.

…continue reading: Corporate Governance in Emerging Markets

Credit Quality as a Bonus Underpin

Posted by Scott Hirst, co-editor, HLS Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, on Monday February 14, 2011 at 10:43 am
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Editor’s Note: This post comes to us from George Dallas, Director of Corporate Governance at F&C Management Ltd., and is based on a concept paper prepared by F&C Management.

In the aftermath of the recent financial crisis, bank remuneration remains a critically sensitive issue – for shareholders, creditors, regulators, governments and the general public. This is particularly the case for those systemically important financial institutions that received government bailouts. While many of these institutions are beginning to recover, the negative effects of increased debt taken on at the public sector level to protect the financial system have resulted in serious and lingering economic problems in many countries, including the UK and the US. Indeed, the impact of public sector balance sheets absorbing losses of the banking sector has had the after-effect of contributing to sovereign debt crises in several smaller European jurisdictions — which continue to plague investors, taxpayers and the wider economy.

…continue reading: Credit Quality as a Bonus Underpin

 
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