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How to Write about Corporate Governance Prepared and Presented by Yasser Akkawi.

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Presentation on theme: "How to Write about Corporate Governance Prepared and Presented by Yasser Akkawi."— Presentation transcript:

1 How to Write about Corporate Governance Prepared and Presented by Yasser Akkawi

2  An active and informed media is essential in helping small investors and other affected stakeholders make informed decisions about corporations.  Good governance is a fundamental element of a democratic society.  The media sector provides oversight and strengthens a democratic system.

3 Management deals with daily operations, while Governance is about the underlying ethics of a corporation. Poor management can affect governance Weak governance undermines the financial and operational performance of a corporation Weak governance affects investors’ faith in the company.

4 CIPE © 20084 Corporate Governance Business Ethics CORE VALUES TransparencyFairnessAccountabilityResponsibility Guide for behavior Structure of decision-making

5 ◦ Ethical business practices increase the ability to keep existing customers and gain new ones ◦ Positive impact on employees ◦ Attracts foreign and domestic investment ◦ Improves the image of the company to the public ◦ Shows a commitment to playing a positive role in society and being a good corporate citizen CIPE © 20085

6 Effective corporate governance means that: ◦ Transparency values are present ◦ Investors receive timely and relevant information ◦ Decision-making is not done behind closed doors ◦ Decision-makers are held accountable for their actions ◦ Managers act in the interest of a company CIPE © 20086

7 Effective corporate governance makes it hard for companies to provide bribes or other company resources to government officials in exchange for services. CIPE © 20087

8 Functioning Markets Better Environment for Doing Business CIPE © 20088 Rule of Law Good Governanc e PropertyRights Access to Informatio n MarketEntry

9  Owners and managers in family firms are the same – so is corporate governance still relevant?  Need access to new capital  Prepare for succession planning  Transparency in decision-making  Improve company image in the community  Ensure legal compliance with the laws  Confront corruption CIPE © 20089

10  Separate family and company relationships  Address differing interests of among family members (some want dividends, others want to reinvest profit)  Create well-understood and concrete governance policies for the company  Create a strategy to handle growth of company CIPE © 200810

11 Find out what information the company has actually submitted and ask the following questions:  Are the reports accurate?  Are the reports adequate?  How easy is it for shareholders to access information?  What is the company’s attitude toward shareholders and other stakeholders?

12 It is essential that every corporate governance story includes the basic elements of good journalism:  Factual and accurate information  Credible sources  Jargon-free language  Balance and fairness  Time frame  Context & background  Implications & relevance  The ‘so what’ angle

13  Serve our readers/listeners/viewers;  Represent them when they cannot be present;  Pay attention for warning signs;  Find and tell the truth as far as you can;  Expose problems/ fraud/ corruption/ negligence/ incompetence/ abuse of power;  Act as an independent watchdog (especially where regulations or the legal system is imperfect or insufficient);

14  Challenge business people, politicians, regulators, and absolutely anyone involved  Check inconsistencies in comments and claims  Report views from all sides  Compare and contrast different views  Explain and give background  Analyze the situation (with the help of resources)

15  For good corporate governance, a company’s leadership should be clear and transparent about how a company is run and how it is doing  If the media does its job well, it will help make the situation more transparent;  The media’s job is to ask questions and follow up the answers;  Journalists must understand corporate governance issues to be effective

16  For balance ask a variety of different stakeholders their views on corporate governance questions;  Stakeholders represent a wide range of sources for story ideas on CG;  Build your knowledge. Think more about the issues around corporate governance and you may get more ideas for stories  Corporate governance is a way to look for the root of a company’s problems

17  Company news is not just about reporting results and performance but also what happens within a company to achieve that;  Its not just about strategy but how a company decided on that strategy;  Highlight where transparency is lacking and privilege exists. Otherwise someone gets an unfair advantage, which is likely to be inefficient;

18  Highlight what differs in your country from internationally accepted good or best practice ( and ask why);  See what laws/regulations/codes you don’t have in your country that others do and ask why not?;  Discuss the relationship between the financial crisis and corporate governance issues - audience interest tends to increase when markets fall and companies crash

19  Highlight issues rather than the term “corporate governance” but begin to use the term in articles and explain what it means.  Poor corporate governance can lead to: ◦ Corruption and Fraud ◦ Conflicts of interest ◦ Interference between family problems and the company ◦ Tax evasion or money-laundering ◦ Poor treatment of employees ◦ Disregard for the environment  These are issues that affect all Yemenis

20  Examples and case studies are good ways to explain to your audience;  People like reading about people. Humanize the corporate governance stories – how does this effect ordinary people?

21  Ask companies why they don’t follow accepted corporate governance ‘principles’ where others do;  If a company is not submitting information to the public, ask them why not?  Check the by-laws of a company – what do they require the company to do? Are they complying with their own rules?

22  See what’s changed from company’s previous annual report etc. what don’t they report or highlight any more? Have they changed focus and, if so, why?;  Try to find people on the inside that will give you information – but beware legal problems;  Raising questions at an early stage can warn people of potential problems before the authorities take action;

23  Try to influence governments and regulators to take necessary action;  Probe to see if companies put action to their words about committing to good corporate governance  Follow up/ monitor any promises of action;  Make foreign investors, analysts, portfolio managers and active market players partners and contributors;  Check relevant forums and blogs for clues  Subscribe to specialist publications like Global Proxy Watch.

24  Corporate governance affects shareholders, workers, customers, suppliers, financiers concerned about investments, people with pension funds – you have to illustrate the impact.  Executive excess. Greed. Power struggles  Conflict between managers and owners (as well as other stakeholders)

25  Company Employees;  Company Analysts;  Former Employees;  Company Advisors;  PR Representatives;  Industry Associations;  Competitors; and  Front-line Personnel.

26 Good reporting on business and economic trends can be found on:  BBC at  Business Week at  The Economist at This offers some articles without a subscription.  The Financial Times at (partial subscription)  Reuters at  The Wall Street Journal at (subscription only)


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