Governance in Action

Welcome to the first edition of The Director. Sheffield has joined forces with business periodical publisher, Profile Publishing, and leading law firm, Simpson Grierson to establish The Director and provide increasingly expanded editorial coverage of corporate governance issues. Co-sponsoring the publication of this magazine is logical extension of the activities of our governance practice.

Directors and their boards are increasingly placed under the public and media microscope. As company that works in the area of board composition, board effectiveness and “best practice governance”, we see the provision of material that will help directors keep abreast of, understand and discuss governance issues as natural extension of these services.

The Sheffield Academy of Corporate Governance was established last year to initiate research in partnership with research organisations, hold fora to establish issues of interest to directors, to publish material and bring directors together for the exchange of information and ideas.

Sheffield works closely with the Institute of Directors. As the professional body for all directors in New Zealand we assist the IOD in ensuring that the code of conduct for New Zealand directors is respected and followed.

Ultimately we want Sheffield’s Academy to maintain and improve corporate governance standards in New Zealand. We see The Director as an important source of published material.

Ian Taylor, Managing Director
Sheffield Limited

Few company directors are unaware of the strong focus on corporate governance both internationally and locally. Internationally, particularly in the United States, trust in big corporates has, for obvious reasons, waned. There is now greater, worldwide focus, on the need for improved corporate governance.

In the United States and United Kingdom, new and proposed changes to corporate governance represent watershed in formulating compliance structures. The ASX has adopted new corporate governance guidelines and in New Zealand, the NZSE, Securities Commission and Institute of Chartered Accountants have issued reports, statements or new rules. It is rapidly changing world and directors must understand how new corporate governance requirements impinge on them.

The challenge now is to adopt practices or codes that demonstrate commitment to good governance and simultaneously give comfort to legislators, regulators and shareholders alike that appropriate protection exists. Corporate governance is first and foremost about human behaviour. Regulations might make it more difficult for wrongdoers but, no amount of regulation will prevent those intent on beating the system from doing so.

Specialist publications and new initiatives such as The Director, are valuable mediums to reinforce the principles of corporate governance, to educate and inform the business community, and to acknowledge those who get it right.

Simpson Grierson is delighted to be sponsorship partner of The Director and to have the opportunity to comment on this important issue – one that our own clients, many of whom are amongst New Zealand’s leading corporates, are getting right.

Rob Fisher, Chairman
Simpson Grierson

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