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  • DIRECTORS TO WATCH: New Guidance Invites Investor Action on Diversity and Inclusion
    By Scott Chase
    Earlier this year, the Business Roundtable (BRT) and Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) issued new initiatives and public policy recommendations on workplace diversity and inclusion, from the ground floor all the way to the boardroom, spelling out potential penalties for publicly traded compan...
  • Remote Meetings Could Improve Diversity and Inclusion
    By Harry Kraemer
    The COVID-19 pandemic has precipitated massive changes in how companies do business, how their employees perform their jobs, and how board governance is carried out amid tremendous uncertainty and even chaos. As many boards experienced, when COVID-19 struck, meetings increased in number from four to...
  • Taking a Fresh Look at Third-Party Risk
    By Tarun Sondhi
    COVID-19, and measures to limit its spread, have led to unexpected border closures, regional lockdowns, facility shutdowns and quarantine mandates for workers causing a shortage of raw materials, reduced production levels and unprecedented supply-chain disruption and delays.Spikes in demand for some...
  • Chief Diversity Officer Success Depends on Board, Executive Commitment
    By Tory Clarke and Toya Lawson
    Since the wave of protests in response to the killing of George Floyd erupted across the country and the world, the demand for Chief Diversity Officers (CDO) has dramatically increased beyond the 50% of Fortune 500 companies that already had one in place (63% of those adding the position in the last...
  • Editor's Note: Keep Politics Out of the Boardroom
    Issue: 2020 Third Quarter
    By Charles Elson
    We were traditionally taught that there were two things never discussed in polite company — religion and politics. These were guaranteed to ruin any family Thanksgiving dinner. Why? Because they were naturally divisive — subjects about which every member of any gathering would have widely differ...
  • Letter from the Chairman: Service to Our Nation
    Issue: 2020 Third Quarter
    By Robert H. Rock
    A new model of capitalism based on the overarching themes of purpose, inclusion, and sustainability is upending the decades old doctrine of shareholder primacy. For over a half century, corporate America has placed priority on providing profitability for its shareholders, which has proven to be high...
  • Sticking to Business in the Boardroom
    Issue: 2020 Third Quarter
    By April Hall
    Jon Hanson says his first board appointment was likely connected to his politics. Not necessarily because he was a Republican or a Democrat, but because of his relationships.Hanson, the founder and chairman of Hampshire Real Estate Companies, was appointed to the New Jersey Bell (now Verizon) board ...
  • Anyone's Game: This year’s U.S. presidential election will likely be a photo finish. How should boards prepare?
    Issue: 2020 Third Quarter
    By Maureen Milford
    Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden perhaps made the understatement of the 2020 presidential election in a school gym a few miles from his home in Greenville, Del.“Well, this is the most unusual campaign, I think, in modern history,” Biden said during a June speech on the coronavirus pandemic....
  • Anyone's Game: If Trump Is Reelected
    Issue: 2020 Third Quarter
    By Maureen Milford
    Incumbents historically have had the best odds of a win. Since 1900 only five incumbents have lost a second-term bid.Economic downturns were afflicting the nation in all five of these political upsets, including that of Gerald Ford, who was never elected but became president after Richard Nixon’s ...
  • Anyone's Game: If Biden Wins
    Issue: 2020 Third Quarter
    By Maureen Milford
    While former Vice President Joe Biden has developed a progressive platform in his bid for president, during his decades in the Senate his political style was not vociferous or overly confrontational about progressive issues.Corporate directors who are interested in preparing for a Biden victory migh...
  • Anyones Game: A Contested Election
    Issue: 2020 Third Quarter
    By Maureen Milford
    Of the potential results in November, a close election raises a significant wild card for boards of directors.There has been some concern expressed that President Donald Trump may not concede if he loses to his challenger Joe Biden in a close election if he can raise claims about the legitimacy of t...
  • Crisis as an ESG Catalyst
    Issue: 2020 Third Quarter
    By Deborah Elllinger
    COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter have brought a harsh spotlight on environmental, social and governance issues (ESG), especially on the many “S” issues boards oversee. Your investors, employees and other stakeholders should know you understand and will react accordingly.While the pandemic is stil...
  • Two Views — Will the shift to virtual board recruitment be bad for boards? Possibly, but not for the reasons you might think.
    Issue: 2020 Third Quarter
    By Nicole Sandford
    Virtual recruitment is not without challenges that, left unchecked, may result in poor board choices. A virtual process potentially eliminates some of the informal interactions that can be helpful in assessing cultural fit and values alignment. Board dinners, one-on-one in-person meetings with indiv...
  • Two Views — Virtual interviews tend to be more structured and somewhat more formal, encouraging everyone to be more prepared.
    Issue: 2020 Third Quarter
    By Julie Daum
    The magnitude of the COVID-19 health crisis and collapse in economic activity is unlike anything we have seen. Within most organizations, traditional in-person work patterns have been disrupted, while others have seen widespread layoffs or furloughs. Anxiety about job loss, economic uncertainty, per...
  • How Boards Can Respond to Calls for Racial Equity
    Issue: 2020 Third Quarter
    By Seymour Burchman, Barry Sullivan and Julia Thorner
    With widespread protests over persistent racism, many boards of directors are looking for their companies to do more to support racial equity. Here are considerations for different approaches that boards and management teams might pursue.Deciding among ESG goalsRacial justice is now a top-of-mind co...
  • Remote Meetings Could Improve Diversity and Inclusion
    By Harry Kraemer
    The COVID-19 pandemic has precipitated massive changes in how companies do business, how their employees perform their jobs, and how board governance is carried out amid tremendous uncertainty and even chaos. As many boards experienced, when COVID-19 struck, meetings increased in number from four to...
  • The Corporate Purpose Debate: Shareholder Value and Corporate Responsibility in an Era of COVID-19 and Social Unrest
    By Holly J. Gregory
    “U.S. public corporations are not playthings. They create jobs, produce goods and services that consumers depend on, affect the environment we live in, and build wealth that help Americans lead more secure lives. They are socially chartered institutions of enormous importance and value. Those who ...
  • Maintaining the ‘Softer Side of Governance’ in a Socially Distant World
    Issue: 2020 Third Quarter
    By Dottie Schindlinger
     As the COVID-19 pandemic began to surge in March and forced a global shift to remote work, there was a widespread assumption that the changes to corporate life would be temporary. It now seems more reasonable to assume our work lives have changed forever and working remotely will remain a comm...
  • One Capitalist Response to Black Lives Matter
    By Thomas A. Cole
    A number of leading capitalists assert that our economic system  is “frayed” (Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase), “broken” (Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates) and even “dead” (Marc Benioff, founder of Salesforce). As a result, there has been a resurgence in corporate foc...
  • Can Your Compliance Program Pass the Test?
    Issue: 2020 Third Quarter
    By Doug Raymond and Dan Collins
    Recent days have convincingly demonstrated the importance of the board’s risk oversight obligations, as the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic spread and cascaded globally. Under the In re Caremark International line of cases, the board should be aware of the types and magnitudes of the principal ri...