A country strategy on how to improve upon corporate governance from form to substance
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A country strategy on how to improve upon corporate governance: from form to substance. Sebastian Molineus Practice Manager, Capital Markets Practice The World Bank Presented on May 14, 2012, in Chisinau, Moldova. Objective and outline. Objective.

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A country strategy on how to improve upon corporate governance from form to substance
A country strategy on how to improve upon corporate governance: from form to substance

  • Sebastian MolineusPractice Manager, Capital Markets PracticeThe World BankPresented on May 14, 2012, in Chisinau, Moldova


Objective and outline
Objective and outline governance: from form to substance

Objective

To provide inputs on how to improve upon corporate governance practices in Moldova

Outline

Defining what good corporate governance is and why it matters

What are the lessons from over 10 years of World Bank experience

A potential roadmap for Moldova


Introduction: what is and why does corporate governance matter?

Lessons learned: Corporate governance challenges across the world

A potential roadmap for reforms


To begin with, it is important that we are all on the same page as to what good corporate governance means

Simplified definition

  • The OECD defines corporate governance as:

    • A system by which companies are directed and controlled …

    • which involves a set of relationships between:

      • a company’s management

      • board of directors

      • its shareholders and

      • other stakeholders

    • … and which provides the structure through which company objectives are set, attained and monitored.

Source: OECD Principles of Corporate Governance


What is “bank governance”? How is it different? page as to what good corporate governance means

The manner in which banks are governed by

their boards and senior mgmt, which affects how they:

Set corporate objectives

Operate the bank on a day-to-day basis

Meet their accountability to shareholders and interests of stakeholders

Operate the bank in a safe and sound manner, and in compliance with laws and regulations

Protect the interests of depositors

Source: Basel Committee on Banking Supervision - Enhancing corporate governance for banking organisations


The following illustration offers a ‘look & feel’ of the key themes corporate governance touches upon

Illustration

Strong enforcement regime

Good board practices

Robust control structures

Strong disclosure & transparency regime

Protection of (minority) shareholder rights

Robust legal & regulatoryenvironment


But what does it mean to in practice
But what does it mean to in practice? key themes corporate governance touches upon

v

… in the end, corporate governance is about whatpeople in privileged or responsible positions actually do (or don’t do) withother people’s (e.g. shareholders’ and depositors’) money!

A change in behavior!


  • Streamlines business processes, leading to better operating performance & lower capital expenditures

    • Gompers, Ishii and Metrick, Corporate Governance and Equity Prices, August 2001

  • Improves the company’s ROCE, with firms in the top cg quartile avg. 33% & in bottom quartile 15%

    • Credit Lyonnais SA, 2001

  • Better share price performance, higher profitability, larger dividend payouts & lower risk levels than peers

    • Lawrence Brown, Georgia State University, Sept. 2003

  • Global Institutional Investors managing more than 1 trillion of assets state that they will pay a premium for well governed companies. Premiums avg. 30% in Eastern Europe & Africa and 22% in Asia and Latin America

     McKinsey Global Investor Opinion Survey on Corporate Governance, 2002

  • Over 10 years, well-governed companies across a wide range of sectors have seen superior valuation multiples of more than 8% over their badly governed peers.

    • Metrick, Ishi and Gompers, Corporate Governance and Equity Prices, August 2001

  • One standard-deviation improvement in governance brings an improvement in valuation multiples that ranges from 18% for companies in major OECD markets to 33% in emerging markets.

     Clapper and Love, World Bank, 2002

  • CG can make/break reputations by creating confidence &goodwill andbuilding/restoring investor trust

The good news: research and practice demonstrates that good corporate governance adds to the corporate “bottom line”

Optimizes Operational and Financial Efficiency

Improves Access to Outside Capital

Improves Valuation and Lowers the Cost of Capital

Builds/Improves the Company’s Reputation


And also brings benefits to the public performance & lower capital expenditures

 For regulators and supervisors

  • A first line of prudential defense

  • Increased financial stability & reduction to crisis

     For markets

  • Higher market capitalization and liquidity

  • Increase in investor confidence and trust

  • Ability to attract, allocate & monitor investment

     For economies

  • More “champion” companies that can compete and grow internationally

  • Higher economic growth


Introduction: what is and why does corporate governance matter?

Lessons learned: Corporate governance challenges across the world

A potential roadmap for reforms


The World Bank has carried out 90 governance assessments or reviews in 70+ countries, including the ECA region, with the following set of lessons learned

The World Bank’s Corporate Governance Group carries-out country-level corporate

governance ROSC assessments, and reviews for SOEs and financial institutions


1. Most boards are not fulfilling their role: that of providing managerial oversight and strategic guidance on behalf of all shareholders

  • Boards involved in day-to-day management; no succession plans

  • Duties (of loyalty and care) defined, but not understood

Role

  • In practice, most companies have not formed board committees

    • Position of CEO and chairman legally separated, yet insiders continue to dominate board

Structure

  • MCGC calls on 1/3 of boards to be independent, but definition fails to cover directors who are shareholders

  • In practice, few directors thought to be truly independent

Composition

  • Except for the largest companies, NEDs receive low pay

  • Executive pay not based on formal evaluation or LT incentives

Remuneration

  • Cultural stigma against training

  • Board self evaluations virtually non-existent

Training & evaluation


Financial and non-financial disclosure in particular remains weak, despite the adoption of IFRS and ISA

  • IFRS typically mandatory, but often incomplete, or based on outdated versions

  • In practice, critical gaps in financial reporting in terms of quality and timeliness

  • Few companies prepare and disclose annual reports; most do not have CG sections

  • Little information on CG, ownership, board information, remuneration, risk structures, etc

  • Conflicts of interest due to the provision of non-audit work

  • Quality of peer review process questioned


Financial institutions have often established the requisite control functions, although most remain nascent and under-resourced

Key control functions

Key issues

“Shareholder boards” are focused on growth, dividends, and market share, but not on the bank’s risk/return dimension

  • Most boards do not set risk appetite, approve credits

  • Risks are identified, assessed, monitored in units–but not across the bank through a CRO

  • Risk function has sufficient authority/stature, but lacks independence, resources and board access

1

Risk management

  • IC in some banks is underdeveloped due to lack underlying IT infrastructure

  • Inadequate follow-up to management letter

2

Internal controls

  • IA formally reports to CEO and AC, but in practice, strong liaison to CEO in most banks (sets salary, promotion, hiring/firing)

  • Few IA plans truly risk based

  • IA function has sufficient authority/stature, but lacks independence, resources and board access

3

Internal audit

Controls are under-resourced and under-staffed

4

  • Formal report to board but CEO typically presents for the head of compliance; position lacks authority and resources

  • Often consists of only one individual (0.2 vs. 1%)

Compliance


Introduction: what is and why does corporate governance matter?

Lessons learned: Corporate governance challenges across the world

A potential roadmap for reforms


Much has already been achieved these past ten years! However, the CG ROSC shows that a number of important challenges remain

Today’s Achievements

Tomorrow’s Challenges

  • CG Codes/Regs launched for listed companies, banks, SOEs

  • Key laws in place & recently amended; new reforms launched

  • A&A, CG ROSCs commissioned

  • To close remaining gaps in the legal and regulatory framework

  • Modernize and build ‘smart’ CG frameworks

Legal & regulatory reforms

  • SECs typically in place; resourced

  • MoUs between the CB, SEC, MoF to ensure for financial market stability

  • Build enforcement capacity/ regulatory “bite”, with real fines

  • Independence of regulators should be strengthened

Enforcement capacity

  • Launch of CG reform

  • Launch of CG Centers and training programs to build capacity among directors

  • Boards need to fulfill their primary role of oversight/guidance

  • Disclosure must be improved

  • Nascent internal control frameworks are built

Actual practices


Policy recommendations the government of moldova might consider the following strategy
Policy Recommendations. The Government of Moldova might consider the following strategy:

  • Targeted changes to the regulatory framework

    • Amend corporate governance code; specific regulations

  • Launch CG course for shareholders, board members and sr. managers

    • Targeted training courses for board members and sr. managers, as well as for technical control bodies (Internal Audit, Risk Management, etc.)

  • Incorporate CG into supervisory process

    • CG incorporated into supervisory process and supervisors to receive targeted training; issue implementation guide

  • Require financial institutions and other public interest entities to carry-out corporate governance (self) assessments

    • Financial institutions to develop action and implementation plans

    • Develop a strategy to improve upon the corporate governance of SOEs.

  • Carry-out comprehensive review of the legal and regulatory framework, incl. Company and Banking Law

Short term(<1 year)

Medium term(years 2-3)

Long term

(>4 years)


But in the end
But in the end … consider the following strategy:

… it is up to the private sector to demonstrate its commitment to real reforms!


More specifically, in building a corporate governance framework, Moldovan financial institutions will need to…


Direct to organize energize and supervise to lead
Direct = to organize, energize, and supervise; to lead framework, Moldovan financial institutions will need to…

Create a professional, vigilant, and independent board

In practice, this means that board need to:

  • Set policies and the overall direction, and not manage (“nose in, hands out”)

  • Guide and supervise management; set performance objectives

  • Act in the interest of the company and all shareholders, not a particular shareholder

  • Build robust corporate, board, and risk governance frameworks


To disclose revealing uncovering making known to others
To disclose = framework, Moldovan financial institutions will need to… revealing, uncovering, making known to others

2. Improve disclosure practice!

In practice, disclosure means:

  • Disclosing accurate, relevant and timely financial information

  • Disclosing non-financial information!

  • Being transparent to shareholders, debt-holders, depositors, regulators, and other stakeholders

  • Demonstrate how “other people’s money” is being used, what risks are being taken, and what returns shareholders may expect


To control = to check, test, or verify framework, Moldovan financial institutions will need to…

4. To create a robust control environment.

In practice, building a robust control framework means :

  • Understanding the company’s risks

  • Implementing internal controls

  • Establishing an independent internal audit function

  • Working with (not against) theexternal auditor

  • Establishing an audit committee to coordinate the control environment


To protect = to shield from injury or damage, save from financial loss

4. Protect shareholder rights

In practice, protecting shareholder rights is to:

  • Inform minority shareholders of their rights

  • Allow all shareholders to participate in the profits of the company

  • Protect shareholders from abusive actions, e.g. related party transactions


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