Commonsense Corporate Governance Principles

This document has been drawn up by a group of senior executives from large US companies and institutional investors (JP Morgan, General Motors Company, Blackrock, Verizon, among others), who are conscious of the critical role played by public corporations in the US economy and of the need for these to apply sound principles of corporate governance to ensure their long-term sustainability.

It contains a set of principles and recommendations providing a frame of reference for these corporations as a starting point for promoting constructive dialogue about best corporate governance practices.

Some of the recommendations contain broad-brush guidelines in the following areas:

  • Strategic focus on long-term value creation for shareholders;
  • Boards of directors comprising a majority of independent members;
  • Diversity of aptitudes, skill sets and experience among board members;
  • Induction and training programmes for board members, to contain updated information about the industry, the company, its operations, the regulatory framework, etc.:
  • Separation between the positions of Chair of the Board and the company’s CEO. If the two jobs are held by one person, the role of the lead independent director will be established, and this lead director should have clearly defined functions and responsibilities;
  • Assessment of board members, led by a non-executive Chair or the lead director;
  • Transparency in disclosing information to the market, especially reporting on the company’s long term goals and strategies;
  • Succession planning for senior management figures.