WASHINGTON: The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) launched a campaign earlier this week aimed at spurring corporate boards and directors at publicly traded companies to strengthen their governance efforts to restore public and investor confidence.
The campaign - “America's Challenge for Corporate Directors: Renew Commitment to Corporate Governance and Oversight Excellence” – encourages members to use the group's “Key Agree Principles,” which it began compiling 18 months ago, as a framework, according to Lane Bailey, president of global public affairs at GolinHarris, which has been working with the NACD since October 2008. It covers topics like transparency and shareholder communications.
“The mission is putting the corporate director back in a leadership role inside the board rooms,” he said.
The effort, which launched March 24, includes a microsite, and outreach to members but also significant outreach to Congress. According to Bailey, NACD has found that there is a “misunderstanding” in Congress of what boards do and a desire among Congress to understand best practices and gather information. It plans to host “Corporate Governance 101” education sessions with legislators, but its still in the planning stages.
The group has also created white papers around four areas – executive compensation, risk oversight, corporate strategy, transparency – which were sent to Congress and others.
The campaign also seeks to encourage boards to voluntarily report the things they've done to enhance corporate governance so investors can see the efforts being made.
“It's time that directors step up and remind themselves of what best practices are,” Bailey said.