In the wake of the economic collapse and the devastating impact of risky behavior by management in companies like Citigroup and Countrywide, corporate boards are paying more attention to their responsibility for oversight. While most of the problems developed in the financial sector, boards in other sectors are naturally concerned especially as they watch mounting legislation in Washington.
That’s why smart boards are getting ahead of the curve. Even if the U.S. Chamber of Commerce issues a statement saying that it is “disturbed by the change” to eliminate broker discretionary voting, smart boards are preparing for the 2010 proxy season. Rather than railing against an activist Securities and Exchange Commissioner, most directors recognize underlying shareholder concerns. They are serious about good governance because it’s a business value.