Directors broadly confident despite widening expectation gap
Recent developments in expectations of corporate governance have put Australian Boards in the spotlight.
The Royal Commission into Financial Services, the APRA Prudential Inquiry into the CBA, self-assessments by large financial institutions and other changes to the governance of listed companies are raising big questions about the responsibilities and accountabilities of Boards.
So, how are they responding?
To find out, PwC invited Non-Executive Directors (NEDs) of ASX 300 listed companies to share their views on the challenges facing Australian Boards and what needs to change.
Our survey revealed that despite intense scrutiny, the majority of NEDs believe their Boards do not need to make significant changes to their governance activities.
The survey findings did, however, highlight a number of opportunities to strengthen governance and a particular concern around the widening expectation gap on the role and purpose of the Board.
The analysis reflects PwC’s interpretation of the statistical responses to the survey questions, influenced by the additional free-text comments provided by a number of NEDs, some of which are quoted in the following sections.
PwC invited Non-Executive Directors of ASX 300 company Boards to complete the survey. Responses were received from 112 directors, and 10 contributed to the analysis through discussion groups.
Respondents were asked to answer from the perspective of the largest ASX company of which they were a director. On this basis, 52% of respondents were in the ASX Top 100, 22% in ASX 101-200 and 26% in ASX 201-300. The proportion of respondents from each industry sector were as follows: financial services (29%), consumer markets (16%), energy, utilities and resources (14%) and property (12%).
Our interpretation of the survey results has also been informed by the many free-text comments received from survey participants, and sometimes by the weight of comments which on occasion may have influenced a slightly different perspective than the raw data in isolation.
We would like to thank all participants in the survey, and especially the following directors for their contribution to the analysis: Lyndsey Cattermole A.M., Peter Day, Peeyush Gupta, Rick Holliday-Smith, Marie McDonald, Ziggy Switkowski A.O., Wai Tang, Peter Warne, Catherine West and Mike Wilkins.
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