The Institute of Directors, Tamil Nadu State Chapter hosted the Global Summit 2014 on Business Excellence on August 22 and 23, 2014 at ITC Grand Chola, Chennai – India. The theme of the Summit was “Business excellence through Boardroom best practices”. Dr. R. Seetharaman, CEO of Doha Bank participated in the function and was honoured with “Life Time Achievement Award” on 22 August 2014. He received the award from the Chief guest Dr. K. Rosaiya, Hon’ble Governor of Tamil Nadu, India for his initiatives to promote excellence in Governance practices.
Speaking at the inaugural session Dr. Seetharaman gave insight on how Global Governance and Corporate has developed in recent years. He said “The Global Governance has got redefined after the crisis and has an impact on Corporate Governance. The failures of Lehman & Madoff have indicated how corporate governance failure can contribute to systemic risks. Individual regulatory systems have been revamped to better monitor threats to the whole financial system. Economies, institutions and individuals need to follow governance. It can be called corporate governance for institutions, and global governance for economies. Individuals are affected by corporate governance and global governance due to the links with institutions and economies, respectively. The fines, penalties and settlements face by global financial institutions recently have remphasised the importance of Corporate Governance. The Anglo-American model of corporate governance is being promoted as the global standard. However there is no one size fit all corporate governance approach. Corporate Governance practices differ in different legal contexts and business models.”
Dr. Seetharaman highlighted the segments in corporate Governance which required attention after the crisis. He said “Risk management, Remuneration and Incentive Systems, Board Skill’s and independence and Shareholder engagement are the key areas which needs to revisited. The Board should review and provide guidance about the alignment of corporate strategy with risk appetite and the internal risk management structure. Steps must be taken to ensure that remuneration is established through an explicit governance process. Transparency needs to be improved beyond disclosure. The functions of Chief Executive Officer and Chair of the Board of Directors are separated. Shareholders have should be proactive. Institutional investors should be encouraged from acting together in individual shareholders meeting provided that they do not intend to obtain the control of the company.”
Dr. Seetharaman also participated in the panel discussion ‘Integrity integrated for Business excellence’ and spoke on Evolving Models for Board Room Excellence. Speaking at the panel he said “The key evolving areas in Board room excellence models are Integrity, Assistance of Board Committees, Board diversity and Governance framework. An effective board is concerned about integrity inside and outside the boardroom. Integrity at the Board level can be measured by evaluating key governance elements against attributes such as skills and knowledge, process, information and Board behavior. Boards can have multi – year succession plans and Nominating committees should map out future board retirements and design systematic approach to board searches. Remuneration Committee can broaden the pool of independent directors and also invest in their training. Global trends indicate a gradual increase in the percentage of companies that have women on their boards. Basel 3 has revised the governance framework taking into consideration the key areas which required attention after crisis.”
On receiving the Life time Achievement Award, Dr. R. Seetharaman highlighted the importance of sustainable development. He said “Sustainable development involves contribution towards economic growth, social development and environment. Institutions cannot afford to ignore the long-term, and focus only on the short term, as the long term is achievable only when it is sustainable. Corporate Governance is integral part of sustainable development. Sustainable development will involve commitment to various stakeholders, such as shareholders, people and community. The commitment to shareholders through wealth creation, commitment to people through development and satisfaction, commitment to community through quality of life and commitment to environment.”