Words .....that work

used with discretion and in harmony, to excite, persuade or merely reveal

Blog : BOARD TALK

Learning From The Spectacle Of Mubarak

Posted on August 4, 2011 at 12:31 PM

The sight of the deposed Egyptian autocrat Hosni Mubarak wheeled into court on his hospital bed should reverberate all over the world.


Given that he was brought there by the actions of the Egyptian people in a very short space of time, loftier and empowered governments - and certainly western ones - should be inspired to improve governance to ensure that fraud and corruption lie exposed.


The need for better governance is everywhere. Look at China,in the sp...

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Finding Transparency Amongst The Towers

Posted on August 3, 2011 at 11:32 AM

Well, well. India's richest man, Mukesh Ambani, might have a serious problem. His 27-storey home, built in South Mumbai is visual testimony to the arrogance and ostentatious lack of taste increasingly demonstrated by India's elite. Now it seems the purchase of the land on which the building is constructed may have been illegal.


James Fontanella-Khan has the story, which is in

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From Delhi to London: Look Back In Fear

Posted on August 1, 2011 at 5:49 PM

I came back to London from Delhi feeling in need of a long hot shower. It had nothing to do with heat and humidity but a great deal to do with how the system works (or doesn't).And it really made me wonder about the many challenges UK plc faces in doing business in India.


A young corporate lawyer asked me if he should do his further degree in the UK. I told him he was far better off where he was as we had an economy that was barely growing. There was so much opportunity in ...

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When Questions Stop....And Boards Begin To Smell

Posted on July 20, 2011 at 11:37 PM

It's a bit late to blog today, but I am indebted to The Guardian newspaper - as are we all for Messrs Rupert and James Murdoch in the spotlight - for  inspiration.


In all the coverage of the phone hacking scandal in the UK and the Murdoch media empire, I feel too little has been said about the role of the non-executives on the News Corp board, and the fact that corporate governance is actually about asking questions before there is visible evidence that you need to - a...

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There's Fraud, And There's 'Scant Regard'

Posted on June 21, 2011 at 1:50 PM

The week has started well for the UK's Serious Fraud Office.


Stuart Pearson, former CEO of Crown Corporation Ltd, the Aim-listed investment services company later known as Langbar International, was found guilty of misleading the market and  jailed for 12 mon...

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Corruption And The Need To Keep Asking Questions

Posted on June 6, 2011 at 10:43 AM

It's always good to see a fund manager talking plain sense about corruption - and how investors are partly to blame for not asking simple questions of the companies (in this case in emerging markets) in which they are thinking of investing.


David Gait is manager of First State's Asia-Pacific sustainability and global emerging markets sustainability funds. In the FT's T...

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Of Appointments And Allegations

Posted on May 31, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Companies and investors benefit more when institutional shareholders are engaged.That has been the often-expressed view of Paul Myners, the UK's former City minister and also former chairman of Gartmore, the fund manager.


Lord Myners is now to become UK chairman of Cevian Capital, Europe's largest activist fund manager and the

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Inside Job : It Needs Saying Again & Again

Posted on May 27, 2011 at 11:47 AM

My postbox has started to get a lot more interesting since I started this blog. I've just been sent a copy of 'Inside Job', which won the Best Documentary Academy Award for American filmmaker Charles Ferguson on its look behind the 2008 economic downturn. It's out on DVD on June 13th.


When the PR rang, I was honest and said I wasn't sure where I could 'review' it. But now it's obvious.


Matt Damon's familiar voice as narrator sets the political thrille...

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UK's Revolving Door Spins 'Out of Control'

Posted on May 18, 2011 at 11:48 AM

Former UK government ministers are becoming rather too adept at landing lucrative jobs in the corporate world in circumstances which suggest a serious conflict of interest.


Transparency International UK's director, Chandrashekhar Krishnan, says : "The revolving door between government and business is spinning out of control." The number of officials moving between the sectors has created "an environment in which corruption risks are high. We need a more robust system with gr...

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Concentrating Minds On UK Bribery Act

Posted on May 17, 2011 at 10:25 AM

There's more than a whiff of a global anti-corruption drive in the air. Maybe that's one of the benefits of a recession - it concentrates the mind.


The US has set a clear standard with the conviction of Galleon hedge fund billionaire Raj Rajaratnam for insider dealing. Margaret Cole, the interim head of the business conduct unit of the UK's Financial Services Authority (FSA) has asked the coalition government to increase the maximum sentence for insider dealing from se...

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