Hot global governance topics

The Australian Institute of Company Directors' Governance Leadership Centre (GLC) has asked several of its international colleagues to reveal the current "hot topics" in governance in their jurisdictions.

Internationally-based GLC Advisory Panel members, as well as policy experts from members of the Global Network of Director Institutes (GNDI) provided their feedback, which highlighted some interesting common threads.

In particular, the issue of environmental and social governance (ESG) reporting was a recurring topic.

“The various derivatives existing and/or being proposed from different advocacy groups will be a challenge for boards as they try to decipher what matters and how to manage the sometimes competing, if not contradictory, requirements that accompany this whole area of ESG reporting. It is still an emerging issue but the landscape is incredibly confusing, if not frustrating, for most board directors,” said renowned corporate governance expert, Phil Armstrong, who is based in Switzerland.

Other common issues were cyber security, board composition (including diversity and succession planning), regulatory compliance, audit reform and sustainability, and integrated reporting.

Some interesting topics that were more regionally or jurisdictionally specific were also suggested, for example, political party funding in Mauritius and the New Companies Bill by the Companies Commission Malaysia.

“The responses we received from around the world are extremely useful for Australian governance practitioners and regulators. They provide a global context and show what issues Australia share with the world, but also what issues may be heading our way,” said Rob Elliott FAICD, executive director of the Governance Leadership Centre and Honorary Adjunct Professor, Macquarie Graduate School of Management.

Insights from Brazil, Malaysia, Singapore, US, Canada, Europe, Hong Kong, Mauritius, Singapore, UK and New Zealand were included in the feedback.

For more information, read Hot governance topics across the world.