Directions 2015

More than fifty per cent of directors see industrial relations laws and issues as a regulatory challenge for 2015, according to a survey of 130 directors by law firm King & Wood Mallesons (KWM).

The report focuses primarily on the legal and regulatory issues and challenges facing Australian directors and boards.

It found that 43 per cent of respondents have not taken steps to prepare for incoming free trade agreements, while 69 per cent of respondents have had engagement with people they consider to be activists.

Uncertain global economic and political conditions were also cited as a challenge in terms of cross-border investments by 41 per cent of respondents, while 90 per cent indicate that repeal days have had minimal to no impact on cutting red tape.

Occupational health and safety laws, executive and director remuneration and continuous disclosure regulations and practices were ranked the top three regulatory reform issues that have received the most attention over the past year, while just over 40 per cent of respondents considered the ASX Corporate Governance Council’s Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations on independence of directors to restrict optimal board composition.

The survey said: “The scepticism of our survey respondents regarding the unqualified benefit of independence echoes a number of international studies which have found that increased independence does not, by and large, enhance company value.”

To read more on the report, please visit our Centre of Governance Excellence and Innovation.