A group composed of 20 public company CEOs and leaders of institutional investors has released Commonsense Corporate Governance Principles 2.0, an updated set of corporate governance principles that are intended to provide “a basic framework for sound, long-term oriented governance.” The group includes such luminaries as Warren Buffett, the Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, Mary Barra, the CEO of General Motors, and Ginni Rometty, the CEO of IBM. The new released document updates the group’s original principles first published in 2016. The principles as updated include some interesting guidelines for publicly traded companies and for their investors, in a number of key areas.
Continue Reading Business Leaders Release Updated Corporate Governance Principles

In yet another one of his early morning messages, late last week President Donald Trump stirred up a squall by suggesting in a tweet that the SEC should study doing away with quarterly reporting requirements in favor of a system of semi-annual reports. The suggestion fits within the larger debate about whether or not reporting companies have an excessively short-term focus and the related but separate debate about whether regulatory requirements impose excessive costs on businesses. The idea of eliminating quarterly reporting raises a number of important issues, and may raise some important questions for the D&O insurance industry as well.
Continue Reading Is it Time to End Quarterly Reporting?

eu flagukJust as the new Presidential administration leads a charge to roll back corporate regulation, “the rest of the world seems to be headed in the opposite direction,” according to a recent post in the PubCo@Cooley blog. Last month, the European Parliament approved a new Shareholder Rights Directive that is intended to “sharpen big EU firms’ focus on their long-run performance, by fostering their shareholders’ commitment to it, according to the legislature’s press release announcing the Directive’s adoption. As the same time, a recent report from a U.K. Parliamentary Committee may signal further governance changes ahead in the U.K., as well. Both of these initiatives proceed from perceived governance shortcoming and concerns over disproportional corporate focus on short-term results.
Continue Reading A Continued Focus on Corporate Governance in Europe and the U.K.

short termIn recent months, commentators from across the political spectrum, largely in response to perceived excesses of activist investors, have called for changes to discourage “short-termism” – that is, the perceived excessive focus of businesses on short-term results rather long-term value creation. Voices ranging all the way from Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (about which refer here) to Republican SEC Commissioner Daniel Gallagher (refer here) have voiced their concerns about what they characterize as the inappropriately short term focus that they suggest is driving American business decision-making. This topic raises a number of issues of importance for a variety of different constituencies, including, as discussed below, those of us in the D&O insurance industry.
Continue Reading The Short-Termism Debate: Are There D&O Liability Issues Involved, Too?