Plenary Panel N1: Governance and Leadership at Crossroads

Dr. Werner Brandt, CFO of SAP AG
the balance between Shareholders/Other Stakeholders and its evolution
Companies, notably in Europe, not only consider their shareholders’ interests but also others’ especially employees. Also sustainability is an important issue. Finally companies have to comply with the regulation, respond to analysts’ demands.
The presentation focused on how and why the balance has evolved recently and how can companies realize the ideal corporate governance. These days, corporate governance leads corporate strategy.

Mr. Thierry PEUGEOT, Chairman of Supervisory Board of Peugeot SA.
Position of a long term family main shareholder and chairman of the board on the right balance and the difficulties to maintain it
Peugeot is an International company and becoming a global company now. There are 40 members in the board, which five of them are the family members. And the board members come from variety countries.

Mr. Alain Champigneux, Employee Elected Board Member, Renault
the representation of employees at the board
First, The board of Directors should be designed as a “dream team”. It should not only include directors whose qualifications are in line with the firms’ activities, but also employees who are essential stakeholders contributing to the success of the company.
Second, using the different point of view can help making correctly decision for the company. At Renault, 3 among the 4 directors representing employees come from 3 different trade unions to ensure they are representative of all employees.
At last, by making decision in the board, like changing some plans, you can create the “social peace”.

Mr. Katsunori Mikuniya, former Commissioner of Financial Services Agency of Japan, and now a professor at the University of Tokyo.
He starts his Finance is the business of transforming risk into economic value through the distribution of funds and managing of risk.
And he mentioned that risk have 2 sides, that is negative one and positive one.

Through the promotion of risk sharing by all society, the capacity for society to burden risks increase. In this context, risk becomes a positive concept. But when such risk sharing and risk distribution exceeds society’s ability to absorb, suddenly risk becomes an excessive uncertainty to the realization of those goals, and risk becomes a negative concept.
And also he mentioned the similarity between recent financial crises to the bubbles effects in Japan. “It is then that we need to be aware of three time lags―these are “recognition lags, countermeasures implementation lags and effect lags”.

Many governments are now facing the anger of taxpayers, a situation that Japan experienced during the housing loan problems about 15 years ago. Gaining the confidence of the public is an essential element for a sound economy. I feel it would be applied to a management of businesses to some extent.

Having variety in the board, especially with representation from employee, can help the company to make better decisions. Besides, the board should not only focus on the figures and documents, but also listen to the real voices from the site of business.

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About An Feng#CouncilBusinessAndSociety

I'm a student from Keio Business School.
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