COMPAS Poll/Survey
March 26, 2012

Second of Two Part Series on Corporate Governance, Part 2 on Reform to Corporate Governance Part 1 on the Rights of Retail and Activist Shareholders

Reform to Corporate Governance

  Weekly CEO/Business Leader Poll by COMPAS in Canadian Business
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Consumer and Lifestyle
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In this second of a two part series, we report the views of CEOs and business leaders on the COMPAS business panel with respect to governance practices and general orientations to corporate governance reform.

With a remarkable continuity from 2004, panelists today believe in a series of good governance practices. At the top, supported even more strongly today than eight years ago, is a belief that directors of public companies should own common stock instead of stock options so as to ensure that decisions are made on the basis of long-term interests, as shown in table 2.1.By overwhelming majorities, they also want
  • directors to be required to report all future governance policies to shareholders and
  • a majority of board members to be independent members, without a material interest in the company other than share ownership and directorship fees.
Panelists are somewhat divided in their general orientation for improving corporate governance and directors' ethics. Half of panelists want higher standards of corporate governance and ethical conduct in Canada without necessarily "a lot of specific rules." By contrast, a quarter want a U.S. style system of codified rules. Some of the latter want U.S. style rules but ones that are stronger than those adopted in the United States.

These are the key findings from this past week's Internet survey of CEOs and business leaders on the COMPAS panel. The weekly business survey is undertaken for Canadian Business magazine.

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