Date: October 1, 2012
Over 100 CAPTAINS OF COMPANIES PLEDGE SUPPORT FOR CORPORATE GOVERNANCE
– More than 600 Participants Sign Up For SIAS’ Third Corporate Governance Week
Singapore, October 1, 2012 – Securities Investors Association (Singapore) (“SIAS”), a strong advocate for corporate transparency and progressive industry practices aimed at protecting shareholder interests, today launched Singapore’s third Corporate Governance Week (“CG Week 2012”), which will run from October 1 to October 5.
In all, the week-long event will see more than 100 companies and over 600 individuals participating in the various programmes that include a two-day Asian Investors’ Corporate Governance Conference, the 13th Investors’ Choice Awards, Corporate Governance Workshops by top law firms such as Rodyk & Davidson LL and Wong Partnership LLP and other professional firms like Boardroom Limited, CEB Asia, CPA Australia, KPMG and RSM Ethos on topics ranging from The Power of the Minority, to Directors in Crisis, as well as practical aspects of Corporate Governance; a talk on The New Corporate Governance Code and an Investors’ Forum that will focus on role of media and its impact on investors and proposed measures to protect shareholders in foreign listings on SGX for retail investors.
Building on the success of last year’s inaugural CG Week 2010, SIAS has already received strong support from over 100 organisations, ranging from listed companies to professional firms like accountancy and law firms to trade bodies and leading institutions. These organisations – many of them participating for the second year – have stepped forward to publicly pledge their support to uphold corporate governance in their respective organisations.
Mr David Gerald, President and CEO of SIAS said, “It is heartening to see CG Week gaining traction with various market participants. I believe all of us recognise that capital market cannot function if it loses integrity. None of us want to see ‘The Death of Equities’, hence good corporate governance is necessarily a keystone in winning the confidence of investors. This is especially critical for us in Singapore, whereby retail participation in the stock market is at an all-time low and lags behind other markets such as Hong Kong or Australia.”
Highlighting the recent spate of incidents with regard to financial dealings of certain public institutions, Mr Gerald added, “With the growing trend of consumer and citizen activism, stakeholders want – in fact, demand – the highest standard of transparency and integrity from companies. We need to take a very clear stand, and we should not allow the noise from a few rotten apples drown out the voice of the law-abiding majority.”
Companies that took part in this corporate governance pledge also applauded SIAS for this initiative in striving towards corporate governance excellence. (Please see attached for list of supporters).
4th Asian Investors’ Corporate Governance Conference 2012
One of the key events of CG Week 2012 is the 4th Asian Investors’ Corporate Governance Conference, to be held on October 1 and October 2 at Raffles City Convention Centre. During the conference, corporate governance experts and professionals from around the world will be speaking on the theme of “Reform Priorities in Asia: Taking Corporate Governance to a Higher Level” and leading discussions on trends, developments and best practices in corporate governance.
Guest-of-Honour, Mr Ravi Menon, Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, will kick off the conference with his keynote address.
Mr Manu Bhaskaran, Director of CG and the Founding Director and CEO of Centennial Asia Advisors, will give his valued views on global and Asian economic outlook.
Key highlights include a panel discussion by Asian regulators, leading industry experts and professionals on current challenges for regulators in Asia and investment dilemma in foreign listings – a timely topic aimed at addressing the relevance of corporate governance where the bar for transparency has been constantly raised. In addition, there will be talks by senior representatives from Australia and Japan on new standards of corporate governance for directors; and the development of corporate governance and protection of investors in Japan respectively.
As the roles of company directors and management come under increasing scrutiny, the conference will also seek to address issues arising from this corporate governance development. Mrs Lee Suet-Fern, Senior Partner, Stamford Law Corporation, will speak on the dilemma of independent directors and Mr S. Sivanesan, Partner, Rodyk & Davidson LLP, will touch on directors in crisis. Mr Magnus Bocker, CEO of Singapore Exchange, will give his take on role of senior management in corporate governance. Another controversial topic, remuneration for directors, will be discussed at length by various experts, among many other highlights including challenges faced by directors and sustainability reporting.
Another highlight is a talk by Brendan Wood International, one of the leading capital markets intelligence providers in the world which founded the global Shareholder Confidence Index some 33 years ago. Its founder and Chairman, Mr Brendan Wood, will speak on “The Voice of the Shareholder”.
The 13th Investors’ Choice Awards
The 13th Investors’ Choice Awards will be held on the evening of October 3rd. The Guest-of-Honour is Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Finance and Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
The event will honour companies and individuals who have achieved excellence in advancing corporate governance practices, including greater corporate transparencies.
This year, as a new initiative, SIAS, together with the Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics at SMU, and Brendan Wood International, developed a new Scorecard based on international best practices from OECD which incorporated the voice of the shareholders provided by Brendan Wood’s Shareholder Confidence Index.
Mr Gerald, commenting on the new Scorecard said, “This new scorecard will go beyond the Singapore Code of Corporate Governance Code. In keeping with the importance and value of input from investors, their voice is now incorporated into the scorecard. Collectively, we want to showcase Singapore’s best performing companies in terms of governance and shareholder confidence to investors globally by using international standards.
“In addition, we will be introducing a new Award – the Brendan Wood International – SIAS TopGun CEO Designation Award for Singapore CEOs, that will allow shareholders to vote for and celebrate the best in class of CEOs.”
As such, this year’s Key Awards include:
– Singapore Corporate Governance Award;
– Brendan Wood International – SIAS TopGun CEO Designation Award;
– Most Transparent Company Award;
– Internal Audit Excellence Award;
– Financial Journalist Award;
– Best Retail Broker Award; and
– Model Shareholder Award.
Corporate Governance Workshops
Corporate Governance Workshops will be held on October 3, 2012, day three of CG Week 2012 at Marina Mandarin Hotel. Top law firms such as Rodyk & Davidson LLP and Wong Partnership LLP and other professional firms like Boardroom Limited, CEB Asia, CPA Australia, KPMG and RSM Ethos will discuss topics ranging from The Power of the Minority, to Directors in Crisis, as well as practical aspects of Corporate Governance.
The New Corporate Governance Code – A Review
On the fourth day of CG Week 2012, Prof. Jeremy Goh, Asso. Prof of Finance, Singapore Management University and Director of Centre for Corporate and Investor Responsibility, Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics, will speak on “The Revised Corporate Governance Code”. A panel discussion, moderated by Mr David Gerald will follow, focusing on topical “New Corporate Governance Code – Challenges for Listed Companies”.
Investors’ Forum – Importance of Governance For Retail Investors
Speakers will be sharing on role of internal audit in protecting shareholders’ rights, role of media in impacting investors with information and proposed measures to protect shareholders in foreign listings on SGX.
CG Week 2012 has the strong support of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”) as the Supporting Organisation; the Singapore Exchange (“SGX”) as the Supporting Exchange; ASFA as the supporting association, Boardroom Limited (“Boardroom”) as its Main Sponsor; CPA Australia and KPMG as its Strategic Partners; and many professional and trade bodies as well as leading institutions and corporations as follows:
– Rodyk & Davidson LLP;
– RSM Ethos;
– Singapore Management University, Sim Kee Boon Institute for Finance and Economics;
– Stamford Law; and
– Wong Partnership LLP.
It is endorsed by:
– CFA Singapore;
– Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore (ICPAS);
– Investment Management Association of Singapore (IMAS);
– Securities Association of Singapore (SAS);
– Singapore Institute of Directors (SID);
– The Institute of Internal Auditors Singapore (IIA);
– The Law Society of Singapore; and
– The Singapore Association of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (SAICSA).
The official print media is The Business Times, and the official IR consultancy is Citigate Dewe Rogerson, i.MAGE.
SIAS is the largest organised investor lobby group in Asia, with almost 70,000 retail investors as members. It is run by a Management Committee comprising of professionals who are volunteers. It actively promotes Investor Education, Corporate Governance and Transparency and is the watchdog for Investor rights in Singapore. To-date, SIAS has successfully organised some 500 investor education programmes ranging from basic investment seminars for novices to certificate courses for investment savvy investors. Thus far, more than 60,000 retail investors have benefited from these programmes which are offered largely free. Members are educated on the features of investment products, and the attendant risks involved in each product. Investors are taught to make informed decisions on investing.
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October 1, 2012