The Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) is lobbying for Australian companies to have greater protection against shareholder activists.
Under the AICD’s proposals, company directors would have more defence against incurring personal liability in lawsuits when accused of breaching the Australian Corporations Act, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC Act), and equivalent grounds in common law or equity.
The AICD has cited a 2010 survey of directors from all company types, which found more than 90% of Australian directors felt personal liability, had a negative impact on optimal business decision-making.
The Institute believes that corporate Australia is becoming too risk-averse as a result and directors have to worry too much about their personal liability when they should be focused on strategic risk-taking.
“Subsequent surveys and the Director Sentiment Index, which take in all company types, continue to show the same outcome,” said the AICD. “We need to actively create an environment where directors that act with integrity are free to pursue new opportunities and create jobs without being overly focused on personal liability concerns.”
Similar warnings that corporate regulation is holding Australian businesses back and undermining the country’s competitiveness have recently been expressed by have been by the Business Council of Australia (BCA) and mining heiress Gina Rinehart, executive chairman of the Hancock Prospecting group.
Under the AICD proposal, the Corporations Act would be changed to insert an ‘honest and reasonable’ director defence. It would apply when directors had acted in an honest way, with the appropriate level of care.
It would give directors a ‘safe harbour’ in a number of matters, ranging from allegations of misleading or deceptive conduct through to failing to disclose matters to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in a timely manner.
The US money market fund reforms came into effect in 2016 and are already dramatically shaping US fund industry with investors flooding out of prime funds and into government securities. While the reforms are similar, they are not the same. GTNews interviews Yeng Bulter, global head of the cash business at State Street Global Advisors on the differences.
Far and away, the largest financial market on the planet is the foreign exchange currencies market, where on average individuals and organisations trade more than $5 trillion daily. In the FX world, the ability to master the market isn't considered a luxury for treasury officers–it's a necessity.
Using data for predictive analytics is the future of banking success, argued Jean-Laurent Bonnafé, CEO of BNP Paribas, in his session on how the bank is reinventing its approach to innovate with and for corporates.
The top five sectors Asian fintech investors are interested in are data analytics, blockchain, lending, payments and regtech, according to Gary Hwa, EY regional managing partner.