Busi­ness Re­port launches Boardroom Brief col­umn

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS -

BUSI­NESS Re­port will soon launch Boardroom Brief, a col­umn com­pris­ing a se­ries of 12 ar­ti­cles on cor­po­rate gov­er­nance and the prac­ti­cal im­pli­ca­tions thereof. The ar­ti­cles will be co-au­thored by gov­er­nance spe­cial­ists Parmi Nate­san and Dr Prieur du Plessis, who are ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor: Cen­tre for Cor­po­rate Gov­er­nance and chair­per­son of the In­sti­tute of Di­rec­tors in South­ern Africa (IoDSA) re­spec­tively.

Du Plessis serves as chair­per­son of Plexus Hold­ings, an in­vest­ment busi­ness he founded in 1995, chair­per­son of Bridge Fund Man­agers, chair­per­son of Com­bined Fi­nance Hold­ings, di­rec­tor of Dis­tell Group, and trustee of the Pro­fes­sional Prov­i­dent So­ci­ety (PPS) Hold­ings Trust.

Fur­ther­more, he is a mem­ber of the Ad­vi­sory Board of the Uni­ver­sity of Stel­len­bosch Busi­ness School, a trustee of Stel­len­bosch Trust, chair­per­son of the Au­dit and Risk Com­mit­tee and mem­ber of the In­vest­ment Com­mit­tee of Stel­len­bosch Uni­ver­sity. Ad­di­tion­ally, he is pro­fes­sor ex­traor­di­naire at the Uni­ver­sity of Stel­len­bosch Busi­ness School, Hon­orary Con­sul-Gen­eral of Slove­nia for South Africa and deputy Dean of the Con­sular Corps of Cape Town.

Du Plessis holds the fol­low­ing de­grees: BSc (QS), MBA (cum laude) and DBA (Doc­tor of Busi­ness Ad­min­is­tra­tion – Fi­nance). He also has the Char­tered Di­rec­tor (SA) des­ig­na­tion.

Nate­san is an ex­ec­u­tive at the IoDSA who over­sees its Cen­tre for Cor­po­rate Gov­er­nance and Di­rec­tor De­vel­op­ment de­part­ments. This role in­cludes man­age­ment and over­sight of all IoDSA thought lead­er­ship (in­clud­ing the King Re­ports), board ap­praisals, gov­er­nance ad­vice and re­search, as well as tech­ni­cal fo­rums and com­mit­tees.

She is an Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor on the board of the IoDSA as well as a mem­ber of the King Com­mit­tee, among other fo­rums and com­mit­tees. She was also re­cently ap­pointed as a trustee of the PPS Hold­ings Trust.

Nate­san is a qual­i­fied char­tered ac­coun­tant by pro­fes­sion and holds BCom (cum laude) and BCom Hon­ours de­grees.

Fol­low­ing the pub­li­ca­tion of the King IV Re­port on Cor­po­rate Gov­er­nance for South Africa late last year, cor­po­rate gov­er­nance in South Africa is ma­tur­ing into a crit­i­cal tool for build­ing suc­cess­ful and sus­tain­able or­gan­i­sa­tions. “The se­ries of ar­ti­cles will ex­plore dif­fer­ent as­pects of ef­fec­tive gov­er­nance lead­ing to quan­tifi­able ben­e­fits for com­pa­nies and for the coun­try as a whole,” said Nate­san. “This is com­men­su­rate with the IoDSA’s slo­gan: ‘Bet­ter di­rec­tors. Bet­ter boards. Bet­ter busi­ness’.”

Ac­cord­ing to Du Plessis, the con­for­mance re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of boards have in­creased sig­nif­i­cantly in re­cent years as a re­sult of a de­mand­ing po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic land­scape and oner­ous new re­quire­ments from leg­is­la­tion, reg­u­la­tions and codes. These fac­tors are putting in­creased strain on boards to the ex­tent that they are of­ten marginal­is­ing crit­i­cal as­pects of their role, such as per­for­mance, strat­egy and sus­tain­able value cre­ation. “Where this is the case, steps need to be taken to im­prove ef­fi­ciency and fo­cus more time on per­for­mance (as op­posed to con­for­mance),” he said.

“The board must set the tone at and from the top and en­sure gov­er­nance is em­bed­ded through­out the or­gan­i­sa­tion,” added Nate­san. “Get­ting this right will en­able or­gan­i­sa­tions to ben­e­fit from the com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage of cor­po­rate gov­er­nance and thrive in a sus­tain­able man­ner.”

Keep an eye open for the launch of Boardroom Brief on Wed­nes­day, July 19, 2017.

Dr Prieur du Plessis

Parmi Nate­san

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