The Zimbabwe Independent

CBZ, FBC win Best Corporate Governance Diclosure awards


CBZ Holdings was declared the overall winner of the Best Corporate Governance Disclosure­s Award for listed companies at the recently held Institute of Chartered Secretarie­s and Administra­tors Excellence in Corporate Governance Awards ceremony at Cresta Lodge in Harare .

e first runner-up was Econet Wireless Zimbabwe. Second runner-up was First Mutual Holdings.

FBC Bank was the overall winner of the Best Banking Corporate Governance Disclosure­s Award. CBZ Bank was the first runner-up for this award, while the Central Africa Building Society (CABS) was the second runner-up.

e winner of the Best Corporate Governance Disclosure­s Award for the insurance sector was Old Mutual Insurance Company. e first runnerup was First Mutual Reinsuranc­e Company. Fidelity Life Assurance of Zimbabwe was second runner-up.

e winner of the State Enterprise­s and Parastatal­s Best Corporate Governance Disclosure­s Award was TelOne, with the Agricultur­al Bank of Zimbabwe (Agrubank) the first runner-up and the People’s Own Savings Bank (POSB) the second runner-up.

e Institute of Chartered Secretarie­s and Administra­tors in Zimbabwe (ICSAZ) has been holding the Excellence in Corporate Governance Awards since 2013 as a way of promoting good corporate governance.

CBZ Holdings also won the Shareholde­r Treatment and Board Practices awards in the listed companies category. RioZim won the Stakeholde­r Practices and Sustainabi­lity Reporting Award in this category.

FBC Bank won the Best Banking Governance Practices award, while CBZ Bank won the Best Banking Risk Management award.

Presenting the adjudicato­rs’ report, ICSAZ acting chief executive Nelson Maseko said the 10 member adjudicati­on panel had evaluated the companies, banks, insurance companies and parastatal­s using the ICSAZ corporate governance scorecard over a period of four months..

e adjudicato­rs’ decisions were based solely on corporate governance and related disclosure­s, not on financial results or performanc­e. Only informatio­n in the public domain, chiefly annual reports, was used for evaluation. Public media stories were excluded.

One of the shortcomin­gs among listed companies noted was shareholde­r protection, especially in the areas of disclosing board member assets, board member shareholdi­ngs and informatio­n that deters insider trading, the report said. Many companies just disclosed board members’ names in their annual reports but not the skills board members had for serving on the boards.

e majority of banking institutio­ns did not, in their annual reports, present detailed directors’ profiles to demonstrat­e the quality of the organisati­on’s leadership and diversity in terms of qualificat­ions, skills experience, gender and age.

“Gender diversity is still a major gap to be filled. ere is generally slow progress towards achieving gender balance and diversity on the boards,” the report said.

Some banking institutio­ns did not distinguis­h non-executive directors from independen­t nonexecuti­ve directors.

“ e issue of independen­ce is a critical governance requiremen­t to the extent that even for the independen­t non-executive directors there should be periodic evaluation of their continued independen­ce,” the report said.

Most banking institutio­ns still shied away from disclosing individual directors’ remunerati­on. ere was, however, a noted improvemen­t in this among state-owned banking institutio­ns.

e annual reports of insurance companies did not disclose the number of directorsh­ips in other organisati­ons for each board member. Best practice was for board members to not sit on more than five boards or on any other insurance company’s board except in a holding company set-up.

With state enterprise­s and parastatal­s in exceptiona­l circumstan­ces all non-executive board members were retired at the same time. is militated against succession planning the report said.

Board members’ academic qualificat­ions, expertise and background were not given, which made it difficult to assess what kind of value addition board members were bringing tot the entity.

In all categories participat­ing entities were still to embrace sustainabi­lity reporting, which meant they did not integrate their financial and non-financial informatio­n.

Securities and Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe chief executive Tafadzwa Chinamo in his address stressed the importance of environmen­tal, social and governance ( ESG ) reporting, also known as sustainabi­lity reporting.

“Socially responsibl­e investors are demanding certain actions or informatio­n from companies. A sole focus on delivering superior financial results is no longer good enough to attract investors. Institutio­nal investors and asset managers have expressed strong support for reporting on ESG matters,” he said.

He said that some entities in Zimbabwe had shown some commitment to ESG reporting. The challenge had been lack of comparabil­ity and consistenc­y, which was largely due to lack of a uniform global framework on ESG as well as the voluntary nature of these disclosure­s.

He suggested organisati­ons use the United Nations Sustainabl­e Developmen­t Goals to identify sustainabi­lity issues and demonstrat­e their contributi­on to a high profile global initiative and report against at least one recognised ESG framework, if not multiple frameworks.

He recommende­d disclosing forward looking informatio­n in addition to historical ESG activity informatio­n and addressing the impact of ESG activities on improving financial performanc­e.

 ??  ?? Tafadzwa Chinamo, SECZ CEO, delivering his keynote address at the 2020 ICSAZ Excellence in Corporate Governance Awards
Tafadzwa Chinamo, SECZ CEO, delivering his keynote address at the 2020 ICSAZ Excellence in Corporate Governance Awards

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