American Corporations in Crisis

The Conference Board Announces Formation of Blue-Ribbon Governance Commission

To Issue Best-Practices Guidelines

Press Briefing to be Held Thursday, June 20, at 10 AM in New York

Jun 19, 2002, 01:00 ET from The Conference Board

    NEW YORK, June 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The Conference Board will hold a press
 briefing at 10AM Thursday, June 20, to announce the creation of a Blue-Ribbon
 Commission on Public Trust and Private Enterprise.  The briefing will be held
 at The Conference Board's headquarters at 845 Third Avenue in the third floor
 conference room.  Members of the press are invited to attend and should call
 (212) 339-0231 in advance to register.
     The Commission will examine ethical practices and governance issues facing
 corporate America today and issue a series of best-practices guidelines.  The
 Commission will be co-chaired by Peter G. Peterson, Chairman of The Blackstone
 Group, former Secretary of Commerce and Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank
 of New York, and John W. Snow, Chairman, CSX Corporation and former Chairman,
 Business Roundtable.  "The American corporation is in crisis today and some of
 the toughest issues of corporate practice like executive and director
 compensation and the balance of risks among management, shareholders, workers,
 and creditors have yet to be fully addressed," said Pete Peterson and John
     Members of the Commission include:
     * John H. Biggs, Chairman, President and CEO, TIAA-CREF
     * John Bogle, Founder and former Chairman, Vanguard Group, Inc.
     * Charles A. Bowsher, former Comptroller General
     * Arthur Levitt, former SEC Chairman and former Chairman of the American
       Business Conference
     * Ralph Larsen, former Chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson, former
       Chairman of The Business Council
     * Professor Lynn Paine, Harvard Business School
     * Former Senator Warren Rudman, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison
     * Paul A.Volcker, former Chairman of the Board of Governors,
       Federal Reserve System
     Blue-Ribbon Commission on Public Trust and Private Enterprise
     When:     10:00 AM, Thursday, June 20, 2002
     Where:    The Conference Board
               3rd Floor Conference Room, 845 Third Ave., New York, NY
     Contact:  Frank Tortorici (212) 339-0231
     "We are concerned that the governance issues facing corporations are not
 merely ethical lapses but reflect something fundamentally wrong with our
 governance structure," note Peterson and Snow.  "The issues are not simply
 malfeasance but misfeasance and nonfeasance.  Many directors have abrogated
 and improperly executed their responsibilities.  Misconduct by highly visible
 corporations is eroding shareholder value for all corporations and public
 confidence in critical elements of our economic system.  Far more is at stake
 than the governance failures of a few companies.  At risk are the trust of
 investors, employees, the public, and the ethical viability of the American
 corporate sector."
     The Conference Board has convened this Commission because of the need for
 an objective look at the broad context in which many of the guidelines and
 regulatory recommendations to date have been made and address important gaps
 in corporate practice.  "The Conference Board's long-standing reputation for
 independent fact-finding and the experience, accomplishments and reputation of
 our members give the Commission a unique charter to generate meaningful
 change," said Dick Cavanagh, President and CEO of The Conference Board.  After
 examining crucial governance issues, the Commission will recommend
 best-practices guidelines on some of the toughest issues facing management.
 These issues will include executive compensation and how to reflect the
 economic cost of stock options, auditing and accounting standards and
 disclosure and the relationships between auditing firms, investment and
 commercial banks, compensation consultants and law and insurance firms and
 corporate boards and management."
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SOURCE The Conference Board