WASHINGTON, June 9 /PRNewswire/ -- A distinguished panel of our nation's decision makers in banking, government, regulatory agencies and stock exchanges convened today at the third annual NACD Directorship Forum to discuss the most pressing issues facing corporate boards today. The daylong conference, hosted by the National Association of Corporate Directors and Directorship, brought together more than 150 public company directors at the Union League Club in New York City.
"The demands on directors today have never been greater. Boards are navigating a constantly changing environment where accountability and leadership is now personal," said Kenneth Daly, President and CEO of NACD. "The key take away today is the urgent need for directors to demonstrate exemplary board leadership, and as the voice of the director, the NACD is helping empower corporate boards including Dow Chemical, Kimberly-Clark, Aetna and Home Depot to lead the way in restoring public and investor confidence through principles-based board leadership known as the NACD Key Agreed Principles."
Barclays PLC President Robert E. Diamond Jr. delivered the Forum's keynote address and shared his views on the current state and future prospects of the global banking sector, the pending U.S. financial reforms and how Barclays has navigated the recent financial crisis. Diamond sees banks playing a critical role in the private sector's ability to drive growth and believes that it is a myth that banks don't want regulation. According to Diamond, "We support greater transparency in derivatives markets, but our clients (corporations, pension funds or governments) need customized derivative products for raising capital and managing risks. Funding and derivatives go hand in hand."
Directors also heard from Congressman Spencer Bachus (R-AL), ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, who discussed the financial reform legislation currently in conference between the House and Senate and its implications for corporate boards.
This approach was reinforced by the panel led by Brian Breheny, deputy director for legal and regulatory policy in the division of corporate finance at the Securities and Exchange Commission along with former SEC Commissioners Paul Atkins, Annette Nazareth and Richard Roberts who discussed SEC activities, the current regulatory environment, shareholder activism and the impact on corporate governance. Opening remarks were made by former SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt.
Participants also heard perspectives from Duncan Niederauer, CEO of NYSE Euronext, who addressed the state of the financial markets, initiatives that have been taken since the global crisis and the current legislative/regulatory environment.
The NACD Directorship Forum concluded with a first-of-its-kind interactive session titled Choose Your Crisis in which leading crisis experts looked at the disruptions facing global board directors at such companies as BP and Toyota. This engaging discussion will challenge world-class directors and advisors to respond to the diversity of issues involved including board/executive communications, legislative/regulatory inquiries, board/executive changes, litigation, shareholder activism and reputation management.
The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) is the only membership organization delivering the information and insights that corporate board members need to confidently navigate complex business challenges and enhance shareowner value. With more than 10,000 members, NACD advances exemplary board leadership. NACD is focused on creating more effective and efficient boards through director-led education and peer forums to share ideas and leading practices based on more than 30 years of primary research. Fostering collaboration among directors and governance stakeholders, NACD is shaping the future of board leadership. To learn more about NACD, visit www.NACDonline.org.
Directorship LLC provides corporate governance news, research, and boardroom intelligence for directors of public companies. We produce the most visited corporate governance website, www.directorship.com, and publish NACD Directorship magazine, the official publication of the National Association of Corporate Directors. In addition, Directorship produces director conferences, peer-exchange programs, newsletters and webcasts, and also conducts landmark custom research on a variety of boardroom topics. For more information about Directorship, please visit www.directorship.com.
SOURCE National Association of Corporate Directors