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Wells Fargo’s Walk of Shame

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Wells Fargo & Company is facing significant additional penalties for its poor oversight related to 2016 revelations of charging millions of customers for bank accounts they did not want and for auto insurance they did not need.. “Across a range of responsibilities, we simply expect much more of boards of directors than ever before,” said Jerome H. Powell, Ms. Yellen’s successor as Chairman of...

Cyberwar

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What does a restructuring professional need to know about cyberwar? We who have labored long in the world of rebuilding companies are accustomed to harrowing periods: no cash, bellicose vendors, furloughing or firing employees. Now, however, we face a hidden enemy, the cyber attacker, whether thief or terrorist. How do we up our game to deal with these unfamiliar attacks? First, recognize the...

Will You Need to Replace My CEO?

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Twice in my career as a turnaround executive a non-executive chairman of a NYSE traded company has called me to ask for help. Their companies were floundering, and each asked the same question: will you need to replace my CEO? While I was very impressed that these men each took the initiative to address the issues their companies were facing, it intrigued me that they perceived handling the CEO...

What is a Proxy Voting Adviser and Why Do We Care?

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The release of the Conference Board report ‘Just What Is the Corporate Director’s Job?’ in the United States renewed attention regarding the role of the board of directors of a public company. It also raised a related question: just what is the proxy adviser’s job, and why do we care? The report suggests that proxy advisers perceive the board’s role as executing a series of tasks and lacking a...

Top 7 Myths About Corporate Boards

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Since the first limited liability corporation – the Dutch East India Company – was formed in 1602, supervision by a board of directors has been required. And for four centuries, the role of the board has been poorly understood, repeatedly castigated as ineffective. Why is it important now to recognize and rectify governance myths? The stakes are huge, as 500 companies are responsible for 70% of...

Short-Term Focus is Chronic and Dangerous

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What is the goal of the public company’s board of directors? To maximize shareholder value, you suggest? I believe that is not only not correct, but it is one of the reasons companies end up in the hungry hands of the restructuring community. While it can seem heretical to argue that it is not in shareholders’ best interest to run the company that way, the impact of short-term focus is clearly...