Thought Leadership Series
The latest in cybersecurity, IT, geopolitical and macroeconomic trends, and other top-of-mind issues for board directors.
Board Leadership Center
Partners, senior advisors and professionals, KPMG LLP
A study by KPMG Board Leadership Center Senior Advisor Annalisa Barrett assesses the early impact of California’s board gender diversity mandate.
View a replay of our recent Quarterly Webcast featuring Ken Kim, Senior Economist for KPMG LLP, who discussed the outlook for the U.S. and global economy in the upcoming year.
How do CEOs navigate massive change?
Directors and CEOs share their views on how boards can help support their CEOs and management teams.
Highlights from KPMG’s Board Leadership Conference, including the economic and geopolitical outlook, climate risk, the board-CEO relationship, corporate purpose, artificial intelligence, fintech, cybersecurity, oversight of human capital management, and more.
Recent letters to executives and directors from the world’s largest asset managers.
Investors’ ability to assess strategy and operations at their portfolio companies is largely dependent upon the effectiveness of their portfolio company boards.
KPMG Senior Economist Kenneth Kim shares his view on the U.S. labor market, corporate debt, China, and the Fed.
Priorities for the board agenda in 2020, top issues for audit and nominating/governance committee focus, Bremmer’s outlook on geopolitics, insights on ESG from Bob Langert, and more.
The top geopolitical risks for 2020, according to Eurasia Group.
To help develop a more rigorous approach around data governance, we recommend three areas of board focus.
The evolving role and purpose of the corporation in society—the focus of the recent Business Roundtable (BRT) statement—is an important topic for boards.
Eight items for boards to consider as they focus their 2020 agendas on the critical challenges at hand and on the road ahead.
Seven issues that audit committees should keep in mind as they consider and
carry out their 2020 agendas.
Seven items for nom/gov committees to keep in mind as they consider and carry out their 2020 agendas.
Drawing on insights from our work and interactions with public and private company directors and business leaders, we’ve highlighted seven items for private company boards to consider as they focus their 2020 agendas on the critical challenges at hand and on the road ahead.
The BLC’s Dennis Whalen writes about
increasing stakeholder demands for more transparent, higher quality ESG reporting.
In a Q&A with the KPMG Board Leadership Center, Bob Langert, former vice president for Sustainability at McDonald’s, offered insights for directors and management on addressing ESG issues.
KPMG and the Latino Corporate Directors Association examine Latino representation in the boardrooms of U.S. corporations.
Eurasia Group’s Ian Bremmer analyzes current geopolitical trends and what they mean for companies and boards.
As companies prepare for their 2020 annual meetings, shareholder engagement and communication should be top of mind.
While performance targets are powerful tools in driving the right culture, they can also pose major risks.
Susan Angele and Annalisa Barrett look at the current state of gender diversity on corporate boards.
This quarter, and in the months ahead, a number of developments impacting financial reporting will need to be front and center for audit committees.
Board Leadership Center Senior Advisor Annalisa Barrett evaluates the case for adding a director with human resources experience to the board.
Board Leadership Center senior advisor Stephen L. Brown looks at the implications for investor engagement in light of the Business Roundtable’s revised statement on corporate purpose.
Bremmer’s view on geopolitics, crisis prevention and readiness, the board approach to emerging technology risk and opportunity, reconsidering shareholder engagement in light of the debate on corporate purpose, and more.
Following the 2019 proxy season, the world’s largest asset managers shared the results of their engagements on corporate strategy, board composition, risk oversight, and compensation and culture.
How the board can understand and help shape the technology conversation was the focus of our recent Board Leadership Center Webcast featuring Dr. Cheemin Bo-Linn, president and CEO at Peritus Partners and corporate director at BMC Stock Holdings, and Timothy Zanni, global and U.S. technology sector leader for KPMG LLP.
Insights from board and business leaders on assessing crisis readiness and response plans and steps for enhancing line of sight.
While the impact on private company boards, management, operations, and disclosure varies—and largely dependent on ownership—a shift is apparent in how institutional investors are directing capital and increasing expectations for private company reporting on ESG.
SEC roundtable explores short-termism and the role of periodic reporting
Reflections on some of the issues that shareholders asked boards to address in 2019 and the outlook for next proxy season
Allocating time to strategy discussions is essential, but it is just the first hurdle in getting the strategy process right.
A group of seasoned directors shares their views on what “good” culture looks like in the context of crisis prevention.
In this edition: geopolitics, transformational technologies, proxy trends, investor coalitions, audit committee concerns, board diversity, and a financial reporting and auditing update.
Audit committee members continue to express confidence in their oversight of core responsibilities. Yet, it’s clear that technological innovation, digital disruption, and the complexity of business are sharpening the focus on risk management and the internal control environment.
The 2019 WCD Thought Leadership Commission report assesses the state of board diversity globally and provides practical recommendations based on the wisdom and experience of corporate board members.
Technological innovation, digital disruption, and the complexity of business are sharpening the focus on risk management and the internal control environment.
As cyber security efforts evolve to become an integral part of broader risk management, here are six issues for boards to consider.
In this edition: board engagement in strategy, highlights from our Board Leadership conference, voting in proxy fights, and more.
Financial executives give many presentations throughout their careers. But the board presentation is perhaps the most high-stakes.
The private equity portfolio company lead director can be key to building board agendas, serving as a mentor to the CEO, and leading oversight of strategy development and execution.
Boards should understand how the technical rules governing proxy cards—and the candidates who may be listed on them—operate in practice.
Insights from lead directors and independent chairs on how they facilitate board engagement in the strategy process.
Lead directors are uniquely positioned to create the right level of engagement and facilitate quality boardroom discussions on strategy.
The two-day program covered topics ranging from the role and responsibilities of corporate directors and board members’ fiduciary duties to more complex issues related to the oversight of strategy, risk, and cybersecurity; committees; and board/shareholder engagement.
In the current environment, boards will want to frame their agendas to help ensure their companies are prepared for a potential economic downturn—possibly a severe one. Dennis Whalen, leader of the KPMG Board Leadership Center, offers key areas of focus for boards to consider.
Highlights from our January Webcast discussion with Leo Abruzzese, the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Director of Public Policy.
Insights and highlights from the 2019 KPMG Board Leadership Conference, including the economic and geopolitical outlook; the CEO perspective; board engagement in strategy; technology, digital disruption,
data risk, and privacy; long-term performance; shareholder versus stakeholder primacy; talent, diversity, culture, the workforce of the future; and hot topics for board committees.
The top geopolitical risks for 2019, according to Eurasia Group, include the sowing of “bad seeds” for the future, the ongoing trade showdown between China and the United States, an increasingly challenging cyber battle, European populism, and several country-specific developments.
To build on our work in ESG, strategy and the long view, the Board Leadership Center interviewed directors and officers of major corporations, including Morgan Stanley, Tyson Foods, Ford Motor, Microsoft, Mars, and Whirlpool, among others.
A look at critical issues for board agendas, areas for audit committee focus, insights on integrating environmental, social, and governance issues into strategy, and more.
Drawing on insights from our work and interactions with directors and business leaders over the past 12 months, we’ve highlighted seven items for boards of private companies to consider as they focus their 2019 agendas on the critical challenges at hand and on the road ahead.
Dedicating time to think about the future is vital to navigating disruptive risks.
Seven items for boards to consider as they focus their 2019 agendas on the critical challenges at hand and on the road ahead.
Seven items for audit committees to keep in mind as they consider and carry out their 2019 agendas.
Expectations for greater transparency about the board’s efforts to continually raise its game and help position the company for the future are putting the nom/gov committee squarely in the spotlight. Here are six items for nom/gov committees to consider as they focus their 2019 agendas.
Many boards and audit committees are turning to internal audit to help them better
understand and assess the company’s culture.
Independent lead directors and independent chairs play a pivotal role in helping ensure their boards are ready for a CEO change.
Ian Bremmer, president and founder of Eurasia Group, shared his views on how boards should evaluate geopolitical risks and their impact on the business.
In this edition, we looked at trends in board leadership, two emerging areas of focus for lead directors, how young and growing companies may benefit from using a matrix for board building, and more.
For young and growing companies, particularly those backed by venture capital funds, board building is often more informal and less strategic. Yet a long-term approach to building a strong board as the company grows can make a difference.
The audit committee should add a #MeToo lens to its role in assisting the board in monitoring compliance.
The Board Leadership Center’s Dennis T. Whalen offers two key areas for board focus as companies prepare for the 2019 proxy season.
Lead directors are focusing on board composition and diversity, and enhancing board operations and oversight processes.
Companies and investors continue to grapple with what constitutes the optimal leadership structure for boards.
In the absence of timely guidance from the government, tax and finance departments will face a number of challenges in preparing the company’s remaining interim and year-end financial statements and tax return filings.
Highlights and takeaways from KPMG’s Director Roundtable Series, which explored how boards can take a more proactive approach to understanding, shaping, and assessing corporate culture.
Observations of the current climate for shareholder engagement, proxy voting and disclosure trends, shifts in board composition, and institutional shareholder concerns.
The super-voting stock creates a disconnect between economic interest and voting power, and the holders of super-voting stock are typically able to control the board and all major decisions.
Consumer data is a valuable asset for most organizations looking to extend their customer reach and competitive advantage
With concentrated ownership and less public scrutiny, diversifying the composition of private-equity portfolio company boards is a significant challenge, yet opportunities to change are just as abundant for these firms as they are public company boards.
Just when boards and management think they have finally figured out how to accommodate millennials as employees and customers, along comes iGen to reverse many millennial trends.
The July 2018 edition of Directors Quarterly.
Board-level attention to the foundations of decision-making can help give companies an edge in today’s complex and competitive business environment.
Quorum, Out Leadership’s initiative to increase LGBT+ representation on corporate boards, has created Board Diversity Guidelines with recommendations for companies on how to amend their corporate governance language
Virtual-only annual meetings—shareholder meetings held solely online, rather than at a physical location—have become the latest flashpoint in the governance wars.
The #MeToo movement and headlines announcing sexual harassment scandals and allegations have rightly put the topic of corporate culture front and center in the boardroom.
Discussion about board oversight of sexual harassment issues often comes up only after public allegations have thrown the company into crisis.
As head of the world’s largest asset manager, Fink made clear BlackRock’s expectation for a new model of shareholder engagement, “that strengthens and deepens communication between shareholders and the companies that they own.”
Given their oversight roles, how can boards and audit committees help ensure that the company is getting the appropriate insights from data and analytics while taking the necessary precautions to protect the company, its employees, customers, and others?
Amid increasing cyber threats and recent massive breaches, the SEC issued interpretive guidance on cybersecurity disclosures that applies to public companies registered with the Commission
It’s clear that, as the business and risk environment becomes more complex, the board’s ability to prioritize and devote enough time to substantive issues becomes more challenging
Wavering U.S. policy could dampen existing trade relationships and sour some reliable partners. Directors and executives who tuned in the for the Webcast appeared to agree with his observation
For a CFO of a new start-up company, this is a time of tremendous opportunity. Roles and responsibilities are being formalized, processes and controls are being implemented, and cultures and capabilities are being transformed.
As an increasing number of firms are driven by intangible, knowledge-based assets and are more frequently funded through private investors, accounting choices are expected to play a more significant role in a company’s success.
Reflecting on the events of 2017 and recent conversations with members of the institutional investor community, several high-level themes related to board operations and board leadership on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues are likely to be top of mind for investors this year.
Given the fast pace and complexity of the business environment, it is critically important that the board include the right mix of skill sets and perspectives to help guide the company’s strategy and oversee risk.
The ongoing threat of cyber attacks has put cyber risk near the top of board and audit committee agendas.
This year’s list is impacted by an acceleration of declining U.S. influence in the world and “concerns about the prospects of a geopolitical depression
KPMG’s report from the 2017 AICPA Conference on Current SEC and PCAOB Developments includes a discussion of the regulatory priorities of new SEC leadership, insight on ongoing implementation efforts and preparation for new accounting standards, and expectations for disclosure and auditing in the future.
Has the cyber risk and security conversation in the boardroom kept pace with the business? Better yet, does the board have the assurance that operations, technology, and risk management are communicating on cyber expectations and priorities?
In our survey report, directors, senior management, and internal auditors share views on how they assess and monitor corporate culture.
Eurasia Group’s Ian Bremmer shared his insight on geopolitics and business on our KPMG/NACD Quarterly Webcast.
Board composition is in the spotlight. The business environment is fast-paced and complex, making it imperative that companies have the right people in the boardroom helping to guide strategy and oversee risk.
The roundtable focused on the implications of automation for the board and audit committee; the promise and potential threat of artificial intelligence; and how government, business, and educators must work as one to reskill workers.
Given the expected five- to seven-year holding period for portfolio companies, boards may be able to avoid having to make a switch in two years by being more proactive in assessing the CEO early in the ownership period.
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