CCGG releases report on building high performance boards

In March, the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance (CCGG) released the 2010 version of Building High Performance Boards, which provides governance guidelines for boards of public issuers. The guidelines were developed by the CCGG following industry consultation. The CCGG suggests reporting issuers "adopt these governance policies and procedures...over and above the minimum standards required by CSA regulations and corporate law."

Specifically, according to the CCGG, issuers should: (i) facilitate shareholder democracy; (ii) ensure that at least two-thirds of directors are independent of management; (iii) separate the roles of Chair and CEO; (iv) ensure that directors are competent and knowledgeable; (v) ensure that the goal of every director is to make integrity the hallmark of the company; (vi) establish mandates for board committees and ensure committee independence; (vii) establish reasonable compensation and share ownership guidelines for directors; (viii) evaluate board, committee and individual director performance; (ix) oversee strategic planning, risk management and the hiring and evaluation of management; (x) assess the CEO and plan for succession; (xi) develop and oversee executive compensation plans; (xii) report governance policies and initiatives to shareholders; and (xiii) engage with shareholders within and outside the annual meeting. Each guideline is accompanied by expected best practices.

The CCGG states that it expects that companies will develop and adopt new best practices over time and the document will be periodically revised to ensure it stays relevant.

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