PICG holds conference on 'Corporate governance implications'
A conference on "Corporate governance implications for companies with concentrated ownership" was organised by Pakistan Institute of Corporate Governance (PICG) in collaboration with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Pakistan and Centre for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) Pakistan at a local hotel on Wednesday.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2013
It was sponsored by Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) and co-sponsored by Tri-Pack Films Limited, Allied Bank Limited and Engro Corporation. Concentrated ownership of listed companies is a reality in most Asian economies. This ownership structure presents both opportunities as well as risks. The objective of this conference was to discuss whether the ownership structure of companies should influence the board of directors in carrying out its duties and responsibilities, and its impact on the management and long-term performance of these companies.
Fawad A Hashimi, President and CEO, PICG opened the conference. Andrew C Wilson, Regional Director CIPE for Eastern Europe and Eurasia, delivered the keynote address. This was followed by a panel discussion titled 'The board of directors has the right to appoint the chief executive officer' which was moderated by Arif Masud Mirza, Head of ACCA Pakistan.
Panelists included: M J Jaffar, Orr Dignam & Co, Adnan Afridi, Advisor Silkbank Limited and former managing director, Karachi Stock Exchange, Kamran Y Mirza, CEO Pakistan Business Council and Zaffar A Khan who serves on diverse boards including MNCs Shell Pakistan and Unilever Pakistan. The discussion was highly interactive as the participants actively contributed to the discussion. M J Jaffar remarked that the law clearly states that it is the duty of the board to appoint the CEO, while adding that the directors substantially invested their trust and power in the CEO to manage and direct the company.
Conference speakers highlighted the role of corporate governance in striving to create a balance between ownership control, shareholder protection and investor interest. The speakers included Faheem Sardar, CEO Askari Securities, Abrar Hasan, CEO National Foods Limited, Aftab Ahmed Chaudry, Managing Director, Lahore Stock Exchange, Badaruddin F Vellani, Senior Partner Vellani & Vellani, and Sajid Zahid, joint senior partner Orr Dignam & Co and Rana Mustansir of PICG.
Panel discussion was followed by Hashimi reading out chief guest SECP Chairman, Tahir Mahmood's address in which he stated that he hoped the conference would significantly impact the state of corporate governance in Pakistan. Sajid Zahid's in his talk on "The value of independent directors" said that independent directors are now a necessity for a board to function efficiently. CEO National Foods Ltd. Abrar Hasan presented his own company as a case study for "succession planning in family-owned businesses" highlighting how his company had survived across five decades. -PR