G20/OECD publishes revised Principles of Corporate Governance

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18 Sep, 2015

A revised set of Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Principles of Corporate Governance (“the Principles”) has been published.

The Principles provide recommendations for national policymakers on shareholder rights, executive remuneration, financial disclosure, the behaviours of institutional investors and how stock markets should function. 

The Principles were originally developed by the OECD in 1999 and last updated in 2004. The 2015 version addresses developments in corporate governance and the rapidly changing corporate and financial landscape. 

The revised Principles maintain many of the recommendations from earlier versions as continuing essential components of an effective corporate governance framework. They also introduce some new issues and bring greater emphasis or additional clarity to others.  

The Principles are non-binding.  They are intended to “provide a robust but flexible reference for policy makers and market participants to develop their own frameworks for corporate governance”. 

The Principles provide guidance through recommendations and annotations across six areas (taken directly from the Principles): 

Principle 1 

The corporate governance framework should promote transparent and fair markets, and the efficient allocation of resources. It should be consistent with the rule of law and support effective supervision and enforcement. 

Principle 2 

The corporate governance framework should protect and facilitate the exercise of shareholders’ rights and ensure the equitable treatment of all shareholders, including minority and foreign shareholders. All shareholders should have the opportunity to obtain effective redress for violation of their rights. 

Principle 3 

The corporate governance framework should provide sound incentives throughout the investment chain and provide for stock markets to function in a way that contributes to good corporate governance. 

Principle 4 

The corporate governance framework should recognise the rights of stakeholders established by law or through mutual agreements and encourage active co-operation between corporations and stakeholders in creating wealth, jobs, and the sustainability of financially sound enterprises. 

Principle 5 

The corporate governance framework should ensure that timely and accurate disclosure is made on all material matters regarding the corporation, including the financial situation, performance, ownership, and governance of the company. 

Principle 6 

The corporate governance framework should ensure the strategic guidance of the company, the effective monitoring of management by the board, and the board’s accountability to the company and the shareholders. 

Further information and a full version of the Principles are available on the OECD website.

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