Awarded over a century ago, the IoD’s Royal Charter instructs us to, among other things, “promote the study, research and development of the law and practice of corporate governance”.
In the years since, the UK has developed and maintained a world-leading reputation for the quality of its corporate governance regime. For the UK’s corporate governance to remain a competitive advantage, our standards require continual reform and future-proofing.
To help in this endeavour, the IoD is launching a new initiative, the IoD Centre for Corporate Governance, which we hope will even more fully realise our Royal Charter commitment. Operating at arm’s length from the IoD and guided by independent advisory board of academics, business leaders and investors, the Centre will act as a hub for discussion of corporate governance and related environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.
We will seek to recognise diverse perspectives through the Centre, ensuring balance. Members of the advisory board include Dame Inga Beale, former chief executive at Lloyd’s of London; Margaret Casely-Hayford, chair of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre; Andrew Kakabadse, professor of governance and leadership at Henley Business School; and Colin Mayer, professor of management studies at Saïd Business School, Oxford.
The Centre’s first three topics of study will be: stakeholder governance; sustainable capitalism; and the governance implications of AI and other emerging tech.
The first project will reflect upon whether existing corporate governance mechanisms and statutory obligations placed on directors and other actors allow them to deliver against the expectations of a wider group of stakeholders. This issue is firmly in the spotlight, as the once-dominant view that corporations exist solely to serve their shareholders comes under increasing scrutiny.
The Centre’s project examining sustainable capitalism will aim to address issues including the feasibility of achieving the UK’s objective of a carbon neutral economy by 2050 within the UK’s existing corporate governance and corporate law framework. This includes looking at the interaction between this objective and other social and governance issues that are within the control of business.
The project focussing on AI will aim to explore the issues that are likely to arise as corporate decision-making becomes increasingly augmented by AI and other emerging technologies. As AI develops further, it may replace more and more corporate functions and could even replace humans on corporate boards with major implications for our existing corporate governance and corporate law framework.
The Centre will be launched on Monday 16 March at the IoD.
Carum Basra, Corporate Governance Policy Advisor
Carum joined the IoD in August 2019 to work on Corporate Governance policy. Prior to joining the IoD, Carum served as a Senior Associate at a leading strategic communications consultancy where he advised clients across a broad range of public affairs issues.
Carum holds a BA in Politics from the University of London and studied International Corporate Governance at Queens University, Belfast, graduating with Distinction in 2019.