By Business Reporter
BUSINESS leaders of the modern world need to take note that it is increasingly the interaction between people, technology, capital and networks that drives value creation.
This is according to Professor Mervyn King, the Chairman of the King Committee on Corporate Governance in South Africa, which produced King I, II and III.
Professor King, who is also the first Vice-President of the Institute of Directors Southern Africa, was in Namibia last week at the invitation of the PwC Namibia Business School, as the keynote speaker for an eye-opening executives’ seminar, which focused on risk management, IT governance and organisational integrity, as proposed in King IV and Namcode.
The King series is a set of voluntary principles and leading practices.
On 1 November 2016, the King Committee published the King IV Report on Corporate Governance for South Africa.
King IV introduces various amendments and enhancements to its predecessor.
Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed companies are already under an obligation to comply with King IV. This is still on a “comply or explain basis”.
However, when the proposed amendments to the JSE listings requirements come into force, listed companies will be required to apply and explain their compliance with King IV.
Professor King said last week, “The 21st century has been characterised by fundamental changes, which provided the context within which the King Committee set out to draft King IV, and have influenced both its content and approach.”
His well-articulated presentation also contrasted of 19th and 20th century business, with their 21st century counterparts.
“Businesses in the 19th and 20th century were run by wealthy families, with a single focus and bottom line financial reporting – a rear view mirror, with a wrong notion that planet earth had an infinite capacity to absorb waste, and infinite resources,” Professor King said.
He shared with the audience the 16 + 1 Principles as per King IV, and discussed the rationale and application of these in the 21st century entities. He highlighted the following King IV concepts to be followed by all entities – integrity, competency, accountability, fairness and transparency.
A senior counsel and former Judge of the Supreme Court of South Africa, Professor King has a string colourful accolades to his name, which include, among others, Professor Extraordinaire at the University of South Africa on Corporate Citizenship, Honorary Professor at the University of Pretoria and Visiting Professor at Rhodes University.
“The overarching objective of King IV is to make corporate governance more accessible and relevant to a wider range of organisations, and to be the catalyst for a shift from a compliance-based mindset, to one that sees corporate governance as a lever for value creation,” he said.
Professor King is also the Chairman of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), Chairman Emeritus of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and a member of the Private Sector Advisory Group to the World Bank on Corporate Governance.
He chaired the United Nations Committee on Governance and Oversight and was the President of the Advertising Standards Authority for 15 years.
He has been a chairman, director and chief executive of several companies listed on the London, Luxembourg and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges.
He has consulted, advised and spoken on legal, business, advertising, sustainability and corporate governance issues in 53 countries, and has received many awards. He is the author of two books on governance and sustainability and sits as an arbitrator and mediator internationally.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015