The IOD published its Corporate Governance Guidance and Principles for Unlisted Companies in late November, skilfully adapted by Roger Barker (IOD Head of Corporate Governance) from a pan-European edition published by ecoDa earlier in the year. It deserves publicity. Although it does not seek to break new ground and can read, at times, as if trying to cajole some grumpy company founder into wiser ways, it is pretty good on the whole – addresses the issues that need to be addressed and any company director would benefit from reading it.
But its most important attribute of all is that it takes governance to the unlisted company. For too long the governance industry has directed attention to the listed sector because there is a sense that their shareholders need protection. By addressing the unlisted sector the message inevitably becomes nuanced to become ‘this is the best way to run a business’. That is a message that can be directed to all businesses, listed or unlisted.
There are other important issues too but for those you will have to wait to read my book, due out in May or June 2011.