In October 2015, leading practitioners in corporate governance law from across North America convened in New York at the first annual Colloquium of the American College of Governance Counsel (the "College"). The College is a professional, educational, and honorary association of lawyers widely recognized for their achievements in the field of governance (the "Fellows"). The mission of the College is to promote a high level of professional standards among governance lawyers along with a better understanding and broader adoption of best practices within business organizations.
The Fellows engaged in a wide-ranging debate about the current governance environment and the factors that have influenced its development – both for better and for worse. The discussion coalesced around two important points. The Fellows agreed that effective governance promotes sustainable value (for the long term, rather than the short term). There was also a strong consensus that in order to position business to operate with a view to long-term value, the relationships between shareholders (particularly activist shareholders) and boards of directors must be aligned to support that objective.
Read the full proceedings.