2020 Governance Outlook:<br />Projections on Emerging Board Matters

2020 Governance Outlook:
Projections on Emerging Board Matters

In Brief: The 2020 Governance Outlook: Projections on Emerging Board Matters is NACD’s third publication in this annual report series, providing corporate directors and senior executives with a comprehensive, forward-looking overview of major business and governance issues that are likely to require board focus over the coming year. The report includes insights and projections from 7 partners—Baker Tilly, Broadridge, Ceres, Deloitte, Grant Thornton, Spencer Stuart and Weil, Gotshal & Manges—on the following themes: business risks, shareholder engagement, water scarcity risk, digital technology, regulatory updates, potential recession, board composition, and legal risks.

Boards can use this resource to assist them in taking the following steps:

  • Highlight critical business risks that may impact company strategy
  • Evaluate boardroom practices around composition, succession, and recruitment
  • Discuss the material impact of water risk on their business or industry
  • Anticipate and prepare for possible changes in the regulatory landscape
  • Identify key trends for shareholder engagement on environmental, social and governance topics
  • Assess management preparedness for a potential recession
  • Understand the legal implications of the latest Caremark cases
  • Shift director’s technology focus from a defensive model to an offensive model

Most relevant audiences: board chairs, CEOs, lead independent directors, committee chairs, strategy committees, nominating and governance committee members, audit committees, and risk committee members

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Select Recommendations

  • Baker Tilly (Strategic Business Risks)

    “Resilience” is key to defining how effective boards operate. Merger and acquisition (M&A) transactions, trade compliance, tax issues and data privacy are key risks boards should prepare for in 2020.

  • Broadridge Financial Solutions (ESG Engagement)

    Boards should ensure their companies have identified the most relevant stakeholder groups and have a robust strategy to engage with them.  Companies may want to give a higher profile to communications on their progress in ESG areas.

  • Deloitte (Regulatory Changes)

    The upcoming focus will be on shifting disclosure requirements in areas such as cybersecurity and human capital, and emphasis on the board’s role in oversight of financial reporting and risk management.

  • Grant Thornton (Recession Preparation)

    The analysis performed by Grant Thornton offers boards guidance on how to assess management’s thinking about and preparedness for a potential recession and how to continue successful innovation in a slowing economy.

  • Spencer Stuart (Board Composition)

    Boards need to continually con­sider refreshment and seek out directors who can bring in much-needed knowledge and experience from the front line.

  • Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Legal Risks)

    Directors should ensure that the board’s agenda provides ample time, on a regular basis, to carefully evaluate the company’s overall risk management framework.