Heather Gordon is Legal Director at Martyn Fiddler Aviation. Heather joined the team in 2013 having previously practiced within a leading Isle of Man law ...Contact Heather Gordon
A governance Summary
“The borderline between business blunder and business brilliance is the merest hairs breadth” (Sir John Harvey-Jones)
Many business leaders – whether famous, revered or feared - are grappling with the governance issues raised in this white paper. Here are our top seven:
1. Corporate governance is not going away: every new scandal increases media attention and the call for greater regulation by government. The 2022 collapse of crypto platform FTX is a case in point: FTX was ponzi scheme with excellent PR bought and paid for by founder, Samuel Bankman-Fried. FTX had less than zero governance. As a result, Samuel Bankman-Fried will now be mentioned in the same breath as Bernie Madoff and Jeffrey Skilling of Enron.
2. Progress is slow: commentators and experts still disagree on basic matters of governance such as the purpose of a business, the role of corporate boards of directors, the rights of shareholders and stakeholders, and the proper way to measure corporate performance
3. Basic corporate governance has become necessity for any organisation. The view that the only duty of business leaders is to make profit for shareholders is a legacy from the ‘command and control’ view of 80s leadership style promulgated by Jack Welch of GE. Paying lip service to technical compliance with regulations or isolating ethics from business dealings is no longer a viable tactic.
4. Even the biggest businesses can fail at governance: recent high-profile scandals with major aviation, technology and finance corporates demonstrate the impact that the lack of governance can have: major restructure, CEO defenestration or corporate demise.
5. Good corporate governance benefits society: investors, directors, regulators, employees or consumers all benefit from knowing what corporate governance is and how it underpins the success of any business.
6. Good corporate governance helps achieve corporate goals. Governance can provide the framework for attaining a company’s objectives, from action plans, accountability and internal controls to performance measurement and corporate disclosure.
7. Checklists are vital for complex processes: governance is no exception. Checklists are useful tools; a governance checklist must be appropriate for the size and complexity of the business and be put in context.
Keep the Conversation Going
At Martyn Fiddler Aviation, we want to start a conversation on governance, as well as start a movement for positive change in governance culture within business aviation.
As a new generation of business leaders enter our industry it is vitally important to instil why good governance leads to business success, sustained growth and a stable future.
It is not an easy task but we believe a movement to increase the governance around the board table now will benefit the business of business aviation in the long term.
We welcome your feedback on this whitepaper and thoughts on governance so we can move the conversation forward.
The information included in this article is considered true and correct at the date of publication; changes to rules and regulation made after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of the information referenced or inferred to in this article. The information in the article may change without notice and Martyn Fiddler Aviation is in no way liable for the accuracy of any information printed or stored or in any way interpreted and used by the user. This article or the information contained in it is not provided or intended to be used as advice of any form.
If you have any doubts or would like to discuss any aspect of this article, please do not hesitate to contact one of our experts who will be happy to discuss your individual circumstance.