Foreign investment flows and shareholder confidence are directly linked to robust corporate governance, as revealed during the latest GCC Board Directors Institute (“BDI”) Workshop held in Riyadh this week.
Dubai, 14th March 2015: BDI, the pre-eminent organization for boards and directors in the Gulf, delivered two workshops in partnership with Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (“SABIC”), one of the top petrochemical companies in the world, and a founding partner of BDI. These took place in Riyadh from 9th till 11th March 2015.
H.E. Abdullatif Al-Othman, Governor & Chairman of the Board, Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (“SAGIA”) commented, “The importance of well-run and well-led boards today cannot be overstated. Best practices are critical as they help companies and family businesses accelerate board effectiveness. One of the biggest challenges however, is to help people recognize that they should not leave it to intuition, that there are tools that will help accelerate governance, and in turn drive shareholder value and foreign investor interest. I am extremely proud of BDI’s achievement in helping raise the bar of board effectiveness in the region.”
He added, “Institutional investors will only invest in those, and only those, with sound corporate governance records. At SAGIA, we are working tirelessly to facilitate this through initiating a new positive phase of investment in the Kingdom, by unlocking its potential to deliver a win-win for investors and Saudi Arabia. As the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) opens its doors to foreign investors next month, this evolution will become even more important for the country.”
During this week, BDI inaugurated half-day Focused Sessions for its members. Its first one focused on shareholders rights and responsibilities and was opened by H.E. Mohammed Abdullah Aljadaan, Chairman of the Board of the Capital Market Authority of Saudi Arabia. He commented, “The CMA’s strategic plan is to make the Saudi Capital Market a pioneer market, earning the confidence of investors. The plan includes a set of goals divided into four areas: fostering capital market development, promoting investor protection, improving the regulatory environment and enhancing the CMA’s organizational excellence. We see a clear link between shareholder confidence and robust corporate governance, which is why we uphold such high governance standards and praise BDI for its vision, its initiative for holding this workshop in the Kingdom and the impact it has had till date across the region. The CMA is also looking forward to seeing the Institute’s efforts reach as many board members as possible.”
Nathalie Potvin, Executive Director of BDI added, “The launch of our Focused Sessions was a key objective for BDI in 2015. We are delighted to bring an additional learning and networking platform to our members, where they can benefit from the knowledge of industry experts on very specific topics. We are honored to have partnered with the CMA for this launch, given the importance they place on instilling high standards of corporate governance.”
BDI also held its 19th Foundations of Directorship Workshop, a core part of its curriculum. Faculty presenters included global business leaders from Allen & Overy, Heidrick & Struggles, McKinsey Company, PricewaterhouseCoopers – BDI’s content partners, as well as the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Attending these BDI workshops this week, were senior executives and board members of the following distinguished companies: Abdullatif Alissa Group Holding Co, Alturki Holding, Atheeb Group, Investcorp, Ma’aden, Ma’aden NAL Investment, Kanoo Group, Nahil Computer Co, Phosphate Company (MPC), SABIC, Salamah Cooperative Insurance Co., Saudi Agriculture Development, Saudi Arabian Mining Company, Saudi Aramco, Shell Chemicals Arabia, Tabuk Agricultural Development Company (TADCO), TADAWUL, TAKAMUL (Mauritania Saudi for Mining & Steel) and TASNEE.