In less than a year Dutch companies have significantly increased their policy for corporate governance. Iris Aandelenresearch concluded this. The average grade that Iris, part of the Rabobank, gave to 88 listed companies was 6.3 compared to 3.3 last year.
Iris looked at the extent to which the companies live up to the Corporate Governance Code, which was introduced on January 1, 2004. The research shows that the ‘old boys network’ of commissioners hasn’t been broken yet. Still a large part of the commissioners have more than five commissionerships. Also the recommended independence of accountants’ offices, which issue certificates of shares, often leave much to be desired.
The scores of Iris vary between a 9.7 for Numico and a 1.8 for Nieuwe Steen Investments. Vastned Retail and Vastned Offices/Industrial showed the most progression. A prime example of untransparent corporate governance according to Iris is Hunter Douglas (graded 1.9). A CEO and a majority shareholder Ralph Sonnenberg, according to Iris, dominate the company. The agency calls their annual report no more than an ‘upgraded advertising brochure’.
Source: Financiële Telegraaf