Roundtable Discussion on the Role and Responsibilities of Independent Directors – Day 1

Date:

Event Name : Recent Events

Date : 18 March, 2007- ,

Description :

The Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI) organized a roundtable discussion on the Role and Responsibilities of Independent Directors on Sunday March 18, 2007 at the BEI Conference Room. Mr. Farooq Sobhan, President of BEI chaired the event.

The objective of the roundtable was to enhance the understanding of the role and responsibilities of members serving on the boards of State-owned Enterprises (SOE), as well as, in private enterprises, which have government representation on the board.

Dr. A. B. Mirza Mohammad Azizul Islam, Honourable Adviser, Ministry of Finance and Planning, was the chief guest at the event.

BEI invited Mr. Mueen Afzal, Chairman, Pay and Pension Committee, Government of Pakistan, to deliver the keynote paper at the roundtable discussion. Mr. Afzal is one of the longest serving Finance Secretaries of the Government of Pakistan and currently, serves on the boards of more than 12 leading government enterprises, and multinational and local companies in Pakistan as an Independent Director.

Dr. Mohammad Farashuddin, Former Governor of Bangladesh Bank and the current Chairman, Department of Economics at East West University and Dr. Haroon-ur Rashid, Former Chairman, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) spoke at the roundtable as discussants.

While delivering his keynote speech, Mr. Afzal said that in Pakistan Non Executive Independent Directors now serve on the boards of major companies. The fundamental motivation for corporate governance is the separation of ownership and control. Corporate Governance seeks to address the problem that may arise because of the conflicting interests of the management and owners. Having an Independent Director on the board helps to establish a system of internal and external checks and balances on corporate behaviour. As such, the role of the Nomination Committee of a company is crucial in selecting an Independent Director.

Mr. Farooq Sobhan stressed that SOEs need strong leadership in the board to manage them. He mentioned that all board members should undergo mandatory training on corporate governance as the board members in developed countries do.

Dr. Haroon-ur Rashid acknowledged that the role of an independent director is a challenging one and reiterated the need for training on issues and concepts of corporate governance. He appreciated BEI’s corporate governance initiatives and for organizing this timely roundtable.

In addressing the audience, the chief guest, Dr. A. B. Mirza Mohammad Azizul Islam appreciated BEI’s efforts for creating an excellent platform for sensitizing all constituencies about corporate governance issues. He added that the Government of Bangladesh (GoB) has cleared the Financial Reporting Counsel Act to ensure transparency, which is an important aspect of corporate governance. He also shared with the audience about the plans of GoB to privatize three Nationalized Commercial Banks (NCBs).

Dr. Farashuddin said Bangladesh private sector is dominated by first generation entrepreneurs and that the concept of corporatization is yet to reach maturity.

Representatives from various Ministries, SOEs, regulatory bodies, NCBs, former ambassadors and government officials were present at the roundtable.

For further information, please contact Ms. Lopa Rahman, Project Director, Corporate Governance Strengthening Project or Sherina Tabassum, Communications Manager of BEI.

Posted Date : 4 March, 2012

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