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At Annual Companies Circle Meeting, Focus on Market Development, Ethics and Compliance
Latin American markets are lagging in terms of capital market development, holding under one percent of global liquidity.
This news, shared by Juan Pablo Cordoba, President of the Colombian Stock Exchange and Head of Mercado Integrado de Latinoamerica (MILA), set the tone for the Latin American Companies Circle annual meeting, hosted by BM&FBOVESPA.
Convening in Sao Paolo at a time of regional economic uncertainty and regulatory change, Companies Circle members—prominent Latin American companies recognized as corporate governance thought leaders and change agents—discussed the need to further develop regional capital markets.
The introduction of MILA shows that an integrated market is possible and indeed viable, according to Cordoba. Still, challenges remain, such as harmonizing regulations and coordinating policy-makers.
Leading by example: Companies Circle presents ethics and compliance recommendations
The members’ annual meeting, which included first-time break-out sessions for board chairs and directors, also served as the backdrop to introduce a series of recommendations on ethics and compliance.
The paper, “Latin American Companies Circle Recommendations on Ethics and Compliance,” is based on first-hand experiences of Companies Circle members. The goal is to assist other Latin American companies improve their ethical and compliance guidelines, policies and practices.
Oliver Orton, Regional Manager of IFC's Corporate Governance Program for Latin America and the Caribbean, acknowledged the Group’s critical work. “These recommendations come at a critical time for the region,” he said. “Companies Circle members are demonstrating by example the clear link between sound governance and an increased ability to attract investment, improve operations, enhance reputation, and reduce risk.” In turn, such improvements lead to growth and sustainability, creating broader economic opportunity in the region, he added.
The power of shared experiences
At an event that attracted the broader business community, Companies Circle members discussed the recommendations, reaffirming their own commitment to strong governance as part of the effort to strengthen their markets. “Against the backdrop of current events, it is clearer than ever that a consistent focus on good corporate governance is the way forward,” said Fabrizio Papaianni, the Companies Circle Chair.
Companies Circle members also noted the benefits gained as a result of their activities. It serves as a unique platform to share knowledge and ideas, learning from the experiences of others, they said. Several members said their involvement has helped them push for ever better governance within their own firms—and to promote similar standards in firms with which they do business.
The IFC Corporate Governance Program in Latin American and the Caribbean is funded by SECO (State Secretariat for Economic Affairs of Switzerland).
About the Latin American Companies Circle
Launched in 2005 with the support of IFC and OECD, the Companies Circle is a unique group of prominent Latin American companies recognized as thought leaders and agents of corporate governance change in their markets and the region. Current members include companies from several Latin American markets—Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Peru. They are Grupo Los Grobo, Grupo Algar, CPFL Energia, Embraer, Natura, Ultrapar, Grupo Argos, ISA, Florida Ice & Farm Co., Grupo Compartamos, Buenaventura, and Ferreycorp.
For more information, visit www.ifc.org/companiescircle
Press Release: IFC Partners with Latin American Governance Leaders to Improve Corporate Ethics and Compliance English | Portuguese
Presentation: MILA: Hacia un mercado de valores verdaderamente integrado y unificado para la Alianza del Pacífico
Photo Album (Flickr)