However, there are certain common governance challenges faced in all markets. At their tenth annual meeting, signatories to the Corporate Governance Development Framework—representing development finance institutions from more than 20 nations—learned more about these differences and similarities as they convened for two days of discussions and knowledge sharing on the current global state of corporate governance.
Hosted by Proparco, the private sector arm of the Agence Française de Développement, this year’s conference covered a diverse range of governance topics. In various sessions, participants explored the intricacies of governance in France, the importance of building a corporate governance culture in the family-owned businesses that dominate the private sector in several West African countries, and the value in building fair and impartial professional and state institutions that can encourage and support governance improvements.
The role of investors in influencing governance improvements was the topic of another session. And a panel discussion on gender diversity in the boardroom noted gradual improvement as a growing number of qualified women rise through the ranks to take on director roles.
Also of note was a presentation on the new Nominee Director Guidebook, developed by the Nominee Directors subcommittee of the CGDF’s Working Group. “This guidebook will be a useful resource for the development finance community, as institutions nominate directors for their investee companies,” said Darrin Hartzler, Manager of IFC’s Corporate Governance Group. “It will also help them as they draft their own policies and procedures.”
The group also identified next steps and future priorities, including ways for smaller DFIs to encourage improved governance in their investee companies.
The Corporate Governance Development Framework, adopted by 34 development finance institutions including IFC as of April 2016, provides guidelines to address corporate governance risks and opportunities in emerging market investment operations.
For more information about the framework and the Paris meeting of CGDF signatories (PDF)