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Our annual publications: Issues for Boards, General Counsel and Company Secretaries and Issues for financial sponsors and their portfolio companies discuss topical issues for the year ahead.
We have summarised some of the key points below. Alternatively, please download the full publications for wider insight.
Having the right culture is vital for businesses. It not only drives productivity and employee satisfaction, but also helps to mitigate the risk of rogue employees or teams behaving badly. Assessing and monitoring culture is an important responsibility for Boards, which requires different techniques and approaches from the measurement of purely financial metrics.
Businesses that cannot demonstrate that they are responding to climate change and carbon reduction demands, or are seen as only paying lip service, risk facing criticism from activists and loss of support from investors. Companies need to develop clear action plans to keep their stakeholders well informed and fulfil reporting requirements.
Faced with urgent calls to address climate change, there is a growing recognition that collaboration within industries could be the most effective way to bring about the long-lasting change needed – but will competition law get in the way?
Operational resilience is a smarter way of thinking about managing business disruption caused by IT, security and process failures. Under new proposals, Boards of financial services companies will be required to think about it – and where the financial services sector leads, other sectors often follow.
More and more, data is at the heart of any business operation – but it can also be its Achilles heel. Companies need to navigate the line between valuable personalisation and intrusive data harvesting. Privacy and competition regulators are watching closely.
Reputation is everything. In the age of social media and disinformation, fake news is no longer targeted simply at celebrities and politicians. It is impacting companies too and fake news stories spread far quicker than real news. Businesses need to develop rapid social media responses as part of versatile communication strategies.
The recent outbreak of the novel coronavirus has caused disruption across greater China and beyond. Containment measures, including lockdowns of cities, extensions of public holidays, closures of public services (e.g. courts), cancellation of events, unprecedented “work from home” arrangements, international travel restrictions and quarantine measures may have worldwide impacts.
As negotiations begin over a proposed free trade agreement, the UK is signalling that it wants complete regulatory independence, even as the EU maintains that regulatory alignment is a precondition to any deal. Businesses should prepare for a hard Brexit.
Any business that has an interest in Europe needs to be aware of the incoming Commission’s new priorities. They may affect your business operations directly and/or be a good indication of likely priorities for other governments and regulators around the world. Sustainability is one of the EU’s top priority items, followed by digitalisation.