Good corporate governance is essentially about effective, ethical leadership. While leadership starts with each individual director, it finds its expression through the board as a collective, setting the appropriate example and tone that embodies ethical governance. The governance principles as contained in the King Report on Corporate Governance (King IV) sets out  the role of the governing body in ensuring that the ethical culture within an organisation is aligned to the tone set by the governing body through the implementation of appropriate policies and practices.

The Independent Board Member

Being the CEO of an independently managed business can be a lonely position, and you can benefit from having a group of people with whom you can share ideas and perspectives. A solution is to have an independent board member who is able to bring a different and wider range of perspectives to the CEO than is typically found in an independently managed business. Independent board members are much more than just a sounding board for the CEO, as they will bring knowledge and expertise in areas where the knowledge of the CEO and management team may be limited.
Through our governance service we add value to independently managed businesses so that they view the board as an instrument of accountability, growth, and effective strategy. The wealth of knowledge and experience that independent board members have will supplement the skills and capabilities of the company’s CEO. Their different perspectives may bring to the CEO and the executive team a range of new ideas and approaches to strengthen the business. As independent board members to an independently managed business, we bring our expertise and insights, gained as partners in a Big Four professional services firm, in the areas of governance, internal controls, finance, human resources, marketing, tax, industry expertise, and first-hand experience gained from working with other organisations that have faced difficult challenges, such as cyber-attacks or crisis and risk management.

Board Evaluations

The King Report on Corporate Governance (King IV) recognises the need for continued improvement in Board performance and recommends that organisations conduct a formal evaluation process at least biannually. In the alternate year, the King IV recommendation is that the governing body schedule an opportunity for consideration, reflection, and discussion of its performance. A periodic review of the effectiveness of the Board, its Committees and the individual Board Members is critical to establishing the appropriate “tone at the top” as well as enhancing Board and sub-committee performance and ensuring well-governed, well-directed and successful organisations. Okhela Business Solutions has experience in conducting Board Evaluations and have developed a bespoke methodology, using anonymous and digital survey tools, which focus on assessing and enhancing the extent to which the governing body, sub-committees and individuals charged with governance, perform and achieve the governance imperatives. The objective of our evaluation and reporting process is to ensure that the Board, its members and committees are focusing on the critical governance criteria which include but may not be limited to:
  • Integrity and ethics
  • Competence
  • Responsibility
  • Transparency
  • Accountability
Our review and resulting report will provide specific and practical recommendations to enhance Board and Sub-committee performance where appropriate and Board Training can be provided as and when required.

King IV Reviews

Corporate governance, for the purposes of King IV, is defined as the exercise of ethical and effective leadership by the governing body towards the achievement of the following governance outcomes:

  • Ethical culture
  • Good performance
  • Effective control
  • Legitimacy
Good corporate governance is at the heart of any successful organisation and should be a strategic imperative to all organisations regardless of their form or incorporation. At Okhela we believe that all organisations should periodically assess the extent to which their operations and governance complies with the governance practices recommended by the King IV. We have experience in performing these detailed assessments and would be ideally suited to assist your organisation with such an assessment.  The objectives of which would include a review of your business’s implementation of the 16 key principles of the King Report which are summarised in the following 5 key themes:

  1. Leadership, Ethics and Corporate Citizenship.
  2. Strategy, Performance and Reporting.
  3. Governing Structures and Delegation.
  4. Governance Functional Areas.
  5. Stakeholder Relationships.

Our detailed review will:

  • Provide a detailed assessment of the extent to which the Board has implemented structures and processes designed to meet good governance practice principles as set out in King IV.
  • Measure current governance practices against corporate governance best practices as suggested by King IV.
  • Assess the nature and extent of disclosures in the most recent Annual Report against the disclosure requirements of King IV.
  • Document the gaps in alignment between current practices and King IV recommendations.
  • Provide appropriate and practical recommendations, where necessary, to improve and enhance the governance principles, structure and practices, taking the size and level of maturity of the institution into account.
  • Provide detailed Board Training as required.

Our role as independent assessors in your process, during interviews, when analysing the bespoke survey results, and during the reporting, will be to use our governance and board effectiveness experience to constructively engage and challenge current practices and to prompt further discussion and deeper consideration of the organisation’s real governance performance and effectiveness.