Muscat: An orientation programme on board appraisal for directors, chief executive officers and chief financial officers was conducted by Crowe Horwath Oman.
Addressing the meeting, Dr. Robert Van Brederode, former international chair of Crowe Horwath Indirect Tax Practice, Atlanta, said that across the world, board evaluations have now become a serious compliance requirement. The size of the boards varies from as much as 15 directors in Germany to six in Brazil, he added. Fundamentally, the evaluation process is based on the virtues of transparency, accountability, fairness and responsibility, which is also the same in the Sultanate.
The process of evaluation, he said, puts onerous responsibilities on the directors. The onus of carrying out the evaluation is as much on the investors, as it is on the board. The purpose of evaluation is to improve the performance of the board by identifying its strength and weaknesses.
Earlier, welcoming the participants, Davis Kallukaran, managing partner of Crowe Horwath Oman, said the corporates have come to terms with the existence and importance of board evaluation across the world. Even countries have pioneered this concept only in the last 12 years.
Till very recently, board evaluations were done by circulating certain papers and were not considered a serious exercise. But guidelines from regulators have taken the force of law and corporates have come to terms with the existence and importance of board evaluation. Now Oman has also initiated this process.
The code of corporate governance in the Sultanate is the first to be introduced in the Arab world, and aims to provide a binding framework for governance in public stock companies with regards to their direction, organisation and supervision through a series of specific and defined policies, processes and procedures, Kallukaran added.
The lead faculty for the programme was Arqam Ayubi, director risk advisory services at Crowe Horwath Oman. “The second principle of the Sultanate’s corporate governance code talks about the qualities of the directors, which are professionalism, knowledge of the business, management, due diligence in exercising the duties, integrity, independence and so on,” said Ayubi, who presented a paper on board appraisal.
Today’s programme goes well beyond updating regulatory compliance and best practice, by focusing on the stewardship aspects of corporate governance.