October 4, 2008

Keeping Promises: Do You Care About Corporate Governance Scores?

Broken promises don't upset me. I just think, why did they believe me?
 Jack Handy

We looked at the top life insurers by revenue, ranked by The Financial Post 500. Financial measures don't tell the whole story. This time we turn to the Globe & Mail which looks at Corporate Governance.

Corporate What?

A prince never lacks legitimate reasons to break his promise  Niccolo Machiavelli
A promise only matters if it's kept. Financial products and services are simply promises. How can you pick the companies most likely to keep their promises to you? You can look at how they are run. The Globe & Mail considers
  1. the composition of the board of directors
  2. shareholding and compensation
  3. shareholder rights
  4. disclosure
The "A" Dozen
A promise made is a debt unpaid  Robert Service
In financial services, only 12 companies score 80% or more in Corporate Governance
  1. Manulife (1st overall)
  2. TD (3rd)
  3. BMO (5th)
  4. RBC (5th)
  5. Sun Life (8th)
  6. TSX Group (13th)
  7. Scotiabank (18th)
  8. CIBC (18th)
  9. Industrial Alliance Group (21st)
  10. Home Capital Group (23rd)
  11. National Bank (30th)
  12. Brookfied Asset Management (45th)
Highest doesn't mean best (recall GM vs BMW) but higher means better. Here's the full list, and a summary in table at the right (click to enlarge). 

Here's the shock. Some big names don't even make the top 100!?!  Maybe Canadians don't care  or are unaware  of the immense swings.


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