Executives Expect Boards To Be More Aggressive

By John S. McClenahen Whether they like it or not, some 75% of senior executives at U.S. and European-based multinational companies expect their boards of directors to take more active roles. Indeed, in the wake of recent corporate governance and accounting scandals, 51% of the U.S. executives responding to a PricewaterhouseCoopers' survey and 32% of those in Western Europe say their audit committees have, or will, make changes in their membership or procedures. In both the U.S. and Europe, 57% of the executives believe their boards of directors will be more assertive in identifying and managing risk. In the U.S., 55% of the executives say their boards will have more input in the company's business structure and transactions; the figure in Western Europe is 52% And half or more of the executives believe their boards will be more active in assuring auditor independence. Some 242 CFOs and managing directors -- whose businesses include manufacturing and services -- were interviewed during the second calendar quarter of this year.

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