Corporate governance principles

Press Release of the Eighth Latin American Corporate Governance Roundtable, Medellin, Colombia 10-11 October 2007


The Latin American Roundtable on Corporate Governance agreed at its eighth annual meeting to develop recommendations to encourage institutional investors to play a more engaged and informed role in promoting better corporate governance in the region.


The Roundtable, meeting in Medellin, Colombia on 10-11 October, brought together corporate governance specialists from securities regulators, stock exchanges, investors, institutes of directors and company representatives from more than a dozen countries of the region, North America and Europe.


This was the first time that the Roundtable’s plenary session was held in Colombia thanks to the efforts of organizers – the OECD and IFC – and the hosts, the Financial Superintendency of Colombia, the Medellin Chamber of Commerce, Colombia’s Confederation of Chambers of Commerce (CONFECAMARAS), and the Colombian Stock Exchange (Bolsa de Valores de Colombia). The Global Corporate Governance Forum and Government of Spain also supported the event.


“Having this meeting in Colombia provided a chance to recognize the important corporate governance advances that Colombia has made in recent years, including recent legal reforms and the issuance of a new voluntary corporate governance code,” said Adrian Blundell-Wignall, the OECD’s Deputy Director of Financial and Enterprise Affairs.


The Roundtable meeting concluded that involvement of domestic and international institutional investors in promoting good governance practices among investee companies has too often been inadequate. Separate task forces from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru presented reports on the current state of institutional investor engagement in corporate governance. The results were synthesized in a comparative report that will serve as the starting point for a “White Paper on Institutional Investors and Corporate Governance.” Its policy and best practice recommendations will be developed over the coming year with the support of the country task forces and other international participants for discussion and approval at the next plenary session of the Roundtable.


The Roundtable also addressed a second main issue: the elaboration and implementation of voluntary corporate governance codes to foster transparency and market forces to advance good governance practices. There is substantial activity in the region’s countries to develop such codes. Moreover, a second generation of voluntary codes are under consideration in several countries. The Roundtable received contributions from five countries of the region – Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Peru – presenting their own experiences. A synthesis report summarizes the region’s experiences and identifies lessons learned to support the ongoing efforts of countries in the region to make more effective use of these codes.


To complement the Roundtable meeting and present the corporate perspective on issues covered at the Roundtable, the Companies Circle of the Latin American Corporate Governance Roundtable met for the fifth time on October 9 in the same location.


The main results of this meeting included: the election of the Circle’s next Chairman – Mr. Carlos Raul Yepes Jimenez, Legal Vice-President of Argos (Colombia); welcoming Mexico’s Homex to become the fourteenth member of the Circle; and agreement to seek the Circle’s further expansion. The Circle also decided to finalize and launch next year a step-by-step guide to implementing corporate governance improvements in Latin American companies.homepage


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