You gotta love goodwill. It seems like such a simple concept in financial reporting, yet somehow it can drive corporate accountants, compliance officers, auditors, senior executives, and financial analysts all crazy. For the non-accountants out there (and we’ll explain why goodwill matters to you shortly), goodwill is the value a company assigns to the intangible…

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First let me assure you that today’s post will not be yet another column castigating BP, its board, and its CEO for runaway executive compensation. We could spend lots of time talking to that point, certainly. What happened at BP’s annual shareholder meeting last week was appalling. In 2015 BP racked up the largest loss…

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Credit Suisse

By now you may have already heard that Credit Suisse is cutting another 2,000 jobs from its investment banking operations. That’s unfortunate news for the 2,000 bankers soon to be unemployed, but compliance officers on Wall Street have another lesson to absorb here. The real news for compliance professionals—or anyone else working in finance who…

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culture

I don’t know that corporations will ever “solve” the predicament of building and maintaining an ethical corporate culture—but an excellent new report from the International Corporate Governance Network at least sheds more light on how intractable the problem is. The report summarizes a recent roundtable the ICGN held with the Institute of Business Ethics and…

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Last week a mid-career compliance professional, someone with significant experience in the financial regulatory world, dropped me an email to say he is taking an early retirement buyout. So what compliance fields, he asked me, are likely to see healthy career prospects for the next 10 years or so? To my thinking, the trick to…

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board

Well, apparently now it’s the nominating and governance committee’s turn to be hammered on the anvil of corporate governance reform. We see the evidence everywhere: a report from the Government Accountability Office noting that at current pace, women will represent half of all seats on corporate boards sometime around 2055. Calls for more women, minorities,…

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Yesterday I had the privilege to participate in a corporate governance forum in New York, talking about the board of directors’ role in building corporate resilience. Resiliency is a popular buzzword in governance circles these days, so I want to recap some of the main points here—because while I agree that the modern company absolutely…

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