Assesses the effectiveness of board and audit committees.

Author:Shultz, Susan

In today's volatile economy, nothing is more important than integrity and trust in corporate governance. And that means accountability, transparency and independence. A recent study by PricewaterhouseCoopers found 79 percent of directors believe that an effective board evaluation process is the most important technique for assuring peak performance by directors. More than 88 percent of boards now conduct annual evaluations, up from one-third in 2002.

"At the Board Institute, we have developed the first suite of independent, Web-based, professional tools to help directors and officers assess, benchmark and enhance the effectiveness of their boards and committees," explains Susan Shultz, president of The Board Institute The Audit Committee Index[TM], which was developed in cooperation with FERF, is a keystone of this board-centric solution.

RiskMetrics/Institutional Shareholder Services, the standard in financial risk management, has accredited The Board Institute's evaluation tools as satisfying corporate director governance education requirements.

"For the first time, this means that directors can fulfil mandates for annual evaluations and continuing education in a single, secure, effective solution," adds Shultz. "Thus, if they choose, boards can avoid the expense and time spent

The New York Stock Exchange requires its issues to conduct an annual board assessment and provide continuing director education. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission mandates annual evaluations. Insurers often reward companies conducting board evaluations and director education when pricing directors and officers insurance policies, and new discounting programs are being developed.

"This accreditation is an important milestone in corporate governance," says Shultz. "For the first time, directors can satisfy market requirements for annual evaluation and also education, in a timely, highly effective and convenient way." Directors are embracing more professional evaluation solutions, and this convergence of evaluation tools and education provides a powerful way to improve board productivity."

The Board Institute offers a complete suite of independent evaluation tools that includes The Board Index [TM], The Audit Committee Index [TM], The Compensation Committee Index [TM], The Governance Committee Index [TM] and The Director Index [TM]. These professional evaluation tools enable a board...

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