A Shakespeare moment

There I was, sitting in a stuffy conference room in Brussels, watching what I like to call a ‘Shakespeare moment’ – when people interact in a way that captures a part of the essence of human behaviour.


On one side of the argument was a gentleman from the US Securities and Exchange Commission, who was expounding on the success of Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX). On the other side was a range of European leading lights who had concluded that SOX was just what the EU didn’t need.

Wow, did the fur fly. But the discussion also underlined some fundamental differences between the European and the US approach. Europeans complain that Americans rush into change, without proper circumspection. In the case of SOX, they may well have a point – even its advocates will admit it has weak points.

On the other hand, Americans charge the Europeans with sticking their heads in the sand on corporate governance. And they say the unwillingness to roll out SOX within the EU will prove to be a mistake, in time.

I think that what the two sides of the Atlantic are suffering from is ‘not invented here’ syndrome. What is needed is a blank sheet of paper for the development of a global corporate governance standard. A set of ‘best practices’ that draws on the experience and the expertise of the US and the EU would boost the development of global capital markets – as well as the moral cause of corporate governance – substantially.

Only users who have a paid subscription or are part of a corporate subscription are able to print or copy content.

To access these options, along with all other subscription benefits, please contact info@risk.net or view our subscription options here: http://subscriptions.risk.net/subscribe

You are currently unable to copy this content. Please contact info@risk.net to find out more.

Financial crime and compliance50 2024

The detailed analysis for the Financial crime and compliance50 considers firms’ technological advances and strategic direction to provide a complete view of how market leaders are driving transformation in this sector

Investment banks: the future of risk control

This Risk.net survey report explores the current state of risk controls in investment banks, the challenges of effective engagement across the three lines of defence, and the opportunity to develop a more dynamic approach to first-line risk control

Op risk outlook 2022: the legal perspective

Christoph Kurth, partner of the global financial institutions leadership team at Baker McKenzie, discusses the key themes emerging from Risk.net’s Top 10 op risks 2022 survey and how financial firms can better manage and mitigate the impact of…

Emerging trends in op risk

Karen Man, partner and member of the global financial institutions leadership team at Baker McKenzie, discusses emerging op risks in the wake of the Covid‑19 pandemic, a rise in cyber attacks, concerns around conduct and culture, and the complexities of…

Moving targets: the new rules of conduct risk

How are capital markets firms adapting their approaches to monitoring and managing conduct risk following the Covid‑19 pandemic? In a Risk.net webinar in association with NICE Actimize, the panel discusses changing regulatory requirements, the essentials…

You need to sign in to use this feature. If you don’t have a Risk.net account, please register for a trial.

Sign in
You are currently on corporate access.

To use this feature you will need an individual account. If you have one already please sign in.

Sign in.

Alternatively you can request an individual account here