EcoDa’s Annual Report is online

EcoDa has published its Annual Report. You can read it from the link below.

Letter from the Secretary General, Béatrice Richez-Baum:

While the European Union is struggling with uncertainties and doubts about its future, ecoDa consolidates its own network and generates synergies among the national institutes of directors to make Europe a reality for them. In fact, despite the UK referendum, the British IoD has reaffirmed its commitment to ecoDa which is an important sign of trust.

During 2016, our members drove the confederation forward with their efforts and energy. The Board of Directors reviewed the strategy of ecoDa, taking into account the different aspirations of the member institutes. The objective was not to dramatically change the direction but to adapt to a changing world and to reflect on the value of the services that ecoDa offer. It became clear that ecoDa has to take a firm stand on assessing the impact of new legislations for European board members to avoid any negative effects to European competitiveness.

ecoDa has always promoted good governance practices and considers the flexibility offered by the Comply or Explain option instrumental for tailoring the governance practices to the needs and challenges of a widely diverse European corporate landscape. This is why in 2016, with the support of Mazars and the European Corporate Governance Codes Network (ECGCN), ecoDa started a new project called “The Board’s role in designing an effective framework of corporate governance”. The aim is to gain a deeper insight into boards’ practices when it comes to corporate governance. ecoDa considers the Comply or Explain principle as a driver towards improved corporate governance and wants companies to integrate their Corporate Governance model as part of their strategy.

The aim is to gain a deeper insight into boards’ practices when it comes to corporate governance.

European legislative debates

During the year, ecoDa was involved in all the European legislative debates related to Corporate Governance; mainly the shareholders’ rights directive, the non-binding guidelines on non-financial reporting, the peer review on the implementation of the G20/ OECD Principles of Corporate Governance, organized by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and the Audit Reform. As for the Audit Reform, even if the implementation will result in a patchwork of different audit regimes across Europe, the audit committees may face big challenges particularly in groups where subsidiaries are submitted to different time frames for auditor rotation. ecoDa therefore issued a guidance, in close cooperation with PwC, and organised a related event.

Beyond Corporate Governance as such, ecoDa is always keen on following all issues that can impact the work of boards and affect the strategy of companies. Digitalization being one of them, ecoDa engaged itself in a project with Korn Ferry with the aim of getting an overview of where boards stand today in their “digital transformation” agenda. ecoDa started the reflection at the ecoDa annual conference by addressing the question of whether European directors are ready for a digitalised world. Not to be outdone in a digitalized world, ecoDa has started to organize successful webinars with AIG and the European Federation of Risk Managers (FERMA) on risk conversation and strategies at board level.

Part of our new strategy is also to move ecoDa closer to individual board members – through our member organizations. The intention is for the board members to feel part of a European Community of board directors. As a first step, ecoDa strengthened the network of the Secretary Generals of its member IoDs. Further initiatives might be taken in 2017.

I hope that you enjoy reading this report. All the achievements are results of the strong commitments of the chair, the board members, the committees’ chairs, the representatives and corporate associates that believe in strong Corporate Governance. I would also like to thank Xiaoji Zhang, my assistant, for her great support!


Read the annual report here: