Boardroom Briefs Image: Max Pixel
Business Report will soon launch Boardroom Brief, a column comprising a series of 12 articles on corporate governance and the practical implications thereof. The articles will be co-authored by governance specialists Parmi Natesan and Dr Prieur du Plessis, who are executive director: Centre for Corporate Governance and chairperson of the Institute of Directors in Southern Africa (IoDSA) respectively.

Du Plessis serves as chairperson of Plexus Holdings, an investment business he founded in 1995, chairperson of Bridge Fund Managers, chairperson of Combined Finance Holdings, director of Distell Group, and trustee of the Professional Provident Society (PPS) Holdings Trust.

Furthermore, he is a member of the Advisory Board of the University of Stellenbosch Business School, a trustee of Stellenbosch Trust, chairperson of the Audit and Risk Committee and member of the Investment Committee of Stellenbosch University. Additionally, he is professor extraordinaire at the University of Stellenbosch Business School, Honorary Consul-General of Slovenia for South Africa and deputy Dean of the Consular Corps of Cape Town.

Du Plessis holds the following degrees: BSc (QS), MBA (cum laude) and DBA (Doctor of Business Administration - Finance). He also has the Chartered Director (SA) designation.

Natesan is an executive at the IoDSA who oversees its Centre for Corporate Governance and Director Development departments. This role includes management and oversight of all IoDSA thought leadership (including the King Reports), board appraisals, governance advice and research, as well as technical forums and committees.

She is an Executive Director on the board of the IoDSA as well as a member of the King Committee, among other forums and committees. She was also recently appointed as a trustee of the PPS Holdings Trust.

Natesan is a qualified chartered accountant by profession and holds BCom (cum laude) and BCom Honours degrees.

Following the publication of the King IV Report on Corporate Governance for South Africa late last year, corporate governance in South Africa is maturing into a critical tool for building successful and sustainable organisations. “The series of articles will explore different aspects of effective governance leading to quantifiable benefits for companies and for the country as a whole,” said Natesan. “This is commensurate with the IoDSA’s slogan: ‘Better directors. Better boards. Better business'.”

According to Du Plessis, the conformance responsibilities of boards have increased significantly in recent years as a result of a demanding political and economic landscape and onerous new requirements from legislation, regulations and codes. These factors are putting increased strain on boards to the extent that they are often marginalising critical aspects of their role, such as performance, strategy and sustainable value creation. “Where this is the case, steps need to be taken to improve efficiency and focus more time on performance (as opposed to conformance),” he said.

“The board must set the tone at and from the top and ensure governance is embedded throughout the organisation,” added Natesan. “Getting this right will enable organisations to benefit from the competitive advantage of corporate governance and thrive in a sustainable manner.”

Keep an eye open for the launch of Boardroom Brief on Wednesday, July 19, 2017.