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KPMG’s Board Leadership Center provides board members with the latest insights on the topics that are top of mind for boards from board governance to board priorities, including:

Maintaining business continuity  |  Board governance  |  Risk and assurance  |  Environment, Social, Governance (ESG)  |  Emerging disruptive technology  |  Cyber security and data governance  |  Geopolitics  |  People, talent management, and corporate culture  |  Audit committee issues  |  Events  |  Insights from past events

If you just want to see what’s new, you can also view our latest insights.

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Maintaining business continuity

Analysis suggests that the recent crisis experienced by companies has four phases, summarized as the four R’s.

  • Reaction: making sure you have everything under control,
  • Resilience: making sure you are agile and adapt to the new situation,
  • Recover: restarting and detecting the opportunities,
  • New Reality: working on your positioning in the new normal.

We are currently in the recover phase, but fortunately a lot of companies are already actively thinking about the new reality.

The Board Leadership Center will continue to share relevant insights to help you navigate this unprecedented time.

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Board governance

The Board Leadership Center provides guidance and insights for new and experienced board members, from becoming a non-executive director through to the questions you should be asking once you’re on-boarded.

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Risk and assurance

In a world that is increasingly connected and evolving – where the value of global exports has increased exponentially, interest rates are negative, inequality and nationalism are rising, and fiscal debt is at levels never seen before – boards and risk management functions need to rethink their approach. New risks are emerging and risk models need to change.

Boards should be looking to their internal audit functions to add value - providing advice and insights - in addition to providing assurance. Internal audit should play a leading role in achieving a good integration of the governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) activities, bring enhanced insights into new risks and emerging trends, and bring a stronger strategic alignment.

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Environment, Social, Governance (ESG)

Focusing on ESG is not only about “doing the right thing". It's imperative for organizations to grow and profit in a sustainable way. For that reason, ESG issues have become an important parameter for investors to evaluate companies, as they offer a lens through which they can see a company's resilience, adaptability and sustainability.

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Emerging disruptive technology

As digital technologies such as AI, data-analytics and Blockchain continue to advance in capability and in application, their impact on risk assessment – both in terms of disruption as well as protection solutions – becomes as increasingly important as it is a complex multi-faceted challenge.

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Cyber security and data governance

Boards have made strides in monitoring management’s cyber security effectiveness. However, the growing sophistication and creativity of cyber attackers means that cyber security will continue to be a key challenge.

Boards are also responsible for oversight of the company’s compliance with industry-specific privacy laws (e.g. GDPR) as well as the company’s policies and protocols regarding data ethics – in particular, managing the tension between what is legal, and what is right (or expected) when it comes to using customer data.

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Geopolitics

Boards need to help management reassess the company’s processes for identifying the risks and opportunities posed by continuing political struggles, geopolitical disruption and their impact on the company’s long-term strategy. They also need to help the company test its strategic assumptions and keep sight of how the big picture is changing: connecting dots, thinking differently, and staying agile and alert to what’s happening in the world. 

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People, talent management, and corporate culture

Having and retaining the talent required – from the top down through the ranks – taking into account more digitalized and technology driven ways of working is also increasingly important, and any talent plan should align with strategy and future needs. Leaders need to identify the new skills and capabilities that will realistically be required in the future, those current employees willing and able to be upskilled and retrained will need to be identified. New talent will need to be attracted, retained and integrated into the business and new ways of working will need to be developed and formalized.

Talent management extends beyond employees, to the board. Succession planning is a dynamic and ongoing process, and boards must always be thinking about developing profiles for potential candidates. Planning for succession should start the day a new C-level or board member is named.

Board composition and diversity should continue to be a key area of board focus, including as a topic for communications with the company’s institutional investors, enhanced disclosure in the annual report (as required by the 2020 Code), and positioning the board strategically for the future.

Getting culture right also requires a laser focus on the tone at the top. It requires zero tolerance for conduct that is inconsistent with the company’s values and ethical standards, including any ‘code of silence’ around such conduct. Corporate culture needs to be embedded in strategic discussions, risk management and compliance, performance, and the incentives driving these activities. 

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Audit committee issues

The Board Leadership Center provides guidance and resources to audit committees, helping to facilitate the skills and knowledge required for this challenging job.

From induction and onboarding to tendering and ongoing operations, these insights are designed to help you in your audit committee governance and keep up to date with what’s on the audit committee’s agenda, the questions you should be asking, and the emerging and disruptive trends you should be considering.

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Events

The health and safety of our clients and our people is of utmost importance to us. As such, our Board Leadership Center events will be held as webinars until further notice. These 1-2 hour sessions bring the key developments for boards in business, regulation, strategy, and risk oversight from subject-matter experts.

These sessions are open to non-executive and executive Board Members, Heads of Internal Audit, Chief Risk Officers, key executives, and others working closely with the board.

 

Our autumn 2021 program will be announced soon.

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