PwC Business School launch highlights corporate governance

PricewaterhouseCoopers Kenya (PwC) today launched the PwC Business School, a distinctive approach to learning and development for the business community in Kenya. The school’s first seminar was on Corporate Governance at Fairmont The Norfolk Hotel in Nairobi. At the seminar, experts from Kenya and South Africa explained why Corporate Governance is driving the business agenda for executives, board members and risk professionals from both the public and private sectors in Kenya and the region.

Corporate Governance is a burning issue for business and government leaders because:

  • The recent global economic crisis have brought to light serious lapses in governance followed by reputational damage, lost value and increased regulatory scrutiny, and
  • In East Africa, a sharper focus on Corporate Governance has led to public awareness, investigations and policies like anti-money laundering laws and other regulatory changes.

“There has been a paradigm shift in Corporate Governance, compliance and business ethics, especially driven by the public failures in the recent past. It has also been driven by the demand to preserve stakeholders’ wealth rather than focus on meeting compliance requirements. This shift is definitely a positive development, and requires all stakeholders to work together. Corporate Governance is not only for businesses, but for governments, investors, regulators and other stakeholders. This then means that accountability is not just from the new laws and regulations but also the expectations of a broader stakeholder group. Good Corporate Governance is embedded in an organisation’s DNA and enhances its prosperity, corporate accounting and long-term value. The right attitudes and behaviours will ensure that people act in a manner that to protects the reputation and sustainability of the organisation,” said Anne Eriksson, Regional Senior Partner for PwC in the East Market Region and an assurance expert.

During the seminar, Mervyn King, the renowned chairman of the King Committee on Corporate Governance in South Africa, discussed an integrated and inclusive approach to Corporate Governance. The King Committee issued three reports in 1994, 2002 and 2009 known as “King I”, “King II” and “King III” which together form a world-recognised, comprehensive code of corporate practices and conduct.

The PwC seminar also provided an overview of Board of Directors audit committee best practices. Audit committees oversee corporate governance at larger companies. It also explored the Governance opportunities and challenges faced by the role of the public sector in helping Kenya deliver on its Vision 2030 and in implementing the devolved Government.

PwC South Africa’s audit committee effectiveness expert, Anton Van Wyk, discussed what audit committees can do to influence operational efficiency, strengthen internal controls and build strong internal audit functions. Audit committees should establish a ‘tone at the top’ promoting a risk-aware culture and require a landscape-view of the organisation’s risk environment as well as invest the time to understand the business, supply chain and distribution channels and visit company facilities. Candid and open communication with management is also key.

“The overall focus of good corporate governance is on convergence. Areas like executive compensation, anti-bribery and board composition are all part of the corporate governance arena. The regulatory agenda is active but uncoordinated. With our clients, at the PwC Business School and in a broader context, we’re challenging business and government leaders to work towards an integrated and holistic approach to corporate governance,” said Nancy Asiko Onyango, a partner with PwC Kenya and leader of Risk Assurance Services.

The mission of the PwC Business School is to deliver a distinctive approach to learning and development, tailored for business professionals. Short interventions use classroom, virtual learning and technology-based delivery methods leveraging PwC and outside expert insight. PwC will ensure that courses are recognised as continuing professional development (CPD) by relevant professional institutes and regulators. For more information on the PwC Business School, contact Lucy Thuo on lucy.thuo@ke.pwc.com or +254 20 2855000.

Notes About PwC

1. PwC helps organisations and individuals create the value they’re looking for. We’re a network of firms in 158 countries with more than 180,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, tax and advisory services. Tell us what matters to you and find out more by visiting us at www.pwc.com

2. In Sub-Saharan Africa, we’re the largest provider of professional services with offices in 26 countries and close to 8,000 people. This enables us to provide our clients with seamless and consistent service, wherever they’re located on the continent.

3. Our in-depth knowledge and understanding of African operating environments enables us to put ourselves in our clients’ shoes and offer truly tailored Tax, Assurance and Advisory solutions to unique business challenges.

4. "PwC" is the brand under which member firms of PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited (PwCIL) operate and provide services. Together, these firms form the PwC network. Each firm in the network is a separate legal entity and does not act as agent of PwCIL or any other member firm. PwCIL does not provide any services to clients. PwCIL is not responsible or liable for the acts or omissions of any of its member firms nor can it control the exercise of their professional judgment or bind them in any way.