INTEGRITY CONSULTING FOUNDER INTERVIEWED BY STRAITS TIMES
In a recent slew of corporate scandals featuring charismatic CEOs running their companies in a way that lead them to permanent or temporary periods of insolvency, Integrity Consulting founder Sinyee Koh shared her views on why such situations can occur and will continue to recur and the embedded flaws within the checks and balances making up corporate oversight.
Summary of article
On 21 December 2022, Straits Times published a business article on the need to ensure proper governance to avoid corporate failures. The article touched on various companies such as the crypto exchange FTX filing for bankruptcy, misrepresentations by Theranos’ former CEO about the company’s blood-testing technology and the firing of Zilingo’s former CEO and co-founder. The article stressed the need for stakeholders such as independent directors, employees and shareholders to do more to gatekeep ideal corporate practices.
Straits Times interviewed 5 corporate governance experts who shared their views on the causes and remedial actions to improve on the current state of affairs.
Sinyee was quoted as saying that everyone makes poor decisions from time to time. Moreover, notwithstanding a leader’s best intentions, market conditions play a part in aiding or working against a leader’s decisions. These are all normal events within the challenging task of managing a business amid a rapidly changing world. However, the real seeds of most scandals or corporate failures are only sown if the leader persists in a strategy that he/she knows to be wrong. It is knowing when to stop a course of action that the leader may previously have been wedded to, to admit his/her error and openly rectify the aftermath of a wrong decision that prevents the classic corporate scandal and failure. Among the various measures to shore up checks and balances inherent in corporate governance would be to ensure that independent directors, who play an key role in keeping track of the organisation’s activities and management, do not sit in too many corporate boardrooms, resulting in dilution of their time, attention and bandwidth to properly monitor individual companies’ rules and processes. Noting that shareholders also had a voice, Sinyee pointed out reports of Zilingo’s accounts had not been filed for 2 years and that Zilingo’s auditors had not signed off on the company’s financial year 2020’s accounts. Sinyee was quoted as saying that “These are fairly low bar mechanisms. It does not even require you to interrogate or probe very much. It is a very basic requirement for companies to file accounts annually. Shareholders should demand this basic right”.
Fortunately, in Singapore, compliance consulting firms like Integrity Consulting can help to ensure your business adheres to licensing and compliance regulations in Singapore throughout your business life cycle.
Our extensive range of compliance consulting services includes Anti-Money Laundering (AML consulting) and capital market services licence and other Monetary Authority of Singapore licence applications. With over 20 years in the industry and offering solutions and advice to clients, such as hedge fund managers, brokers, fintech, as well as anti-terrorism sectors, you can be assured that we provide tailored solutions with every step of the way, with your business needs in mind.
For more information, you may visit us at https://integrity-consult.com/ to get started on your compliance journey today!