corporate governance

Carl Icahn’s purchase of a 5 per cent stake in the Canadian company Talisman Energy marks the entry of activist shareholders into the energy business. Could it indicate the beginning of a revolution?

Activist shareholders have a bad reputation, particularly in Europe where they are seen as asset strippers who pull apart good businesses for a short-term gain. That can happen but they can also be very productive in forcing companies to examine very hard what they are doing with their shareholders’ money. Read more >>

Just before the summer I was asked to advise a group of non-executive directors who serve on the board of a very large international energy business. They wanted to know what skills and attributes I thought they should be looking for in appointing a new chairman. Wisely they were putting the identification of qualities ahead of the search for names.

Every company faces different issues. But I think many of the following key points apply across the energy industry to companies large and small.

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