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India: The Transformative Impact of Government Regulation

In November, I traveled to Mumbai to participate in a Pacific Pension & Investment Institute roundtable.

Auditor Independence: Lessons from KPMG South Africa & Other Scandals

A good reputation is arguably one of an audit firm’s most valuable assets. But when auditor independence is compromised, it can have very negative consequences for the relevant stakeholders and, in extreme cases, it can even undermine the public’s trust in a country’s financial system. Recent controversies at Tesco and BT Group, involving PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), have led to the unprecedented termination of important business relationships going back three decades. KPMG South Africa’ involvement in a political corruption scandal is also proving to have even more far-reaching implications, which risks impacting KPMG’s international operations. In this blog post, I will delve into these controversies and highlight the mechanisms that can help to preserve auditor independence and maintain a strong reputation.

The Opioid Crisis: What are the Risks for Companies?

From Guidance to Compliance: What does New York’s Cybersecurity Regulation Mean?

New York State’s new cybersecurity regulation for financial institutions is meant to help safeguard companies and the industry against cybersecurity threats. It goes beyond many other regulations by, among other things, making some of the guidance and recommended best practices mandatory. Cybersecurity is already considered a material ESG risk for the financial services industry, but with the new regulation this risk is compounded with regulatory concerns.

Fox Sky Takeover: Why Content Governance Matters

The power of media companies to shape societal dialogue and act as gatekeepers of content is coming under increased scrutiny. This is starting to impact the industry as demonstrated in the challenges American media giant Twenty-First Century Fox (Fox) is facing in its proposed GBP 11.7 billion (USD 15 billion) takeover of UK broadcaster Sky plc.

Uber’s ESG Risks—is the new CEO up to the Challenge?

Uber, the ride hailing company, recently appointed Dara Khosrowshahi as CEO. His appointment comes in the wake of intensifying criticism of the company. Uber is accused of having a hostile workplace culture, mistreating its drivers and using software tools to evade regulators. What are the root causes of these issues, which Khosrowshahi will need to address if he wants to get the company back on track?

Tobacco Mergers: Can You Buy the Brand but Leave the Health Liability?

Due to the success of anti-smoking campaigns and regulation, tobacco companies are increasingly struggling with a dwindling customer base. This has led to a wave of consolidation in an effort to maximize profits through industries of scale. As these behemoths gobble each other up and cigarette brands change hands, it leads investors to question what happens to the societal liabilities attached to them.

Finding Value Through Thematic ESG Investing

On January 25th Sustainalytics published 10 for 2017: Investment themes in a changing world, the fourth installment in our 10 for series. As the title suggests, the report looks at thematic ESG investing.