Initiatives

Corporate Governance Projects

Addressing current challenges in corporate governance

Our board director networks are just one element of Tapestry's efforts to make progress on governance issues. We also contribute to the broader corporate governance conversation through working groups and research projects that draw on insight derived from our networks and their members' dialogues with important stakeholders.

Recent projects include:

Buybacks and the board

Over the last year, Tapestry investigated how companies and boards evaluate share buyback decisions.  That report, “Buybacks and the Board: Director perspectives on the share repurchase revolution,” identifies the reasons for the buyback binge, explains the board’s involvement in repurchase decision-making, and offers director responses to common criticisms about buyback programs.

The Shareholder-Director Exchange

Over the last few years Tapestry Networks has been asked for guidance on why, how, and when US board directors and investors should engage directly with each other. To answer this question, Tapestry; Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft; and Teneo Holdings, together with Broadridge Financial Solutions, brought together leading independent directors and influential long-term institutional investors in a working group called the Shareholder-Director Exchange (SDX™). The resulting SDX™ Protocol provides guidance to public company boards and institutional investors on when direct engagement is appropriate and how to make it valuable and effective. 

Critical, nuanced research on proxy advisers

Amid intense debate on the extent of proxy adviser influence and rising expectations concerning investor engagement, Tapestry published a report entitled “Voting decisions at US mutual funds: how investors really use proxy advisers” for the Investor Responsibility Research Center Institute. The report was based on an extensive literature review and in-depth interviews with 19 North American mutual funds that collectively manage over $15.4 trillion in assets. Tapestry’s research demonstrated that proxy advisers are influential in meaningful ways beyond swaying proxy vote outcomes.  

AUDIT COMMITTEE COLLABORATION

The Collaboration of nationally recognized US corporate governance and policy organizations is a partnership that has come together to expand audit committee member access to useful tools and materials with the goal of strengthening audit committee performance and transparency. This effort has included Enhancing the Audit Committee Report: A Call to Action, as well as the External Auditor Evaluation Tool.
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  • Enhancing the Audit Committee Report: A Call to Action
    The Audit Committee Collaboration calls on audit committees of public companies of all sizes and industries to proactively strengthen their public disclosures in order to more effectively convey investors and others the critical aspects of the important work that audit committees currently perform. The report encourages increased audit committee transparency, while taking a practical approach to enhanced audit committee disclosures. It includes examples of emerging voluntary practices and cites studies that examine recent practice trends.
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  • External Auditor Evaluation Tool
    The tool was developed by the Collaboration in 2012, and revised in 2015, to provide a brief, scalable approach for audit committees to use in their annual auditor assessment. The tool has sample questions that gauge the quality of: services and sufficiency of resources provided by the auditor, communication and interaction with the auditor, and the auditor's independence, objectivity and professional skepticism. It also includes a sample form for obtaining input from company personnel. This tool was designed to allow audit committees to make an informed recommendation to the board on whether to retain the auditor, and improve communication about external auditor oversight to bolster investor trust and confidence.
    Learn more - US Edition
    Learn more - Global Edition

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