Cambridge, UK, 5 September 2013
A special symposium was organised recently by the Cambridge Corporate Governance Network (CCGN) at Cambridge University to mark the 20th anniversary since the publication of the Cadbury Code which has since been adapted and adopted in over 100 countries.
The Symposium featured a rare appearance by Sir Adrian Cadbury himself, who donated copies of all his speeches on corporate governance to make complete the Cadbury Archive, housed at Cambridge Judge Business School. After the handover of the speeches Sir Adrian Cadbury said that this occasion “would mark the end of [his] involvement in corporate governance, which began in 1991.”
The Cadbury Archive at Cambridge consists of papers compiled and preserved by Sir Adrian Cadbury from his time as Chairman of the Committee on the Financial Aspects of Corporate Governance. The Committee was formed in May 1991 by the Financial Reporting Council and the London Stock Exchange and its role was to consider the UK’s corporate governance system.
The Cadbury Code has influenced corporate governance thinking in numerous countries, including Australia, India, Brazil, China, Germany, Italy, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Bangladesh, Switzerland, and Sri Lanka.
Professor Gishan Dissanaike, Adam Smith Professor of Corporate Governance at Cambridge Judge Business School, said:
“We are deeply grateful to Sir Adrian for his generosity over the years and honoured that he chose Cambridge as the home for the Cadbury Archive. The Cadbury Archive is an integral part of the Cambridge Corporate Governance Network, which spans the Law Faculty, Cambridge Judge Business School, and the Centre for Corporate Law.”
In his keynote address, Sir Adrian Cadbury, said, if asked to repeat the 1992 exercise, he would have focused on two areas – a properly constituted audit committee and boardroom self-evaluation.
Sir Adrian commented:
“Among issues that really surprised us was the failure by many large companies to have an audit committee that really looked at the figures and had a good relationship with the auditors and made use of what they could offer.”
In business everybody undergoes evaluation, added Sir Adrian, but his committee did not evaluate how boards were working.
“In my view, if I believe the board is the pivot, then they should go through a process of self-evaluation. How well are we working? Could we do better? What decisions have we made that are, looking back, the right decisions and which ones weren’t.
“The question of board evaluation of themselves seems to me to be a gap which would have been good if we could have filled.”
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About Cambridge Corporate Governance Network
Cambridge Corporate Governance Network (CCGN) is a confederation of University of Cambridge faculties, research centres and academics interested in corporate governance. The network spans the faculties of Law and Economics, and Cambridge Judge Business School. It includes the Cadbury Archive.
Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge
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