In this publication ISS Special Counsel Pat McGurn discusses his views on lessons learned during economic crises over the past three decades and what that means for governance during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr. McGurn covers his views on considerations for boards and directors, evaluating executive pay, the impact on board-shareholder engagement, and more as the current crisis begins to reshape the corporate governance landscape.
Some of Mr. McGurn’s thoughts include:
- In contrast to previous crises, most boards appear to be dealing with the pandemic in a highly thoughtful fashion.
- The pandemic likely strains over boarded directors and when the crisis subsides, hopefully some of these directors may rethink their workloads and cut back.
- Given that some boards have already formed ad hoc panels to address the pandemic, he expects to see the prevalence of standalone risk panels to grow in the future.
- While some breathless commentators have cited the “record numbers” of pill adoptions over the past month, boards (and some, but not all, of their outside advisers) have shown a significant degree of restraint.