You are required to write a report to a corporate board summarising your views on corporate governance, sustainability and risk management practices.
Focus Logistics Pty Ltd (Focus) has engaged you as an independent consultant, and they are seeking your advice on several corporate governance, sustainability and risk management issues. You have just returned from a board meeting with Jennifer White (company’s founder and the current Chair), Geena Rose (CEO), Jacob Rose (COO) and David Rose (CFO). You have gathered the following information about this company:
Mrs White established Focus Logistics in 1965 in Horsham, Victoria, providing state-wide logistics services to local businesses. The community supported Focus because of Mrs White’s slogan “Go Local”. The company grew steadily for the next 30 years and expanded its operations into VIC, NSW, and TAS.
Mrs White retired from day-to-day operations in 1997 and assumed the role of board’s Chair. Mrs White’s daughter Geena took on the company reins and, since then, has completely transformed the business. Focus now has 19% of the total market share and is Australia’s fifth-largest private logistics company.
Focus needs additional capital to fund its expansion plans, and Mrs Rose has met with several potential investors and private equity groups over the last six months. The senior management team has prepared a very impressive prospectus highlighting all of Focus’s recent achievements and a business forecast for the next ten years. However, these investors are concerned that Focus doesn’t have the proper operation and governance structure to justify the additional funding and expansion plans.
They have criticised that even though Focus is a large company, the business is still run like a family-owned business with limited oversight over management and a lack ofoperational controls and reporting. In addition, the various management positions, especially the executive positions, are held by family members and close friends. Therefore there seems to be a lack of appropriate performance reviews and necessarysuccession planning. The investors also highlighted that Focus doesn’t have any board committees.
You are required to write a report to Focus’s board summarising your views on corporate governance, sustainability and risk management practices.
In your report, you must address the following three areas:
- Discuss at least four good corporate governance practices and the importance of good governance for a large private company such as Focus Logistics that wants to transition into an ASX listed entity.
- Summarise the significance, benefits and challenges of producing a sustainability report for Focus Logistics, especially for a business within the logistics industry.
- Summarise the benefits and challenges of sound risk management practices for Focus Logistics.
Evaluate the success (or lack thereof) of an organisation's governance responsibilities.
Analyse the legal and regulatory environment in Australia with a view to understanding its impact on business strategy.
Analyse the role of the board in the assessment of strategy and risk, and the way in which this expertise can be better utilised.
Analyse the sustainability initiatives practiced within organisations and determine their effectiveness in meeting corporate and ethical objectives.
Apply corporate sustainability practices in a real‐world example and examine their appropriateness in a variety of contexts.