This content is from: Local Insights

Denmark

Good corporate governance has in recent years been an important topic for Danish listed companies and for many of the largest unlisted companies and institutions. The compliance discussion has also become an integral part of these companies' interest in the principles of good management, and it has become a part of everyday life for Danish institutional investors.

These principles became essential in 2004 when investors and lending institutions demanded that companies must be compliant.

Companies need to be able to regularly document their compliance status, and do so without the documentation process becoming an enormous and absurd practical and financial burden but, rather keeping it on an everyday and operational level.

To join forces in meeting the various challenges, an NVIR network for good corporate governance and non-financial reporting was established in August 2004 - a network consisting of large Danish investors and senior management of Danish listed companies. The network will facilitate a forum to establish common recommendations or guidelines for corporate ethical behaviour and non-financial reporting as part of good corporate governance for all Danish companies.

One aspect of this development is expected to be an increased demand for a comprehensive manual for companies to use in their reviews of their own situations, with relevant spot checks by external advisers. One of the first models for such a manual has recently been developed by Bech-Bruun Dragsted in cooperation with PricewaterhouseCoopers in an attempt to make the compliance debate down-to-earth and immediately accessible, enabling companies to be able to find out their compliance level and to identify areas in need of change or improvement and needed actions.

NE Nielsen

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