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For too many, governance is something only big, listed companies need to worry about. But increasingly governance is a concern for other types of business too. Professional practices, partnerships, not-for-profits and other organisations, public and private, also need to worry about changes in the regulatory environment, new codes of conduct, and how they hold themselves to account.

What is governance?

Governance is a word used to capture several things, but for us the key themes are:

  1. The application of external standards to internal management processes
  2. How you hold management to account for their actions
  3. How you separate responsibilities particularly where conflicts of interest are concerned
  4. The identification and safeguarding of the interests of all stakeholders
  5. The introduction of independent expertise into decision-taking

Governance and growth

As they grow and as they professionalise their management, all businesses need to think carefully about how to balance the interests of owners, managers, customers, staff and other stakeholders. An organisation that takes governance seriously stands a better chance of reducing tensions within and outside the organisation, and gives itself a far better chance of improving communication channels, remuneration strategy, management structures, performance management – and, ultimately, profitability, quality and success.

Governance and the family business

Multi-stakeholder businesses such as family businesses in particular will benefit from taking governance seriously. At the heart of many successful family businesses is a family constitution – a document governing the family’s relationship with the business and which helps ensure good relationships between family and non-family members of the business, and effective succession from one generation to another.  Multi-generational family businesses will also often create specialist governance structures – for example family councils, family assemblies, as well as find themselves rethinking existing arrangements for the board, shareholders agreements and the legal underpinnings of the business as part of a governance review. 

Working with us

Rupert Merson LLP partners are experienced at reviewing organisations’ compliance with published governance codes and preparing organisations for governance changes as they grow and mature. Rupert Merson LLP also help organisations implement governance frameworks not just to satisfy regulatory obligations but to help ensure the organisation succeeds. Private businesses and not-for-profits require sensitivity from their advisers as well as experience and knowledge. Rupert Merson LLP has all three. Why not get in touch?

Client Stories

Strategy and governance review for family business

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Revisions to governance arrangements prior to sale

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Governance review for multi-national family business

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