Board composition and criteria for board appointments

Published : 1:39 am  August 29, 2014  |  Category: Dinesh Weerakkody, Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  863 views  |  
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Today’s banking industry is constantly being buffeted by waves of M&A, regulatory and technological challenges. The increased regulatory burden and related costs impact every financial institution in both the approach to doing business and the expense of doing business. The industry is in transition, with many challenges ahead. As a result, there has never been a greater need for well functioning, informed and upright boards of directors. There has also never been a more important time for board members to keep in mind that their responsibilities go beyond the institution they serve. To achieve long-term value for shareholders, bank boards would need to look for ways to strengthen their... 

Echo chamber symphonies

Published : 12:00 am  August 28, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Dharisha Bastians, Opinion  |  11 Comments  |  4,031 views  |  
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With repeated reassurances by side players in the international arena, it is no wonder the Government was  surprised by the TNA’s visit to New Delhi and its audience with the Indian Premier    The TNA delegation with Prime Minister Modi at his office in New Delhi    Subramanian Swamy Subramanian Swamy is the new celebrity in Sri Lanka. In the capital, he travels in tinted jeeps with a security detail, presumably because he has been a vocal critic of the LTTE. Swamy is mobbed by reporters eager to hear his views on Indo-Lanka relations and the Tamil issue. He is afforded lengthy television and print interviews, in which he never minces his words. He is vociferously anti-Tamil... 

From greed to green: A change imperative to the economy

Published : 12:00 am  August 28, 2014  |  Category: Ajith de Alwis, Columnists  |  2 Comments  |  687 views  |  
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   Green growth was the idea that was pushed out at Rio+20. Sri Lankans were there and we must have said yes to the conference communiqué. A lot is expected from the teams once they are back in their home territory It is interesting to analyse our behaviours, needs and aspirations within the current economic system. A simple analysis without much emotional attachments may reveal that we are really keen on more of everything. The more you have, the more you are respected by society and this ‘more’ really means material things. We have listened too much to the ‘Material Girl’. If we have missed in this area of pop culture, the tele-dramas usually reinforce the concept ‘if... 

‘People’s power’ for the public good?

Published : 12:00 am  August 27, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion  |  3 Comments  |  738 views  |  
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Some thoughts on the operation of ‘public trust’ in our Republic…     The people vest their power in “public trust”, temporarily on a government Whilst returning to the island from vacation having experienced firsthand how some in our Asian region have managed to maintain the balance of sovereign power to better serve their peoples to a relatively high degree, a headline in the local paper caught my eye: JVP Leader Anura Dissanayake, MP’s question on irregular appointments to the Diplomatic Corp. This immediately invoked a ‘polisocionomic’ thought process – are we Sri Lankans truly the beneficiaries of the exercise of our sovereign power? Article 3 of the Constitution... 

Ravi K’s clarion call for a common candidate

Published : 12:00 am  August 27, 2014  |  Category: Chamitha Kuruppu, Columnists, Opinion  |  3 Comments  |  1,436 views  |  
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Asserting that appointing a common candidate is the path to victory, UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake said that as a UNPer, he would be delighted to see a UNP nominee accepted by all Opposition parties; however, if that is not acceptable, there must be a sharing of opinion on how to pick that common candidate. “Anybody who can’t share that common candidate together is only an agent of the Government,” he emphasised, in an interview with the Daily FT, pointing out that to defeat President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is a potent political leader, the need of the hour is to think of a collective figure. “The collective Opposition can certainly defeat Mahinda Rajapaksa. The executive presidency at the... 

Sri Lanka must not be blind to global realities

Published : 1:00 am  August 26, 2014  |  Category: Opinion, Rohantha Athukorala  |  Leave a Comment  |  595 views  |  
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What is being blind? The other day I was sharing with a close friend on how a group of us used to teach English at the School for the Deaf and Blind in Ratmalana and one day, a kid asked: “If God has created us equal, why are we blind?” I did not know the answer to this. After having spoken to a specialist, I found out the answer. Apparently, every one of us is blind to some area in our lives and sometimes it’s better to be visually blind as we know our weakness rather than living a lifetime not knowing our blind spot. I guess this same ethos holds ground when running a country as after all its human beings who govern a country too. If we Google Sri Lanka’s State media, we realise that... 

The world’s ‘new’ IFI

Published : 12:53 am  August 26, 2014  |  Category: Charitha Ratwatte, Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  779 views  |  
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A brand new International Financial Institution (IFI) has emerged hot on the heels of and from among the debris, flotsam and jetsam of the 2014 Football World Cup in Brazil. The World Cup was won by Germany, reinforcing the reality of German domination of, among other things, the ‘Beautiful Game’ and in other areas, personified by Angela Merkel’s political and economic domination of the ‘real’ power politic in Europe. The leaders of the BRICS nations – Brazil, India, Russia, China and South Africa – who think of themselves as the new emerging powers, have met in the city of Fortaleza, Brazil, at the sixth BRICS annual summit, and agreed on forming the ‘New Development Bank’... 

Perspectives of a people engineer

Published : 12:00 am  August 25, 2014  |  Category: Ajantha Dharmasiri, Columnists, Opinion  |  1 Comment  |  644 views  |  
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I am delighted to write my 200th column on Humane Results. It was indeed a challenging task to write on a weekly basis despite my personal and professional commitments. I must confess that I never felt writing was a torture, but always considered it a treasure. Being here or overseas, being well or ill, did not deter me and I did not quit my column. I have in fact published two books so far as collections of my regular Monday columns. Today, the focus is on my journey so far as a ‘people engineer’. Me as an Engineer I studied Electrical Engineering at the University of Moratuwa. I also obtained my Chartered in Electrical Engineering. Of course, I walked along a ‘road less travelled’.... 

Out-of-court settlements with errant banks: Is financial services industry on a dying path?

Published : 12:00 am  August 25, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion, W. A. Wijewardena  |  3 Comments  |  6,603 views  |  
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Banks are at the receiving end The reports coming from global financial markets are not good for banks at all. Banking regulators have renewed their war against whom they perceive as errant banks. The law enforcement agencies in their respective countries too have joined them as allies in this onslaught. This time it is not small banks which they have captured in their nets. It is big banks they have netted proclaiming ‘no bank is too big to jail’, the alternative version of the popular dictum ‘some banks are too big to fail’. This sudden onslaught of banks by both regulators and prosecutors has shattered the foundation, long believed to be firm and strong, of the banking industry. Banks... 

Governance role of bank remuneration committees

Published : 12:01 am  August 22, 2014  |  Category: Dinesh Weerakkody, Opinion  |  2 Comments  |  749 views  |  
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Introduction After the recent crises surrounding the global financial sector, there has been a big push to expand the scope of board remuneration committees. The intention is to strengthen corporate governance in all financial institutions, especially preventing exorbitant packages being given to top management at its own instigation. After 2008, new Regulations have been introduced; particularly, ever since the controversial case at Walt Disney and the bonus scandals surrounding many financial institutions in the West to ensure that a board sub committee of independent directors were made accountable for reviewing human resource policies and to set the remuneration of the executive staff and... 

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