ICSAZ introduces new awards category for banks

HARARE - The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators in Zimbabwe (ICSAZ) has announced a special award category for financial institutions in this year’s Excellence in Corporate Governance Awards.

An individual corporate governance award, the Governance Professional of the Year Award, will also be presented for the first time at the awards ceremony, which will be held on October 9, 2014 in addition to the corporate governance awards for companies listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.

The institute introduced the excellence in corporate governance awards last year as a means of promoting good corporate governance by recognising organisations that exemplify excellence in corporate governance.

The awards are intended to recognise organisations and corporate governance practitioners that, in the opinion of the adjudication panel, represent the best attributes for benchmarking corporate governance standards and excellence in good corporate governance in Zimbabwe.

There will be three categories of awards for Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed companies, in addition to the Overall Best Governed Company Award.

There will be a Best Shareholder Treatment Award, a Best Stakeholder Practices and Sustainable Reporting Award and a Best Board Practices Award.

For financial institutions, there will be a Best Bank Risk Management Practices Award, a Best Bank Internal Control Environment Award and an Overall Best Governed Banking Institution Award.

All Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed companies that have published full annual reports for the 2013 financial year and are still trading on the bourse on the adjudication date are eligible for the ZSE-listed companies awards. All financial institutions which have published full annual reports for the 2013 financial year and are still trading under Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe issued licences on the adjudication date are eligible for the financial institutions’ awards.

Board members, company secretaries or legal counsels, risk managers, financial controllers and compliance managers working in Zimbabwe during the review period are eligible for the individual Governance Professional of the Year Award. They do not need to be members of ICSAZ to be eligible for this award.

Announcing the award categories for this year, ICSAZ chief executive and secretary Farai Musamba said the adjudication panel would be made up of corporate governance experts and academic and accountancy professionals identified with the assistance of relevant stakeholders.

“The adjudication panel will rate participating companies based on their board’s governance practices against set criteria, using an agreed ICSAZ corporate governance scorecard as a guideline. The scores will then be used to rank companies for the different award categories.

“For the individual award, nominated corporate governance professionals will be profiled and ranked by looking at their contribution to good corporate governance practices in their organisations or the community,” he said.

“The awards aim to promote good corporate governance by recognising leadership efforts of corporate boards in practising good corporate governance in their functioning and the implementation of ethical and innovative practices which promote good corporate governance.

“They are also intended to encourage corporates to focus on excellence in their corporate governance practices,” Musamba added.

He said that in evaluating companies, the adjudication panel would be looking at board independence, board systems and procedures, transparency and disclosure compliance, sustainable shareholder value enhancement, stakeholder value enhancement, corporate social responsibility, risk management systems, succession planning, conflict resolution policy and other good governance practices.

“The individual evaluation will focus on the person’s active involvement in advancing the corporate governance agenda in Zimbabwe as well as effective management and implementation of a major corporate governance project during the period under review.

“Development and effective implementation of an innovation in corporate governance will also be considered,” he added.

Last year, Turnall Holdings won the award for the Best Governed Company on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, while British American Tobacco came second and Econet Wireless came third.

Turnall also won the Sustainability Reporting Award, with Dairibord Holdings coming second in this category and Bindura Nickel Corporation third.

Meikles won the Best Shareholder Treatment award, with Econet Wireless coming second in this category and British American Tobacco third.

The Best Board Practices Award went to British American Tobacco, with Turnall Holdings coming second in this category and Border Timbers coming third.

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