June 2011 Matthew Murray speaks at USRBC Third Annual Russia Legal Forum in London, UK

On June 9, 2011, the US-Russia Business Council held its Third Annual Russia Legal Forum in London, UK, dedicated to a discussion of corporate governance and anti-corruption legislation. Matthew Murray, Chairman, Center for Business Ethics and Corporate Governance, gave a presentation on Corporate Governance in Russia.

Mr. Murray shared the view that business is an important change agent in the Russian environment today, because it has the incentives, resources and skills to tie together the different strands of reform currently underway.

Mr. Murray discussed that the Russian Corporate Code of Conduct is a voluntary mechanism for business to induce cultural change from inside the company and push those changes into the larger operating environment. This approach to corporate governance is underpinned by three basic principles: law can only go so far, internal behavior can’t be mandated since every company is different, and overly-detailed laws are counterproductive.

Mr. Murray noted the following steps are required to take corporate governance reform to the next level in Russia: first, good corporate governance should be properly rewarded by the state; second, the public environment should enable good corporate governance. He shared the opinion that many issues associated with corporate governance lie outside the regulatory arena and have an ethical rather than legal nature. Ethics standards and best practice, together with the law, should form a company's policy of corporate governance based on respect for interests of shareholders, management, and external stakeholders.


*This photo is a courtesy of USRBC