Who Do You Call?

Boards of financial companies today have momentous challenges. Against a backdrop of new regulations, global market volatility, and rapid technological change, directors must make sound decisions that enhance shareholder value and create long-lasting business viability. As the issues faced by boards become more challenging and complex, directors and management often find themselves seeking outside guidance.

Identifying the right consultant, though, isn’t always easy. Advisers are plentiful in every area: balance-sheet management, recruiting, investment banking, technology…the list goes on and on. Yet, the increased scrutiny today on board activities means that a pool of candidates should be examined before making a final decision. To help directors better understand the key issues facing banks and the current crop of notable advisers, Bank Director prepared more than a dozen hot-topic articles and adviser lists that help answer the question: “Who do you call?” The compilations that appear in the lists following each articleu00e2u20ac”while perhaps not exhaustiveu00e2u20ac”are, we believe, representative of the leading firms in each area.

Our opening story, “Corporate Governance: Time for a Checkup,” presents an overview of what is arguably the most pressing issue facing all companies. So “who do you call” to ensure your governance standards are in compliance? Much like four years ago, when every company faced the need for Y2K consulting, today multitudes of advisersu00e2u20ac”from legal, accounting, technology, and other professionsu00e2u20ac”are flooding the marketplace with corporate governance consulting, making it nearly impossible to assemble a definitive list. The best advice for banks is to start with their current advisersu00e2u20ac”particularly their outside legal counsel and external auditing firmu00e2u20ac”for a full and frank discussion about the challenges that lie ahead. The governance climate has changed drastically and everyone is trying to understand the new rules, but banks shouldn’t hesitate to push their advisers for answers.

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