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Over the past years, Corporate Governance & the ESG issue have obviously become international priorities in the field of Corporate & Financial Law.
Belgian listed companies are expected to comply with the well-known principles & provisions of the Corporate Governance Code 2020 (“CGC”). If compliance with some provisions may not be suitable, CGC provides for the possibility to deviate if there are justified, motivated and reported reasons for doing so (“comply or explain”). Values, skills, conduct of firm’s people also determine the company’s long-term success. The sustainability and development of listed companies involves an explicit focus on the long term and the permanent consideration of the legitimate interests of stakeholders.
EU law requires certain large companies (listed companies, banks, insurance companies, public-interest entities) to disclose non-financial information (art. 3:6, §4 Belgian CSA) and, recently, the European Commission has adopted a proposal for a Directive on corporate sustainability due diligence.
“Environmental, Social & Governance” (ESG) are relevant to investors, consumers and employees, and have become a key topic. UE regulation on sustainability‐related disclosures in the financial services sector already imposes transparency about ESG to financial market participants & financial advisers. Environmental criteria may include a company’s use of renewable energy, waste, pollution, natural resource conservation and treatment of animals. Social criteria examine how a company manages relationships with employees, suppliers, customers and the communities where it operates. In the context of ESG, governance is essentially on how the Board and the Management attend to the interests of the company’s various stakeholders (avoid conflicts of interests, executive compensation tied to increasing the long-term value, viability & profitability of the business, accurate & transparent accounting methods and full & honest financial reporting…).
Compliance4Business has developed an in-depth expertise to understand the applicable rules and the constraints & opportunities related to Corporate governance & ESG. Our team acts as a “Compliance Officer” for regulated companies as well as for private clients. Our combination of experiences allows us to target the market’s trends.
Compliance4Business is the key partner for listed companies & financial institutions. We assist global and local clients in a wide range of industries and with a variety of legal and regulatory frameworks to develop proactive compliance programs to mitigate their risks and exposure. This includes understanding applicable rules, principles & market practices, but also business opportunities furthering a pragmatic and business-oriented compliant approach.
We work closely with our clients in conducting risk assessments, implementing tailored compliance internal organizations, and establishing risk-based policies, procedures, controls and ongoing due diligence measures. We also give advice on specific corporate & financial law issues, including on regulatory and liability risks.
Our experts are used to coordinating projects (Project Management), setting up related departments and/or endorse internal key functions such as Independent or Non-Executive Board member, ESG Officer or Compliance Officer (outsourcing principles).