By HUSNIYE GUNGOR
Q: WHAT WILL THE COLLABORATION WITH INTERNATIONAL FINANCE COOPERATION (IFC) INCLUDE?
A: With IFC, we initiated a collaboration to contribute to promoting practices relating to environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors and in the development of corporate governance. We collaborated to spread corporate governance in the past as well. As a result of the increased importance of the ESG practices, IFC has updated its methodology. In this update, the IFC Corporate Governance Matrix was revisited to include important aspects of corporate governance and topics compatible with the IFC’s Environmental and Social Sustainability Policy. And as TKYD, we are part of the mission to spread these practices. Under our collaboration with IFC, we aim to promote these practices among companies by organizing informative activities, trainings and seminars, and by publishing documents. And moving forward, we will continue our existing collaborations with various institutions and organizations, and would like to expand new collaborations.
Q: WHAT WILL BE THE MAIN THEME OF TURKEY COR˹ PORATE GOVERNANCE SUMMIT, WHICH YOU WILL ORGANIZE ONLINE IN COLLABORATION WITH TOBB ON FEBRUARY 24-25
A: The main theme is “Compass of a Sustainable Business World: Corporate Governance”. We will host people from the public sphere, business world and the international arena. On the first day of the summit, we will address the “Facilitators in Strengthening Public Policy Processes and Policy Effectiveness”, focusing on the development of public policies by increasing dialogue between the public and private sectors. On the second day, we will discuss the sustainable business world and Turkey’s place in the international indices from a corporate governance perspective. Furthermore, our speakers will also discuss various major topics including best corporate governance practices in the banking industry, corporate governance in SMEs, and the development of corporate governance going forward. Drawing attention to the best practices in this field and encouraging companies and the NGOs to this end, the Corporate Governance Awards will be submitted on the second day of this year’s summit.
Q: WHAT IS TURKEY’S PLACE IN THE WORLD IN TERMS OF CORPORATE GOVERNANCE?
A: Countries don’t have corporate governance scores, but companies’ scores may also be an indictor in terms of drawing investment into countries. We believe that boosting the institutional resilience of our companies and building a corporate governance structure on strong foundations will benefit the entire country considerably. At TKYD, in line with this perspective, we strive to contribute to companies, institutions and NGOs of all sizes to help them adopt this corporate governance approach.
Q: WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT RISING CORPORATE SPLIT˹UPS AS A RESULT OF THE PANDEMIC? WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF CORPORATE GOVERNANCE HERE?
A: Corporate governance recommends mechanisms that protect companies against risks and that provide them with flexibility, agility and resilience against unexpected developments. Putting these in place will allow companies to protect themselves, particularly during extremely turbulent times. Today, this turbulence may have been caused by the pandemic, but tomorrow, it may well be brought about by natural disasters or cybersecurity issues. We are going through probably an unprecedentedly intense period of corporate split-ups. The pandemic also played an important role in this, but it is hardly the only reason. In a period where everyone, ranging from partners to top management and employees, suppliers to customers have different demands and expectations, we see chaos or split-ups in companies that fail to manage their processes well. This risk runs even higher in family businesses, which account for 95 percent of the companies in our country. We must implement corporate governance to refrain from becoming a country of smaller companies, from splitting companies up among partners, and to pass our businesses to the coming generations.
Q: DO YOU THINK THAT THE GAINS IN CORPORATE GOVERNANCE HAVE BEEN LOST AS PRIORITY NEEDS SUCH AS SURVIVAL TAKE PRECEDENCE DURING THE PANDEMIC ENVIRONMENT?
A: Companies that abandon the gains of corporate governance will not exist in the future. Corporate governance helps protect these basics of your company at a time when the fight for the basics is most intense. Accordingly, explaining the importance of sustainability has been easier than ever for us. In their pursuit for a way out of this period, companies have started to ask more questions concerning sustainable corporate management, realizing these practices are more of a necessity than a luxury.
Q: PLEASE TELL US ABOUT TKYD’S ACHIEVEMENTS IN ITS 18˹YEAR HISTORY
A: At TKYD, since 2003 we have been working to stress that the future existence of companies depend on the creation of a successful corporate governance structure. As we advocate corporate governance, we also contribute to efforts undertaken by our country and strive to make sure that the relevant regulations also include best practices. In the meantime, we are planning events, not only in Istanbul but across Anatolia, to raise awareness on the issue. To achieve this, we engage in trainings and information activities, reaching out to broader masses through our publications. For instance, we launched the “Corporate Governance During Covid” series, including 20 articles and 7 webinars exclusive to the pandemic and published studies and guides. We have reached out to thousands of businesspeople through more than 20 webinars we organized in 2020. As of today, we have over 600 individual and 59 corporate members.