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No bumbling here.

REGULAR READERS of DIRECTORS & BOARDS know that they can always count on lead columnist Hoffer Kaback to skillfully dissect the merits or demerits of a governance matter. From his first column, "Pals on the Board' in our Winter 1997 issue, he has been a standout essayist in the field, fearlessly taking on when warranted the "received wisdom," political correctness, misguided notions, and assorted bumblings and stumblings of all the players -- boards, senior management, institutional investors, and shareholder activists alike.

Not only that, he regularly conducts in-depth interviews with leading business figures. In this day of "sound bite" journalism, these cover-story Q&As allow our readers an unusual Opportunity to listen in on conversations brimming with choice insights and information. True to form, this edition features his trenchant column, "When Deals Go Sour" (page 7), and his conversation with Saul Steinberg. The financier granted DIRECTORS & BOARDS an extraordinarily rare interview, all the more so in that it transpired in the midst of much corporate and personal turmoil.

So it is with pleasure and pride that I congratulate Hoffer on his being named to the advisory board for the Conference Board of Canada/Spencer Stuart National Awards in Governance. Celebrating excellence and innovation in board governance, the awards will be bestowed at a gala blacktie dinner in Toronto on Jan. 30, 2001. He is in august company: Fellow advisory board members include the chairmen of Alcan Aluminium Ltd., the Bank of Montreal, AT&T Canada, Morgan Stanley Canada Ltd., TransCanada Pipelines Ltd., Canadian Broadcasting Corp., and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, among other leaders. Well done, Hoffer, on all counts.

Many of our readers who serve on what we might call more traditional types of corporate boards -- those which have a fuller panoply of "good governance" policies and practices -- also serve on smaller-company boards and even boards of family companies. For governing those types of enterprises, there tends not to be as much useful advice. Addressing that deficit with their superior advisories are Randy Thurman ("The Unique Nature of Small-Company Boards," page 31), and Ivan Lansberg ("Governing the Family Company," page 45).

We all tend to focus on what it is boards should do. But maybe there are some things that boards aren't really equipped to do. That's the reality check that Robert Denham does by asking, and answering, "What Should We Expect from a Board?" (page 27). I thank Prof. Larry Cunningham at the Cardozo School of Law's Heyman Center on Corporate Governance for this opportunity to share Bob Denham's reasoned counsel with our readers.

All this rich material and more awaits in the pages ahead.
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Publication:Directors & Boards
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 22, 2000
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Next Article:When deals go sour.

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