WATER STREET HELPS CORPORATE AND JOINT VENTURE BOARDS IMPROVE GOVERNANCE TO UNLOCK PERFORMANCE
Establishing effective governance practices is a driver of performance – and research shows that dysfunctional governance correlates strongly with subpar performance – for many types of companies. Water Street Partners serves the governance needs of multiple entities, including corporate, joint venture, and alliance boards and committees, with a combination of tactical tools, best-in-class research, and consultative support informed by decades of experience with hundreds of boards.Corporate Boards.
Water Street engages with corporate boards to elevate performance of both individual directors and boards as a whole. Corporate governance can be a battleground between various stakeholder groups – including management, executive directors, non-executive/independent directors, regulators, shareholder activists, everyday shareholders themselves, and others – and without effective governance practices in place the persistent tug-of-war between those entities can seriously jeopardize company performance. We leverage our deep knowledge of governance best practices and proprietary assessment tools to address corporate boards’ critical challenge areas, including:
- Excessive focus on short-term company performance, at the expense of long-term strategic oversight and risk management;
- Perfunctory approaches to self-evaluations that fail to rigorously interrogate board performance, composition, and commitment;
- Insufficient director onboarding and support resources, which contribute to a lack of clarity about board responsibilities and performance expectations;
Joint Venture, Association, and Alliance Boards and Committees. Water Street is also the world’s leading expert on governance in joint ventures and other forms of partnerships. For joint ventures and other entities with complex ownership structures, governance challenges can be even more acute, with parties using the boardroom to exert influence and fiercely protect their individual interests. We bring a nuanced appreciation for the incremental complexity of joint venture governance, honed by our experience advising hundreds of JV boards, in addition to JV board-specific tools and diagnostics. Our work with JV and other partnership boards has focused on a number of common friction points, including:
- Shareholder misalignment on scope, strategy, and growth options for venture;
- Lack of a clearly defined and agreed board involvement posture relative to JV management;
- Insufficient or nonexistent self-governance practices;
- Other “governance hygiene” issues, e.g. director job descriptions and onboarding materials; board calendars and meeting agendas; committee mandates and authorities relative to the full board; etc.
Across all types of clients, our engagements focus on getting boards “un-stuck” on their most contentious issues and thereby clearing a path for better company or venture performance. Our specific projects and approaches include:
- Governance System Reviews
- Assessments of Board and Individual Director Effectiveness
- Board Governance Blueprints
- Information Sharing Protocols
- Board Retreats
- Options for lighter touch support through our subscription services
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