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October 25, 2011

Class distinction extends to company ownership with families ensuring they are upper class. But what does this mean for corporate governance at family businesses? 

As one of the most successful football teams in the world, Manchester United is used to commanding headlines and courting the media. But when reports began emerging in August that the club would be floated on the Singapore stock exchange, no one at United was talking, not least the Glazers, the American family which bought the team in 2005.

October 25, 2011

Shareholders have registered their anger at the Murdoch family's handling of the phone-hacking scandal, with the majority of non-family shareholders at News Corporation voting against the re-election of Rupert Murdoch’s sons to the board. 

Shareholders have registered their anger at the Murdoch family's handling of the phone-hacking scandal, with the majority of non-family shareholders at News Corporation voting against the re-election of Rupert Murdoch’s sons to the board.

Figures released by the family-controlled media conglomerate on 24 October show that 35% of News Corp’s shareholders voted against the re-election of James Murdoch, the company’s deputy chief operating officer, and 34% voted against Lachlan Murdoch. Fourteen percent voted against Rupert's re-election.

October 12, 2011

News Corp has called on its shareholders to ignore recommendations from a number of advisory groups and instead vote in favour of its board and Rupert Murdoch’s bonus.

News Corp has called on its shareholders to ignore recommendations from a number of advisory groups and instead vote in favour of its board and Rupert Murdoch’s bonus.

In a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the media conglomerate, which is controlled by the Murdoch family, said there has been a “disproportionate focus” on the phone-hacking scandal at the now defunct News of the World, adding that its board is “extremely strong”.

September 30, 2011

A big revolt by institutional investors against the current New Corporation board is likely, according to a shareholders advisory group, but the Murdoch family is still expected to retain its prominent position at the media conglomerate. 

A big revolt by institutional investors against the current New Corporation board is likely, according to a shareholders advisory group, but the Murdoch family is still expected to retain its prominent position at the media conglomerate.

August 12, 2011

Just 20 or 30 years ago, octogenarian family-business leaders were few and far between. Now, as life expectancy rises, an increasing number of business leaders are in their 80s and demographic trends will ensure this rises further in the future. But does it make good business sense?

Just 20 or 30 years ago, octogenarian family-business leaders were few and far between. Now, as life expectancy rises, an increasing number of business leaders are in their 80s and demographic trends will ensure this rises further in the future. But does it make good business sense?

August 10, 2011

Murdoch family members are unlikely to fill News Corp’s top roles in the future, partly because of Rupert Murdoch’s failure to develop a succession plan, according to a leading family business expert.

Murdoch family members are unlikely to fill News Corp’s top roles in the future, partly because of Rupert Murdoch’s failure to develop a succession plan, according to a leading family business expert.

“A non-family CEO is likely, but the question is when this will happen,” said Professor Randel S Carlock, who is the Berghmans Lhoist chaired professor in entrepreneurial leadership at INSEAD.

“Murdoch in one way is a classic family businessman – he doesn’t have a succession plan in place,” he said.

August 8, 2011

Appointments of family members to boards are often more successful if they happen following a transparent nomination process and are based on a person’s ability, according to one leading family business commentator.

Appointments of family members to boards are often more successful if they happen following a transparent nomination process and are based on a person’s ability, according to one leading family business commentator.

Professor Joachim Schwass from Swiss-based business school IMD said a family member’s success on a company board is dependent on their internal and external credibility, adding that all family board appointments should be assessed based on these factors.

August 8, 2011

Elisabeth Murdoch will not join her father and brothers on News Corporation’s board, following suggestions the Murdoch family were too dominant at the media conglomerate. 

Elisabeth Murdoch will not join her father and brothers on News Corporation’s board, following suggestions the Murdoch family were too dominant at the media conglomerate.

After News Corp purchased Elisabeth’s TV production company Shine Group, known for making dramas such as The Tudors and Ashes to Ashes, in February, her father, Rupert Murdoch, said he expected his daughter would join News Corp’s board once the acquisition was completed.

August 4, 2011

The decision by News Corporation’s independent non-executive directors to hire a law firm to carry out an audit of governance practices is almost a “surrogate for a board evaluation”, according to analyst Jennifer Pendergast, from the US-based Family Business Consulting Group. 

The decision by News Corporation’s independent non-executive directors to hire a law firm to carry out an audit of governance practices is almost a “surrogate for a board evaluation”, according to analyst Jennifer Pendergast, from the US-based Family Business Consulting Group.

In July, the directors took on law firm Debevoise & Plimpton to offer advice on good corporate governance at the media conglomerate, which is dominated by Rupert Murdoch and his family.

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