February 07, 2001 in Social Responsibility News

Five Corporations To Be Recognized For Superior Governance Accomplishments

ROCKVILLE, MD February 2, 2001 ~ Five corporations from around the world will be recognized by Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), the world's leading provider of proxy voting and corporate governance services, for their achievements in the field of corporate governance. This year's recipients are Nokia Corp. (Finland); Polski Koncern Naftowy ORLEN S.A.(Poland); Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (Korea); Target Corp. (United States); and Tokyo Electron Ltd. (Japan). These companies will be presented with ISS 2001 Awards for Excellence in Corporate Governance at the ISS annual conference to be held March 1-2 in Washington, D.C.

In selecting the recipients of the award, ISS's research experts, whose experiences include studies of 20,000 companies in 80 markets, first identified key markets based on client holdings and corporate governance interests. ISS chose five companies in recognition of their individual governance achievements and their general position as governance leaders in their respective markets. In making the selections, ISS took into account disclosure, transparency, general shareholder treatment, governance structures, and overall effectiveness of governance functions.

ISS's intention in recognizing market leaders by presenting them with the ECG award is to single out those companies that go above and beyond the corporate governance standards of their markets, noted Bruce Babcock, president of ISS. "We believe recognition is an important means of rewarding individual companies for their efforts in upholding higher standards and a way of setting an example for others in the market to emulate."

Nokia Corp.
In many areas, Nokia's standards of corporate governance lie above those of Nordic companies in general. The change from the use of a classified board to one where directors are elected on a yearly basis, the introduction of nomination, audit, and personnel committees, and the abandonment of a system with multiple share classes in favor of one with equal voting rights, all represent important steps toward the achievement of excellence in corporate governance. In addition, Nokia is actively involved in efforts to improve the relationship between investors and companies in general.

Polski Koncern Naftowy ORLEN S.A.

Based on ISS's research experience with the Polish market, Polski Koncern Naftowy ORLEN SA stands out as one of the most transparent companies in a market where disclosure is generally poor. The Investor Relations Department at Polski Koncern Naftowy ORLEN SA has been selected to receive the 2001 award in recognition for their contribution to comprehensive disclosure of corporate information and excellence in providing service to the investor community worldwide.

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

ISS recognizes the efforts made by Samsung Electronics in recent years to transform itself into a world-class company that is more attentive to shareholders' concerns and is still committed to undergoing further restructuring. Corporate governance achievements include the composition of nearly one third of its board as outside directors; the reduction of the size of its board; increased accountability of directors to shareholders by honoring disclosure requests; the establishment of an audit committee; and increased board scrutiny over large related-party transactions. Samsung Electronics is also distinguished by a professional and courteous IR department, and a website that is available in English and provides above average corporate and financial disclosure.

Target Corp.

Target Corp. offers proof that strong corporate governance is not a passing fad. The company, formerly known as Dayton Hudson, was one of the first large U.S. firms to embrace the notion that boardroom independence is the key to good governance. Target's current roster of directors provides an excellent blueprint for anyone who is looking to build a solid board. It has the perfect mix of independence, business experience and diversity. If investors want hard evidence of the importance of corporate governance, they should take a look at Target's stock price. It has jumped by 500 percent over the past five years-far outperforming both the market and its industry peer group.

Tokyo Electron Ltd.

Tokyo Electron has been selected for its high levels of information disclosure, including the publication of the individual compensation of its directors and its use of the company web site to disseminate financial and other information to shareholders in Japanese and in English. The company also merits recognition for establishing a compensation committee and a nominating committee of the board of directors, which very few Japanese companies have done to date. Institutional Shareholder Services is the world's largest provider of proxy voting and corporate governance services. Serving more than 700 institutional and corporate clients throughout North America and Europe, ISS analyzes proxy proposals and issues vote recommendations for more than 10,000 U.S. and 10,000 non-U.S. shareholder meetings each year. The firm has satellite offices in Chicago, New York, and London. Founded in 1985, ISS is a Thomson Financial company. For more information, visit

Thomson Financial is a US$1 billion provider of information services and work solutions to the worldwide financial community. Through the widest range of products and services in the industry, Thomson Financial helps

clients in more than 70 countries make better decisions, be more productive and achieve superior results. Thomson Financial is part of The Thomson Corporation (TTC), one of the world's leading information companies. TTC, with annual revenues of more than US$6 billion, has interests in specialized information and newspaper publishing. TTC's common shares are traded on the Toronto, Montreal and London stock exchanges. For more information, visit


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