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Sharing insights into applying corporate governance

Sharing insights into applying corporate governance
Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance is happy to invite members to a corporate governance experience sharing event organized together with airBaltic in Riga, on the 25th of January. Mr Martin Gauss, CEO and Chairman of the Management Board at airBaltic, will share his insights into application of corporate governance principles and speak on the topic Corporate Governance Practise: airBaltic Experience Story....

Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance is happy to invite members to a corporate governance experience sharing event organized together with airBaltic in Riga, on the 25th of January.

Mr Martin Gauss, CEO and Chairman of the Management Board at airBaltic, will share his insights into application of corporate governance principles and speak on the topic Corporate Governance Practise: airBaltic Experience Story.

The event is organised at the airBaltic Training center (Riga Airport area), where you will have a chance to look around at the end of the program.

All presentations and discussions will be held in the English language.

For more information and registration details, please see the invitation below.

Invitation (EN)

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Corporate Governance Conference in Riga

Corporate Governance Conference in Riga
Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance (BICG) invites you to attend the conference Corporate Governance as a Driver for Economic Development, which will be held on the 13th of December in Riga. Aiming to discuss different corporate governance aspects and promote good corporate governance among Latvian companies, the conference will consist of four panel discussions: Meaning of Good Corporate Governance, Role...

Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance (BICG) invites you to attend the conference Corporate Governance as a Driver for Economic Development, which will be held on the 13th of December in Riga.

Aiming to discuss different corporate governance aspects and promote good corporate governance among Latvian companies, the conference will consist of four panel discussions: Meaning of Good Corporate Governance, Role of Shareholders and Investors, Role of the Board as well as Role of Stock Exchange and Transparency.

Mr Dzintars Rasnačs, the Latvian Minister of Justice, will open the event.

The keynote speaker of the conference is Mr Daniel Blume, Senior Policy Analyst at OECD. Among other speakers are Ms Daiga Auziņa Melalksne, CEO of Nasdaq Riga, and top-level representatives of Latvian businesses, including AirBaltic, Latvenergo, Latvijas Dzelzceļš (Latvian railways), Latvijas GāzeLatvijas FinierisSEB, ELKO Group.

The event will be held in Latvian and English languages, and English translation will be provided for the presentations in Latvian.

The conference is organized by the Latvian Ministry of Justice, in cooperation with the BICG, Nasdaq Riga, law offices Eversheds Bitāns and Cobalt, and Latvian Court Administration. It will take place at the headquarters of the Latvian forestry company Latvijas Valsts meži (Vaiņodes st. 1).

Please note that attendance availability is limited and registration is mandatory. To register, please email Andris Grafs, BICG Country Manager Latvia, at andris[at]bicg.eu before the 10th of December.

For more information, please see the invitation below.

Invitation (EN)

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Rail Baltica has to become a role model for well governed projects in the Baltics

Rail Baltica has to become a role model for well governed projects in the Baltics
The Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance (BICG) has sent an open letter for the Baltic Prime Ministers, welcoming the agreement on the division of responsibilities in Rail Baltica project implementation reached by the representatives of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania last week, and encouraging the Baltic governments to use this new momentum to ensure that the project continues according to the...

The Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance (BICG) has sent an open letter for the Baltic Prime Ministers, welcoming the agreement on the division of responsibilities in Rail Baltica project implementation reached by the representatives of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania last week, and encouraging the Baltic governments to use this new momentum to ensure that the project continues according to the best practices and with no further delays.

A significant progress was made by agreeing on the Rail Baltica procurement model and on the strong central role of the Baltic joint venture RB Rail in designing, constructing and marketing Rail Baltica.

To now ensure that this agreement and the entire project are successfully implemented, BICG strongly encourages the three Baltic governments to adhere to the best internationally recognized corporate governance principles, as set out in the standards by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Please see the full letter and BICG expectations for Rail Baltica governance attached:

Open letter for the Baltic Prime Ministers (EN)

Corporate Governance Expectations for Rail Baltica project and joint venture RB Rail (EN)

Contacts:
Rytis Ambrazevičius
President
Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance
Phone: +370 698 17011
Email: rytis[at]bicg.eu

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Meeting with Hwee Hua Lim in Vilnius

Meeting with Hwee Hua Lim in Vilnius
Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance (BICG) is very happy to invite members and friends to a meeting with Hwee Hua Lim, a former Singaporean minister, currently working in the investment sector and transportation industry. Ms Lim will share her insights into the topic Government in Business – Role of State Owned Enterprises. Ms Lim was first elected to the Parliament of...

Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance (BICG) is very happy to invite members and friends to a meeting with Hwee Hua Lim, a former Singaporean minister, currently working in the investment sector and transportation industry.

Ms Lim will share her insights into the topic Government in Business – Role of State Owned Enterprises.

Ms Lim was first elected to the Parliament of Singapore in 1996 and served till 2011, last as a Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, and concurrently Second Minister for Finance and for Transport.  She is the first woman to serve in Singapore’s Cabinet. For the full biography of Ms Lim, please see the invitation attached.

Date & Time
Tuesday, September 13th
..
16:30               Welcome coffee
17:00               Government in Business – Role of SOEs, Hwee Hua Lim
17:30-18:30    Reception and discussions
..

Place: Vilnius TV tower (Sausio 13-osios str. 10), we will start at the conference room on the 1st floor, and move up to the observation deck for reception and discussions.

Attendance: Free of charge, but the availability is limited and registration is mandatory. To register, please email info@bicg.eu until the 9th of September.

Invitation (EN)

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Six New Corporate Members

Six New Corporate Members
Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance (BICG) is happy to announce six new corporate members recently joining the association. Joining as the newest Baltic corporate member, is Swedbank, a leading commercial bank in the Nordic and Baltic region. “Swedbank aims to promote sound and sustainable financial situation for the many households and businesses. We are certain that business transparency, which involves...

Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance (BICG) is happy to announce six new corporate members recently joining the association.

Joining as the newest Baltic corporate member, is Swedbank, a leading commercial bank in the Nordic and Baltic region.

“Swedbank aims to promote sound and sustainable financial situation for the many households and businesses. We are certain that business transparency, which involves sharing experience among businesses and taking care of the needs of a broader society, is significant for the long-term growth. Together with other members of BICG we could contribute to the positive change in the society,” says Dainius Vilčinskas, Head of Baltic Banking Competence Center Corporate at Swedbank.

Among the new National corporate members are the Latvian airline airBaltic and the Latvian state real estate management company State Real Estate.

“Strong corporate governance has been the backbone of airBaltic as we transformed into a profitable airline. We are joining BICG in a vital period where corporate governance will define our future under the Horizon 2021 business plan, designed to reinforce our position in the Baltic region,” says Martin Gauss, CEO of airBaltic.

“Continuous reforms in SOEs is a prerequisite for strong state governance. Employing best practices in corporate governance facilitates accountability and transparency in activities of institutions. State Real Estate is a reform oriented institution and cooperation with BICG would facilitate its accountability and transparency. As a partner, State Real Estate is ready to share its lengthy experience acquired through successfully managing and developing real estate,” notes Mārtiņš Tols, CEO and Chairman of the Management Board of State Real Estate.

In Lithuania, two SOEs joining the association, are Lithuanian Radio and Television Centre and Lithuanian Exhibition and Congress Centre LITEXPO.

“It is a great honor to join such an exclusive club of Baltic businesses. We believe that accession to the undisputed knowledge and experience resources in the field of corporate governance, which are at the disposal of the Institute, will undoubtedly help us achieve our business goals as well as to improve our sustainability practices”, says Remigijus Šeris, CEO of Lithuanian Radio and Television Centre.

“Litexpo participates in a very competitive market of events and exhibitions. It is essential for us to strive for excellence in all areas to ensure our competitiveness and the best return to our shareholders. Corporate governance becomes one of the most important areas for our development as it increases efficiency, transparency and lowers risks. And when it comes to corporate governance – BICG is the best expert and platform for experience exchange in this area. Litexpo is a SOE, so we should not only seek excellence, but also set standards in public corporate governance,” notes Mindaugas Rutkauskas, Director at LITEXPO.

The newest National corporate member in Lithuania is Philip Morris Baltic, a tobacco company.

“We believe that a strong support for the mission and vision of the BICG to implement the best corporate governance practices across the Baltic states both in private companies and SOEs is essential for increasing the competitiveness of businesses and for securing a sustainable economic growth in the region,” says Mindaugas Dacys, General Manager Baltic States at Philip Morris Baltic.

About the BICG

BICG is a non-profit and non-governmental organization missioned to deliver value to its stakeholders by promoting global competitiveness of enterprises in the Baltics and encouraging the businesses to adopt leading corporate governance practices.

The association unites both corporate and individual members. Individual members of the BICG are serving as top management and board members of the companies in the three Baltic states.

Press release (EN)

Contacts:

Rytis Ambrazevičius
President
Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance
Phone: +370 698 17011
Email: rytis[at]bicg.eu

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New President of the BICG

New President of the BICG
Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance (BICG) would like to announce changes in the leadership team, with the former Vice President Rytis Ambrazevičius becoming the President of the Institute, as of the 19th of July. “I welcome Rytis to his new position with great confidence. His work in strengthening BICG community will serve as a foundation for the Institute to achieve...

Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance (BICG) would like to announce changes in the leadership team, with the former Vice President Rytis Ambrazevičius becoming the President of the Institute, as of the 19th of July.

“I welcome Rytis to his new position with great confidence. His work in strengthening BICG community will serve as a foundation for the Institute to achieve further change in corporate governance practices in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia,” says Daiga Auziņa-Melalksne, Chair of the Board of the BICG.

Mr Ambrazevičius is taking over from Paulius Martinkus, who will stay with the Institute in a consulting capacity.

“On behalf of the BICG Board, I want to thank Paulius for his strong commitment to improving corporate governance in the Baltics and his work with state and municipality owned enterprises especially. Under his leadership, BICG came into a closer cooperation with the OECD, expanded operations in Latvia, engaged very actively with new policy initiatives and accumulated financial resources for future growth,” says Ms Auziņa-Melalksne.

“It has been a great experience to work with the Institute for the better governance in the Baltic region. BICG has reached major milestones over the last couple of years and it would not have been possible without the dedicated team and significant contribution from the Board of Directors. I look forward to seeing further growth of the Institute and to an increase of significance of governance agenda in everyday life,” says Mr Martinkus.

About Rytis Ambrazevičius

Mr Ambrazevičius has 20 years of experience in top management positions at international and local companies, including  Omnitel (part of TeliaSonera Group), Mandatum Life Baltics, Sampo Life, Falck Security (now G4S) and SBA Group.

For the last 10 years, he held different positions in the boards of directors and currently is an independent board member at Klaipėdos nafta.

Rytis graduated from Kaunas Technology University and International Business School at Vilnius University. He is also a graduate of the BICG, having completed professional board member education in 2012 and chairperson education in 2013.

About the BICG

BICG is an internationally recognized driver of best practice corporate governance in the Baltic region. The Institute delivers value by promoting global competitiveness of Baltic companies through adoption of leading corporate governance practices.

Press release (EN)

Contacts:

Rytis Ambrazevičius
President
Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance
Phone: +370 698 17011
Email: rytis[at]bicg.eu

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BICG recommends how to improve selection process of Supervisory Board Members in Latvian SOEs

BICG recommends how to improve selection process of Supervisory Board Members in Latvian SOEs
Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance (BICG) has prepared recommendations to improve nomination process of Supervisory Board members in Latvian SOEs, and presented these recommendations to the Latvian Government and ministries. “I want to thank BICG for the well balanced suggestions on how to organize effective nomination process of Supervisory Boards in the Latvian SOEs. Latvia recently joined the OECD as...

Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance (BICG) has prepared recommendations to improve nomination process of Supervisory Board members in Latvian SOEs, and presented these recommendations to the Latvian Government and ministries.

“I want to thank BICG for the well balanced suggestions on how to organize effective nomination process of Supervisory Boards in the Latvian SOEs. Latvia recently joined the OECD as a member, and we know that the OECD recommendations envision setting the state ownership policy, to ensure effective governance of SOEs and proper implementation of financial and non-financial objectives,” says Arvils Ašeradens, Latvian Minister of Economy and Deputy Prime Minister.

“Latvian SOEs sector has a great impact on the Latvian economy, and we will re-establish Supervisory Boards in all the largest SOEs. Professional and well-organised Supervisory Boards are the most effective instrument to ensure supervision of management. These Boards should be professional, independent and competent, in both corporate governance and respective market where an SOE operates. BICG recommendations are really suitable to reach a co-ordinated and balanced SOEs governance practice,” says Mr Ašeradens.

17 separate recommendations can be divided into four groups:

  • Changing the approach to the strategy of the selection;
  • Creating a successful Nomination Committee;
  • Defining the requirements for the potential candidates;
  • Good communication.

“To reduce the existing formal approach to the nomination process, BICG recommends for the Latvian Government to draft a single, binding strategy for board member nomination, as a roadmap for how to organize the process: how to create a Nomination Committee, how to define the requirements for the potential candidates, and how to provide the information to attract the said candidates,” comments Andris Grafs, BICG Country Manager in Latvia.

BICG notes that a centralised model for the nomination of all Supervisory Board members of SOEs should find how the ministries (as shareholders) will be engaged in the process. Existing practise for centralised selection of heads for the Latvian governmental institutions can be an example to use.

“We advise as well that experts with a very good knowledge of business, corporate governance and management of human resources should comprise the majority of members of the Nomination Committees, while politicians and associated persons should not participate,” says Mr Grafs.

BICG recommendations emphasize that requirements for selecting board members should not be overly restrictive, for example, asking for experience of financial oversight in the very specific area where an SOE operates.

“Financial knowledge or experience in the specific area of business can be priorities in the selection criteria, but it is not necessarily reasonable to ask for the same candidate to have both qualities, when an SOE operates in a very specific business area. Such approach limits the number of potential candidates. Also, it is recommended to ensure that a board must work as a team, where each member can bring a different expertise,” says Mr Grafs.

The full set of recommendations were presented to the wider public at a press conference on the 30th of June in Riga.

Please see it attached (in Latvian):

Andris Grafs, BICG Country Manager Latvia, and Arvils Ašeradens, Latvian Minister of Economy and Deputy Prime Minister, during the press conference.

Andris Grafs, BICG Country Manager Latvia, and Arvils Ašeradens, Latvian Minister of Economy and Deputy Prime Minister, during the press conference.

BICG recommends for the Latvian Government to draft a single, binding strategy for board member nomination, as a roadmap for how to organize the process.

For more information, please contact:

Andris Grafs
Country Manager Latvia
Mob. +371 297 84407
E-mail andris[at]bicg.eu

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Invitation to Board Member Education, Autumn 2016

Invitation to Board Member Education, Autumn 2016
Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance (BICG) invites board and supervisory council members, shareholders and top executives to attend professional board member education program in autumn 2016. Background of the Education Topics of the education program are compiled based on the principles and recommendations on corporate governance by the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group (IFC) and Organization for Economic...

Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance (BICG) invites board and supervisory council members, shareholders and top executives to attend professional board member education program in autumn 2016.

Background of the Education

Topics of the education program are compiled based on the principles and recommendations on corporate governance by the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group (IFC) and Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

“BICG is proud to offer an education program, where well experienced Scandinavian and Baltic professionals share their insights into how good corporate governance can lead to better companies. The autumn program will be led by Swedish and Danish experts, who also have Baltic experience,” says Paulius Martinkus, President of the BICG.

Education is held in the English language, it consists of three sessions (two days each) and final examination.

Autumn dates:
• October 27th and 28th – first session in Vilnius;
• November 10th and 11th – second session in Tallinn;
• November 16th and 17th – third session in Riga.

Education helps shareholders to…

  • Monitor the company more effectively;
  • Ensure that it is run as efficiently as possible in the interests of shareholders;
  • Increase transparency of the company;
  • Boost access to capital and financial markets;
  • Elevate the confidence of potential partners;
  • Raise the value of the company;
  • Enhance and safeguard company reputation;
  • Develop the long-term prosperity of the company.

Education helps board and council members to…

  • Improve top level decision making processes;
  • Build up better control environments;
  • Develop better internal practices and compliance;
  • Reduce potential fraud and conflicts of interest;
  • Ensure higher level of protection for all investors;
  • Build effective, transparent and ethical business;
  • Improve relationships among the management, board, shareholders and stakeholders;
  • Contribute to the long-term, sustainable growth of the company;
  • Encourage effective succession planning for top and senior management;
  • Serve professionally on the boards in all three Baltic States and globally.

Education helps top management to…

  • Minimize losses, corruption, risks and mismanagement;
  • Obtain more favorable lending as a result of greater transparency and confidence;
  • Attract and cooperate with partners more beneficially;
  • Improve profitability;
  • Attract and retain key talents more easily;
  • Support brand formation and development;
  • Improve everyday interactions with shareholders, board and council;
  • Elevate company’s accountability and transparency to its shareholders and other stakeholders: employees, creditors, customers and the wider society;
  • Ensure continual achievement of shareholders’ goals.

To download the full introduction to the program, please follow the link below:

Introduction (EN)

For more information, please contact Rytis Ambrazevičius, President of the BICG, or Andris Grafs, BICG Country Manager in Latvia.

Rytis Ambrazevičius
President
Mob. +370 698 17011
E-mail rytis[at]bicg.eu

Andris Grafs
Country Manager Latvia
Mob. +371 297 84407
E-mail andris[at]bicg.eu

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New Chair of the Board

New Chair of the Board
Newly appointed Board of the Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance (BICG) has unanimously elected Daiga Auziņa-Melalksne as the Chair of the Board for the upcoming year. “Daiga has been with the Institute since its earliest days and since the very first initiatives to improve corporate governance in the Baltics. Her leadership is one of the reasons we now have a...

Newly appointed Board of the Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance (BICG) has unanimously elected Daiga Auziņa-Melalksne as the Chair of the Board for the upcoming year.

“Daiga has been with the Institute since its earliest days and since the very first initiatives to improve corporate governance in the Baltics. Her leadership is one of the reasons we now have a strong community, dedicated to advancing the best corporate governance practices in our region,” says Paulius Martinkus, President of the BICG.

Ms Auziņa-Melalksne is the Head of Exchange Services at Nasdaq Baltic Market. She chairs the Management Board at Nasdaq Riga and is a member of the Management Board at Nasdaq Tallinn.

“The BICG plays a vital role in shaping good governance practice in the Baltics. Good corporate governance is a precondition for the sustainable economic development in the Baltic region and co-operation between OECD countries. I look forward to contributing to Institute’s continued growth, promoting transparency and the best governance principles between SOEs and private enterprises, encouraging more support to these values equally from the policy makers and facilitating thought leadership among BICG community,” says Ms Auziņa-Melalksne.

Board of the BICG is appointed by the members of the BICG, at the Annual General Meeting (AGM), and establishes the strategies, goals and business procedures for the association.

Newly appointed members of the Board elect the Chair in their first meeting held after the AGM.

Ms Auziņa-Melalksne is taking over from Linas Dičpetris. More information about all of the BICG Board members can be found online here.

BICG is a non-profit and non-governmental organization missioned to deliver value to its stakeholders by promoting global competitiveness of enterprises in the Baltics and encouraging the businesses to adopt leading corporate governance practices.

Press Release (EN)

CONTACTS:

Paulius Martinkus

President

Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance

+370 674 67354

paulius[at]bicg.eu

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New Development Corporate Member in Latvia

New Development Corporate Member in Latvia
Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance (BICG) is glad to inform that SJSC Latvijas Dzelzceļš (Latvian Railways) is joining the association as a new Development Corporate Member. “Latvijas Dzelzceļš recently made important steps in improving corporate governance practices and announced ambitious plans towards further strengthening of corporate governance in the company. These plans include transparency of the company operations among its...

Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance (BICG) is glad to inform that SJSC Latvijas Dzelzceļš (Latvian Railways) is joining the association as a new Development Corporate Member.

“Latvijas Dzelzceļš recently made important steps in improving corporate governance practices and announced ambitious plans towards further strengthening of corporate governance in the company. These plans include transparency of the company operations among its employees, other stakeholders and shareholders, as well as implementation of an effective procurement policy and anti-corruption measures. BICG is open to contribute to these efforts in corporate governance area,” says Paulius Martinkus, President of the BICG.

Presently, BICG unites 37 corporate members in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, including stock exchanges, banks, auditing companies, law offices, manufacturers, state-owned enterprises.

“Latvijas dzelzceļš is operating in the industry that represents around 10% of GDP in Latvia. Company employs 12.000 people and in recent years investment projects exceeding 325 million EUR were implemented, largely on the basis of EU co-financed projects. Enterprise with such large-scale economic impact and responsibility towards local and international financial institutions must be well governed,” says Edvīns Bērziņš, President and CEO of Latvijas Dzelzceļš.

“In recent years, we have implemented a number of improvements and become much more transparent. However, we are aware that there is still much to do to achieve excellence in corporate governance. BICG brings together companies with diverse experience, so I am confident that we can mutually learn from each other, thus allowing growth and development in corporate governance area,” says Mr Bērziņš.

BICG is a non-profit and non-governmental organization missioned to deliver value to its stakeholders by promoting global competitiveness of enterprises in the Baltics and encouraging the businesses to adopt leading corporate governance practices.

The association unites both corporate and individual members. Individual members of the BICG are serving as CEOs and board members of the largest companies in the Baltic states.

Press Release (EN)

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Student Internship

Student Internship
Baltic Institute of corporate Governance invites students to apply for an internship in Vilnius. Interns will be involved in helping to prepare a draft proposal for improving corporate legislation in Lithuania, with a focus on good corporate governance. What do we expect Strong academic background in the subject of law; Good understanding of the legal system in Lithuania; Knowledge about the...

Baltic Institute of corporate Governance invites students to apply for an internship in Vilnius.

Interns will be involved in helping to prepare a draft proposal for improving corporate legislation in Lithuania, with a focus on good corporate governance.

What do we expect

  • Strong academic background in the subject of law;
  • Good understanding of the legal system in Lithuania;
  • Knowledge about the European corporate law (EMCA: http://tinyurl.com/emcacg)
  • Very good English language;
  • Ability to write concisely;
  • Ability to work as part of a group.

What do we offer

  • Challenging tasks;
  • Being a part of a senior project team, together with local and international law experts;
  • Learning about corporate governance and respective challenges in the public sector;
  • Flexible working hours;
  • Office location in Vilnius city center.

How to apply

Please send your application (CV and motivational letter) before the end of the working day on May 18th, to the email address info@bicg.eu. The interviews will be held on May 19th.

Internship (EN)

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Rail Baltica needs to become a role model of corporate governance practices

Rail Baltica needs to become a role model of corporate governance practices
It is supported by research and international experience, that Rail Baltica project, which envisions a continuous rail link from Tallinn to Warsaw, will present significant impact on the entire region. However, to make it a success story, it will be crucial to ensure consistent adherence of internationally recognised governance principles. Definite division of responsibilities between shareholders, the Supervisory Board and the...

It is supported by research and international experience, that Rail Baltica project, which envisions a continuous rail link from Tallinn to Warsaw, will present significant impact on the entire region. However, to make it a success story, it will be crucial to ensure consistent adherence of internationally recognised governance principles. Definite division of responsibilities between shareholders, the Supervisory Board and the management, as well as clear, competitive and non-discriminatory procurement procedures should be introduced.

The Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance (BICG) looks forward to the project being implemented in adherence with the principles of good governance and transparency, as discussed at the Rail Baltica Governance Conference 2016, held on the 29th of April in Riga.

During the conference, five pillars for Rail Baltica corporate governance were introduced, defining high expectations for the project and the joint venture RB Rail in corporate governance. These pillars are:

  • Clear objectives and assessment of outcomes,
  • Effective governance structure,
  • Transparency and disclosure,
  • Effective use of resources,
  • Responsible business conduct and stakeholders engagement.

“We must learn from historic failures and success stories, and implement our future projects with better project governance at the national and international level. I am certain that Rail Baltica has excellent opportunity to become a new role model for corporate governance, innovation and sustainable business conduct,” said Andris Grafs, Country Manager in Latvia of BICG.

The first step would be for the shareholders to reach agreement on the scope of the joint venture activities. There is also a need for clear division of specific rights and responsibilities among shareholders, Supervisory Board and Management Board of the joint venture.

Baltic States have to wisely use the granted unprecedentedly high financing by the EU (85% until 2020), in order to get further financing, which is necessary for continuing the construction in the  2021-2027 period. Corporate governance matters are key in ensuring that objective. Therefore procurement procedures should be clear and competitive, non-discriminatory and safeguarded by appropriate standards of transparency and integrity, not imposing unnecessary burdens.

The economic benefits of Rail Baltica are expected to materialise already during the construction stage, including creation of new jobs and development opportunities for local business along the future rail line. As a result, additional taxes will also be paid to the governments of all three Baltic States.

The objective of the Rail Baltica Governance Conference 2016 was to evaluate the key challenges to be faced during the implementation of Rail Baltica, to discuss opportunities to introduce internationally recognized corporate governance practices, as well as the economic impact of Rail Baltica. More than 60 transport and corporate governance experts from Finland, UK, Italy and Baltic States, as well as other stakeholders participated in the conference to discuss the experience in implementing large cross-border and regional infrastructure projects. More than 4000 vewers watched the conference in live broadcast.

The conference was organised by the BICG, in cooperation with the international advisory firm KPMG, the Ministry of Transport of Latvia and the Representation of the European Commission in Latvia.

Photos of the conference:

https://goo.gl/japFA0

Presentations and videos of the conference:

Opening remarks

EU perspective on Rail Baltica project (Mr HERALD RUIJTERS)

Economical perspective on Rail Baltica (Mr ARNIS KAKULIS, Mr NAURIS KLAVA)

Expectations from Rail Baltica in corporate governance (Mr ANDRIS GRAFS)

Lessons learned from cross-border infrastructure projects (Mr JAMES STEWART)

Case study: Brenner Base Tunnel Project (Mr KONRAD BERGMEISTER)

Further steps in implementation of Rail Baltica (Ms BAIBA RUBESA)

Panel discussion #1

Panel discussion #2

Closing remarks

Press release (EN)

For more information, please contact:

Andris Grafs

Country Manager Latvia

Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance

+371 297 84407

andris[at]bicg.eu

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New Corporate Members

New Corporate Members
Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance (BICG) is happy to announce new corporate members recently joining the association. The newest Baltic corporate members of the BICG is Strategic Staffing Solutions International, the European office and sister company of Strategic Staffing Solutions. "Strategic Staffing Solutions is pleased to join the Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance. We're proud to partner with a non-profit...

Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance (BICG) is happy to announce new corporate members recently joining the association.

The newest Baltic corporate members of the BICG is Strategic Staffing Solutions International, the European office and sister company of Strategic Staffing Solutions.

“Strategic Staffing Solutions is pleased to join the Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance. We’re proud to partner with a non-profit organization that works tirelessly toward implementing strong governance practices in Lithuania. As an IT and business solutions corporation with European headquarters in Vilnius, we would like to join BICG as thought partners and leaders in shaping best practices moving forward,” says Mantautas Paškevičius, Country Manager at Strategic Staffing Solutions International.

Joining BICG as a new National corporate member is Teo LT, an information and communication technology company.

“Today it is obvious that business success is no longer measured by profit figures only. Societies raise legitimate expectations towards business to demonstrate good corporate citizenship through ethical behaviour, environmental policies and sound corporate governance practices. We support this trend and strive to facilitate competitiveness of local companies through promotion of leading corporate governance practices,” says Kęstutis Šliužas, CEO of Teo.

Presently, BICG unites 36 corporate members in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, including stock exchanges, banks, auditing companies, law offices, manufacturers, state-owned enterprises.

The individual members of the association are serving as CEOs and board members of the largest companies in the Baltic states.

BICG is a non-profit and non-governmental organization missioned to deliver value to its stakeholders by promoting global competitiveness of enterprises in the Baltics and encouraging the businesses to adopt leading corporate governance practices.

Press Release

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Rail Baltica Governance Conference 2016

Rail Baltica Governance Conference 2016
Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance (BICG), in cooperation with the international advisory firm KPMG, the Ministry of Transport of Latvia and the Representation of the European Commission in Latvia, is very happy to announce the Rail Baltica Governance Conference 2016, to be held on the 29th of April in Riga. This international conference aims to evaluate the key challenges to be faced...

Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance (BICG), in cooperation with the international advisory firm KPMG, the Ministry of Transport of Latvia and the Representation of the European Commission in Latvia, is very happy to announce the Rail Baltica Governance Conference 2016, to be held on the 29th of April in Riga.

This international conference aims to evaluate the key challenges to be faced during the implementation of Rail Baltica and to discuss how internationally recognized governance practices can foster efficiency, accountability and integrity in the project.

Experts from Finland, UK, Italy and the Baltic states will discuss similar large-scale transport infrastructure projects implemented in other regions, including the best examples of good management.

“Rail Baltica is the most ambitious joint project of the Baltic states that involves a significant number of stakeholders. It is therefore crucial to come to terms regarding the optimum action to be taken to introduce internationally recognized good governance practices,” says Andris Grafs, BICG Country Manager in Latvia.

Please note that the language of the conference is English and it will be streamed online live, on the Latvian news website www.delfi.lv, here: http://live.tiesraides.lv/tiesraides.lv/live2/en/23.

Personal participation is by invitation only.

For the full agenda of the conference, please refer below:

Rail Baltica

 

Download:

Agenda

Press release

For more information, please contact:

Andris Grafs

Country Manager Latvia

Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance

+371 297 84407

andris[at]bicg.eu

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AGM decisions

AGM decisions
On the 12th of April, Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance (BICG) held the Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Governance Conference 2016. The members of the Institute approved the annual activity report and the set of financial statements, which can now be found online here. “We had a busy year in 2015, working to improve governance in the private sector, state...

On the 12th of April, Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance (BICG) held the Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Governance Conference 2016.

The members of the Institute approved the annual activity report and the set of financial statements, which can now be found online here.

“We had a busy year in 2015, working to improve governance in the private sector, state owned enterprises, and also in the municipality owned enterprises. An acknowledgement from the OECD  for our input into the report on current corporate governance framework for the Lithuanian SOEs was one of the many highlights,” says Paulius Martinkus, President of the BICG.

Three members of the BICG Board stepped down during the AGM and three new members were elected.

„I want to thank Sonata Matulevičienė, Regina Raukas and Per Skisaker for their contribution to promoting the best corporate governance practices, and I would also like to welcome Guntars Baļčūns, Riina Käi and Kęstutis Šliužas into our team,” says Paulius Martinkus.

Guntars Baļčūns is Member of the Management Board and Chief Financial Officer of Latvenergo, Riina Käi is Chief Financial Officer and Member of the Management Board of Tallinna Vesi, and Kęstutis Šliužas is the CEO of Teo and Omnitel.

More information about all of the BICG Board members can be found online here.

A Honorary Membership of the BICG this year was awarded to H. E. Deborah A. McCarthy, the American Ambassador to Lithuania.

In the annual Governance Conference 2016, the speakers from the U.S., UK, Sweden and Latvia shared their insights into corporate governance practices in different parts of the world and up to the year 2036.

Among the speakers were Simon Walker, Director General of the Institute of Directors in the UK; Baiba A. Rubesa, Chairperson of the Management Board and CEO of RB Rail; Michaël Berglund, founder of Michaël Berglund Search Group; Cynthia Pasky, founder of Strategic Staffing Solutions, and Raoul Hasselgren, corporate governance expert and a long time friend of the Institute.

Honorary Membership

Honorary Membership of the BICG was awarded to H. E. Deborah A. McCarthy, the American Ambassador to Lithuania.
Ambassadors
Among the guests were H.E. Cecilia Ruthström-Ruin, the Swedish Ambassador to Lithuania, H. E. Toomas Kukk, the Estonian Ambassador to Lithuania, and H.E. Einars Semanis, the Latvian Ambassador to Lithuania (not pictured).

Simon Walker, Director General, IoD

Among the speakers were Simon Walker, Director General of the Institute of Directors in the UK…

Baiba A. Rubesa, Chair of the MB and CEO, RB Rail

…and Baiba A. Rubesa, Chairperson of the Management Board and CEO of RB Rail.

Handshake

During the conference.

Raoul Hasselgren

Raoul Hasselgren (right), professional board member and corporate governance expert.

April 12, 2016, Vilnius.

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Annual General Meeting & Conference

Annual General Meeting & Conference
The importance of good corporate governance is becoming increasingly recognized in the Baltic region, with the Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance (BICG) continuing to lead in this necessary change. On the 12th of April, we will meet to exchange opinions, elect new BICG Board members, approve the BICG annual report and more. Following the Article 5.6 of the Statutes of...

The importance of good corporate governance is becoming increasingly recognized in the Baltic region, with the Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance (BICG) continuing to lead in this necessary change.

On the 12th of April, we will meet to exchange opinions, elect new BICG Board members, approve the BICG annual report and more.

Following the Article 5.6 of the Statutes of the Association “Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance”, legal entity code 302441498, registered address Jogailos str. 4, Vilnius, Lithuania, (the “Association”), the President of the Association hereby convenes the annual general meeting (AGM) of members of the Association, the main details of which can be found below:

Agenda of the AGM (EN)

Agenda of the AGM (LT)

AGM & Conference Program

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Important Announcement

Important Announcement
On March 4th, the Board of the Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance granted the request by the Chairman of the board Mr Antanas Zabulis, to be suspended as the Chairman. “Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance stands for the highest standards of transparency and accountability. To prevent any unwarranted reflections that the unfounded allegations recently made against me could make on...

On March 4th, the Board of the Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance granted the request by the Chairman of the board Mr Antanas Zabulis, to be suspended as the Chairman.

“Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance stands for the highest standards of transparency and accountability. To prevent any unwarranted reflections that the unfounded allegations recently made against me could make on the work of the Institute, I have asked for my chairmanship to be suspended, effective immediately. I am certain that any and all allegations regarding my personal conduct will soon be cleared up,” says Mr Zabulis.

The Board voted to authorise Mr Linas Dičpetris, a long-time member of the Board, to temporarily lead and coordinate the Board’s work during the suspension.

UPDATE:  As of the end of March, Mr Zabulis has fully suspended himself from the Board of the BICG.

President

Paulius Martinkus

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Invitation to a public discussion on Supervisory Councils of SOEs in Latvia

Invitation to a public discussion on Supervisory Councils of SOEs in Latvia
Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance is happy to invite representatives from Latvian ministries and state-owned enterprises, as well as politicians, entrepreneurs, experts and journalists to participate in a public discussion “How to establish professional Supervisory Councils in State-Owned Enterprises in Latvia”, organized in co-operation with Citadele Bank on the 9th of March in Riga. Among the topics of the discussion: - Challenges for SOEs...

Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance is happy to invite representatives from Latvian ministries and state-owned enterprises, as well as politicians, entrepreneurs, experts and journalists to participate in a public discussion “How to establish professional Supervisory Councils in State-Owned Enterprises in Latvia”, organized in co-operation with Citadele Bank on the 9th of March in Riga.

Among the topics of the discussion:

– Challenges for SOEs in establishing a Supervisory Council;
– Why do we need a professional Supervisory Council;
– Case study:  Citadele Bank Supervisory Council operations and interaction with shareholders and management;
– How to find professional Supervisory Council members;
– How to motivate a professional to become an independent member of a Supervisory Council.

There is no fee to attend this event, but registration is required, as seating is limited. Please register here.

To download the program, please follow the link below.

Program (LV)

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Anti-Bribery Workshop in Vilnius

Anti-Bribery Workshop in Vilnius
Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance invites to an Anti-Bribery Workshop for the compliance and business community, organized with TRACE International on the 29th of March in Vilnius. You will have an opportunity to hear from senior compliance executives representing multinational and local companies across industries, as well as the Lithuanian Ministry of Justice and the US Embassy in Lithuania. There...

Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance invites to an Anti-Bribery Workshop for the compliance and business community, organized with TRACE International on the 29th of March in Vilnius.

You will have an opportunity to hear from senior compliance executives representing multinational and local companies across industries, as well as the Lithuanian Ministry of Justice and the US Embassy in Lithuania.

There is no fee to attend this event, but registration is required, as seating is limited. To register, please click here.

The full agenda can be found below.

Download (EN)

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Learning from the Swedish SOEs governance experience

Learning from the Swedish SOEs governance experience
In January, Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance (BICG) and Business Sweden organized a conference "Best corporate governance practices of SOEs in Sweden" in Stockholm, where the Swedish Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation, as well as the Swedish SOEs shared their knowledge and experience with the participants from the Latvian, Lithuanian, Estonian SOEs and their shareholding ministries. "The Swedish corporate governance...

In January, Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance (BICG) and Business Sweden organized a conference “Best corporate governance practices of SOEs in Sweden” in Stockholm, where the Swedish Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation, as well as the Swedish SOEs shared their knowledge and experience with the participants from the Latvian, Lithuanian, Estonian SOEs and their shareholding ministries.

“The Swedish corporate governance model is an advanced one. The participants had many questions and we hope that the answers that were provided will help everyone in their work,” says Paulius Martinkus, the President of the BICG.

Among the topics discussed with the Swedish officials during the first day of the conference were the level of involvement by the shareholder, determining and monitoring financial and non-financial-goals, recruitment of independent board members.

“Good corporate governance and active/professional ownership not only increases value of the company, but also builds trust in the society. Swedish SOEs are a good example of that,” said Guntars Baļčūns, Chief Financial Officer at “Latvenergo”.

The second day of the conference was dedicated to the company presentations of the Swedish SOEs, including one of the largest producers of electricity and heat in Europe “Vattenfall”, the largest train operator in Sweden „SJ“ and the largest forest owner in Sweden „Sveaskog“.

“The practical workshops with actual Swedish companies, like „Vattenfall“, were extremely useful for getting a better grasp on how effectively the communication and trust-based cooperation between the state and SOEs works in Sweden. We have still much to learn from our Scandinavian neighbours in order to achieve such balanced and highly integrated cooperation level. But even if there certainly is a difference in the level of corporate governance between the two countries, Lithuania must take gradual steps and create integrated system to develop such functional mechanisms for state and SOEs cooperation,” said Rolandas Zukas, CEO of Lithuanian state owned energy holding „EPSO-G“.

Gints Bumbieris, Member of the Management Board at the Latvian state owned forestry company “Latvijas valsts meži”, notes that presentations of shareholders and company inputs “provided clear overview how focusing on sustainable and active ownership can lead to long-term development of the company”.

“The two inspiring days at the conference boosted our competences and understanding on implementation of corporate governance. In the future we suggest to include also more representatives of shareholders to take part in this type of events,” said Mr Bumbieris.

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