Friday, July 19, 2013

Independent Board

Purpose of an Independent Board

We believe a Board with a majority of excellent independent directors can
  • offer advice, counsel and expertise to help management achieve excellence in stewardship of the business;
  • help us as owners to perpetuate a role model family business that benefits the interests of many in our society; and
  • provide a mutually enriching and rewarding experience for all those involved in governance.
So reads an important family business policy we first adopted in 1999.  Few family businesses have independent Directors on their Boards; even fewer have a majority of truly independent Directors (no prior or existing connection to the company or the businesses we serve); and still fewer have Directors who are not merely advisers, but bear fiduciary responsibility for the company, its shareholders, its employees, and its many other constituents.

Our Directors take their duties very seriously.  They have proven to be knowledgeable, experienced and wise.  They hold a range of functional and industry expertise, and bring thoughtful perspectives to bear.  They see themselves as fellow stewards of ABARTA, and they truly care.

The Board challenges us as managers of a diverse set of businesses.  The Board pushes us to think about business issues in new and different ways.  The Board holds us accountable to very high standards.  In sum, our independent Board of Directors makes us better.

Another family business policy, called the “Family Pledge to ABARTA Employees” concludes with the statement “We pledge to maintain an independent Board of Directors”.  As Chairman of the Board, I can assure you the governance process is very much alive and well at ABARTA.