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back to index backEUROtalk February,  2017


Top priorities for European boards in 2017

For corporate boards across Europe, 2016 proved to be a challenging year. In particular, large European companies have had to deal with issues such as market volatility, sluggish economic growth, competition from new and unexpected areas, more complex – and therefore more demanding – regulation and, last but not least, increasing geopolitical uncertainty.

In such circumstances, there could be a temptation to focus on addressing the immediate risks and leave long-term strategic thinking for a quieter moment. In reality, such moments rarely happen. By the time you’ve waited for one to appear, your competitors may have already gained a competitive advantage that will be difficult – or even impossible – to claw back in the future.

Consequently, boards, as well as audit committees, should take time to reflect on their priorities, and those of their organization, for the months and years ahead. They should also give considerable thought to how they can insulate their company against risks that might endanger long-term success and continued viability. To stay ahead of the competition, it’s important to focus on innovation.

In this latest publication for board members, we set out what we consider to be the top priorities in 2017 for board members. We have considered geopolitical risks, regulatory change - such as tax and the EU audit reform - digitalization and its business impact, corporate compliance and culture and associated reputational issues, talent management, corporate social responsibility and, increasingly of importance, investor relations.

Our suggested priorities do not appear in order of importance and will not be of equal relevance to every board, or indeed, every organization. However, we believe they encompass all the issues that should be high on the agenda of all boards, regardless of their structure. In addition, we have provided a list of key questions for board members to consider in relation to each priority.

We hope that this will offer food for thought when planning your personal and corporate agenda for the coming – and without doubt challenging – year.

To read entire article, including detailed information on each priority, please click here.

Source: EY - GAI








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