今天是又累又开心的一天. 首先累是因为要帮一个朋友翻译一篇相当相当长的专业英语论文(见下文). 其实由于我之前期末要复习, 所以没空帮他译, 就一直搁在那, 等考完试再译. 可是我想不到他发给我的PDF转换成文档后会变成乱码的, 所以前天又临时叫他选另一篇文章来给我译. 他说十号就要收到译稿, 但是我昨晚(8号)才收到他的稿件, 要在10号前译完这么长的文间我觉得好像不太可能, 一方面因为这些论文都挺专业的, 另一方面量也实在太大了, 我从来没有帮别人 “免费” 译过这么长的文章. 不过我知道这位朋友肯定是在很无奈的情况下才找到我的, 所以我就当练习帮他译完了. 刚开始我以为译不完的, 叫他做好心理准备. 可是今天早上我开始译时, 却发现这篇论文没有我想像的那么难, 也可能是我平时练习惯了, 所以译得飞快, 连续三个小时就把这么长的文章搞定了, 暂且不论译得出不出色, 我反正是对自己今天的翻译效率感到非常吃惊!
接近一点多译完以后, 就和几个老外同学去市中心吃饭. 说来好像, 这三个老外同学本来不是我们班的, 可是和我选同一门选修课, 而且我们在一个小组任务中又是刚好是组员, 所以大家就认识了. 更好笑的是他们都不是爱尔兰人, 而是法国人! 和他们一组真的很开心, 因为大家性格很相近, 所以在一起时一点约束感也没有, 感到非常自在, 畅所欲言. 更重要的是他们对人非常有礼貌而且体贴. 之前参加过两次他们举行的Burger Party 和 Pizza Party, 吃了好多种不同类型的汉堡和Pizza, 真的大饱口福. 后来有一次我也请他们过来我宿舍, 我煮中国汤圆给他们吃. 菜我是不会煮的了, 只能跑去中国超市买了五六盒汤圆回来煮, 另外也买了一盒烧卖回来蒸, 最后他们吃得不亦乐乎, 我真想不到他们这么喜欢吃汤圆和烧卖, 心里立即放下心头大石, 因为之前很怕煮的东西不合他们的胃口.
他们是交换生, 明天就要回法国了. 我们之前说好在分别时要一起吃个饭道别的, 所以今天下午我们就在学校门口相聚, 一直去市中心吃饭. 在公交车上时, 我问他们想去什么样的餐厅, 他们居然异口同声地说: “Chinese restaurant!” 然后大家哄堂大笑. 想不到他们这么喜欢中国菜啊! 由于当时时间尚早. 我们不急着吃饭, 就在市中心到处闲逛. 我们再次走进爱尔兰世界闻名的大学Trinity College参观. 其实刚来爱尔兰时我也去过一次, 可是当时只是在校园内漫走, 没有进教学楼和图书馆参观. 这次我们进入教学楼和图书馆, 我真的感受颇深. 我走进博士生的办公楼, 发生那些楼房里面就像电影里的城堡一样, 给人一种神秘的感觉. 我看到了很多展示在大厅或者某个角落的一些恐龙或者别的动物的化石模型, 还有一些机械装置, 心里有一种很奇怪的感觉, 仿佛进入了远古时代. 进去图书馆更加让我吃惊, 因为它的藏书真的太多太多了, 比我们学校的书多很多! 走出教学楼, 我们在一片片草地上闲逛聊天. 草地好绿好绿, 放眼望去, 真的很舒服很舒服. 足球场上有足球比赛, 四周都围了不少观众. 总之一切都是让人如此的心旷神怡.
下午大概五点多, 我们就在一家中国餐厅坐下来吃饭了. 我是不吃辣的, 可是他们几个却非常喜欢吃辣, 于是我们点了六个菜, 四个不辣的, 两个辣的, 还点了一个汤. 他们吃饭时要用筷子, 我看到他们用筷子的手势觉得非常好笑. 他们夹菜时都夹不稳的, 要夹好几次才能夹到碗里. 我问了他们好几次要不要换一个勺子, 他们说不用, 因为他们对筷子很好奇. 他们一边吃一边地赞叹: “Great! Nice!” 其实, 很多老外都很喜欢中国菜的. 大家一边吃一边聊, 真的很开心. 我充分发挥我的 “吹水” 本领, 从中国的神话 “盘古开天地” 一直吹到 “文化大革命”, 听得他们又惊讶又开心, 经常开怀大笑. 其实我也不知道为什么我这么健谈, 和中国人一起健谈, 和老外一起更健谈, 真是天南地北, 什么都聊. 看来天性如此, 很难改变了, 呵呵.
吃过饭后, 我们去了一间酒吧. 市中心的酒吧真的和我们学校附近的那些不同, 感觉特别有气氛而且非常热闹. 我们在玩猜拳游戏, 输了罚喝一口啤酒或者红酒. 中途又有好几个爱尔兰青年加入我们的行列, 真的玩得很开心. 虽然我不是输得最多的, 可是一个晚上下来我也喝了很多, 起码喝了三杯红酒, 三杯啤酒了. 那个装啤酒的杯子不是我们一般见到的杯子, 是非常大的, 我估计一杯至少500毫升. 结果到后面我喝得有点头晕, 整个人轻飘飘的. 酒吧里面是一个舞台, 有一支乐队在一旁演奏像disco那样的音乐, 然后很多人在舞台里随意地跳舞. 后来不知怎么地我们也加进了跳舞的人群中. 闪烁的灯光, 激情的音乐, 再加上略微的醉意, 让我在人群中感到非常的迷离与飘逸, 和一堆人跳起来. 其实我也不知道我在跳什么, 我只是看别人怎么跳我也怎么跳. 那些人都玩得非常疯狂, 不停地把我拉来拉去, 转来转去, 我觉得自己好像变成一个陀螺. 闹到将近11点半, 我们终于决定打道回府了. 还好, 我们还赶上了最后一班公交, 不然就要打的士了.
回到学校后, 我和他们真的要道别了. 大家一一拥抱过后, 依依不舍地分开了. 他们一直对我说, 以后要是我有机会去法国了, 一定要提前通知他们. 我也说, 以后有机会来中国广东, 你们也要记得通知我! 其实, 现在回想起来, 虽然我遇到过一些超让人恶主的老外 “极品”, 可是有一些外国学生真的是挺好的, 像今晚这几个真的是很好很好. 我从来没有想过可以和老外的友情可以这么好的. 能够认识一些在来自不同国家的好同学, 也不枉这次爱尔兰的学习之旅了! 回来后我打开facebook, 发了一句信息给他们: “I have a strong sense that we will meet up again soon. Either you come to China or I go to Europe again! Just wait for me! Do take good care of yourself, guys! ”
Study on the Independent Director System in Corporate Governance
作者: Yurong Chen&Weixing Wang School of Economics and Management of Jiangsu Polytechnic University Changzhou 213164,Jiangsu,China
译者: 爱尔兰都柏林大学 赖小琪
As a system arrangement in corporate governance, implementation of the independent director will help improve structure of corporate governance, maintain interests of all stockholders, and protect rights and interests of small-and-medium size of investors. There exist such many issues as insufficient information of independent directors, weak independence, low enthusiasm, and shortage of talents in the practice of the independent director system in China.
Therefore, we should strengthen and optimize the independent director system with a Chinese characteristic.
作为公司治理的制度安排之一, 独立董事制度的执行将完善公司治理的结构, 维护全体股东的利益以及保护中小型投资者的权利与利益. 在中国独立董事制度执行的过程中存在不少问题, 如独立董事信息不充分, 独立性差, 工作热情不高以及人才缺乏.
Keywords: Corporate governance, Independent director, Insider control
关键词: 公司治理, 独立董事, 内部人控制
1. Significance of establishing the independent director system
The so-called independent director refers to a director who doesn’t hold a managerial position in the company in which he holds the position of director, and who doesn’t have a close relation with top management in terms of economics or relative interests. America is the country that established the independent director system earliest and perfect. Since 1930s, America has recommended public joint stock companies to establish “non-employee director”. The reason for introduction of the independent director system in corporate governance, on one hand, was that the director should express his opinions when an independent director makes a decision, especially some significant decisions about enterprise merger, connected transaction, stock repurchase, and interest conflict between large and small stockholders.
所谓独立董事, 是指在公司没有管理职位, 同时在经济或者相关利益上与管理层没有关联而仅仅只有董事职位的人. 美国是历史上成立独立董事制度最少和最好的国家. 自1930年起, 美国就一直鼓励公众股份制公司成立 “非雇员董事”. 之所以在公司治理中引入独立董事制度, 一方面是因为当独立董事做出某项决定时, 其他的董事也应当发表他们的意见, 特别是在一些重大的决定上, 如企业合并, 关联交易, 股票回购以及大股东和小股东之间的利益冲突等等.
This can prevent stockholders from conducting any behavior that is unfavorable to the company and its medium and small stockholders, and can weaken contradictions of large stockholders and medium and small stockholders in the aspect of interest conflict. On the other hand, the independent director is not subject to the controlling shareholders and the top management, so he can observe, assess and supervise the top management by means of his transcendent position, so as to effectively check and balance the controlling shareholders and supervise the operators, ensure that the Board of Directors considers interests of all shareholders, reduce insider control and large shareholder manipulation, and to effectively protect interests of medium and small shareholders. In addition, the independent director can promote scientification of decisions of the Board of Directors with his professional knowledge and independent judgment, improve transparency of the Board of Directors, make his decision-making process easily understood by other external parties, and attract excellent partners and potential investors, so as to upgrade the value of the enterprise.
这可以预防股东做出任何不利于公司以及中小股东的行为, 同时也可以减小大股东和中小股东的利益冲突. 另一方面, 独立董事并不受控于股东以及公司高层, 所以他可以借助其超然立场观察, 评估和监督公司管理高层, 从而达到有效审查以及平衡控股股东的利益, 监督经营者, 保证董事会考虑了全体股东的利益, 降低内部人控制以及大股东操纵, 同时有效保护中小股东的利益. 另外, 独立董事可以运用其专业知识和独立判断提高董事会的决策科学性和透明度, 使董事会的决策可以很容易地被其他外部投资者所了解, 同时吸引优秀的合作伙伴和潜在的投资者, 从而提升企业价值.
2. Practice of the independent director system in China
On August 21,2001,Chinese Securities and Futures Commission issued the<<Guiding Opinion of Establishment of Independent Director Systems by Listed Companies>>(short for<<Guiding Opinion>>below),which meant that independent director had entered Chinese listed companies as a significant system to standardizing and improving the governance structure of listed companies and to protect interests of medium-and-small size of investors. At present, introduction of the independent director has played a definite role in development and standardized operation of listed companies. However, as a newly born concept, the independent director is still at a groping stage, and there still exist several issues in the practice.
2001年8月21日, 中国证券及期货事务监察委员会发布<<建立我国上市公司独立董事制度的指导意见>> (下面简称<<意见>>). 这意味着独立董事制度作为企业管理结构标准化和完善化制度进入中国上市公司, 保护中小投资者的利益. 目前, 独立董事制度的引起在公司经营的标准化和公司发展方面起着绝对有效的作用. 然而, 作为一个新兴的概念, 独立董事制度仍然处于探索阶段, 在实践中仍然存在着一些问题.
2.1 The information an independent director grasps is not sufficient.
The independent director doesn’t participate in operation and management of a company, and he comes to understand the company merely through introduction of the managerial personnel or the financial statement. That is to say, “independence” of the independent director is embodied in his not engaging in the operation and management or in his understanding of the company according to the field of vision established by the governor in advance. In the situation of information asymmetry and incomplete contract, two sorts of behaviors of the managerial personnel might affect judgment of the independent director. One sort of behavior is incomplete or distorted information disclosure mentioned by Williamson, especially purposeful misguide, distortion, concealment and confusion, etc. The other type of behavior is non-deceptive information misguide or incompleteness of information, namely, significant omission of information disclosure. Therefore, actual judgment made by the independent director is encountered with great danger of distorting the truth. Under such a circumstance, it’s not possible for the independent director to effectively supervise behaviors of managerial personnel.
独立董事不参与公司的经营与管理, 他是通过管理层的说明或者是财务报表来了解公司的. 也就是说, 独立董事的 “独立” 是体现在他对公司的经营和管理 “非参与性” 上的, 或者体现在他只是根据公司管理者预先设定的视角来了解公司的. 在信息不对称或者交流不完全的情况下, 管理层的以下两种行为可能会影响独立董事的判断. 第一种行为是威廉森提出的不完全或者扭曲的信息披露, 特别是故意误导, 扭曲和隐藏相关信息以及制造疑惑等等. 另一种行为是非欺骗性的误导或者信息不充分, 即信息披露的重大遗露. 因此, 独立董事实际做出的决定可能有扭曲事实的风险. 在这样的环境下, 独立董事就不可能有效地监督管理层的行为了.
2.2 Independence of the independent director is not enough.
Criticism on “vase” has always been perplexing the independent director of listed companies. According to relative investigation, 33%independent directors never say “No” in the decision by vote of the Board of Directors, and 35% independent directors never express any divergent opinions from major stockholders or top managers of listed companies. “Dependence” has been the primary crisis among independent directors. However, it is exactly design defect of systems which include nominating, hiring, and remuneration that result in this crisis.
上市公司的独立董事一直以来都受到 “瓶颈” 批评的困扰. 根据相关的调查, 33% 的独立董事在董事会的投票决策中从来没有说过 “不” 字; 35%的独立董事从来没有发表过与上市公司主要股东或者管理高层相佐的意见. “非独立” 已经成为独立董事们的主要危机. 然而, 这正是该体制的设计缺陷, 包括任命, 雇用以及企业付薪等导致的危机.
2.3 Work enthusiasm of the independent director is not high.
It is stipulated in the<<Guiding Opinion>>that the independent director shouldn’t be absent from the Board of Directors for consecutive three times, and meanwhile, that he has to express his special opinion as for such significant matters as associative transaction. However, it hasn’t been stipulated whether the independent director should be authorized to vote when he doesn’t attend a meeting, whether the independent director should review and express his special opinion about periodic report of listed companies, and how the independent director should be punished if he violates the<<Guiding Opinion>>,so some independent directors are often absent from the Board of Directors, and transfer their vote rights to chairmen and general managers who are not independent directors of the company. When there happens a problem in the company and it is put on record and investigated, the independent director is not only absent from relative meetings, but doesn’t sign his name on correlative records, so he can be remitted from administrative penalty. Besides, interrelated civil accountability system is not sound, so there is no way to look into the civil liability.
<<意见>>里规定, 独立董事不得连续缺席董事会会议三次以上, 同时, 他必须要对重大事项如关联交易发表自己的意见. 然而, <<意见>> 却没有明文规定独立董事在不参加会议的情况下有投票表决权, 是否应该审查上市公司的期间报告以及发表意见以及当独立董事违反<<意见>>时是否应当受到处罚. 因此, 一些独立董事经常在董事会会议上缺席, 把他们的投票权留给非独立董事的董事长和一般管理人员. 当公司出现问题而且记录在案并且付诸调查时, 独立董事如果在相关会议上缺席而且没有在相关的文件记录上签字, 那么他就可以免除行政处罚. 另外, 相关民事问责制也不够完善, 所以我们没有办法追究民事责任.
2.4 Introduction of the independent director is incompatible with the system of Board of Supervisors.
The independent director system originated from countries with a law system of US and UK in which the Common Law is the primary law. These countries usually adopt the Board of Directors system structure of “single system” in the shareholding organization of corporate governance and there isn’t any independent Board of Supervisors in corporate organizational structuring. Therefore, the companies strengthen independence of the Board of Directors, introduce the independent director system, try to reform the supervision mechanism within the existing “single system” framework, and to enable the Board of Directors to exercise the supervision responsibility on the managerial authorities, so as to regress controlling power of the shareholders and to balance the insider control. China adopts the structural organizational framework of continental law system “binary system” in its corporate legislation, namely, to set up Board of Directors and Board of Supervisors under the General Meeting of shareholders, which respectively exercise decision-making right and supervision right.
独立董事制度来源于英美法系的国家, 这些国家的主要法系是普通法. 这些国家在上市公司的治理中往往采取 “单一体系” 的董事会制度结构, 在公司组织构建中并没有独立的监事会. 因此, 公司需要加强董事会的独立性, 引起独立董事制度, 尽量在现行的 “单一体系” 框架中对监管体制进行改革, 并且尽量让董事会可以履行对管理层的责任, 以便回归股东的控制权以及平衡内部者控制. 中国在公司法中采取大陆法中的 “二元法系”里面的组织结构框架, 即在股东大会下设立董事会和监事会, 分别履行决策权和监督权.
The Board of Supervisors is an especial organization to protect interests of the shareholders, to supervise the Board of Directors to perform any resolution of the General Meeting of shareholders, and to supervise the board members and managers. According to institutional economics, function of system design lies in rationally defining limit of rights, only with which can the responsibility be explicit, and can the operating cost of the system be reduced so as to decrease external effects. As things are, if rights and liabilities of Board of Supervisors and the independent directors are not clear-cut, then dispute and prevarication between these two organizations due to the psychology of “hitchhiking” might reduce the only supervision performance to nothing. As for how to coordinate
relations between the independent director and the Board of Supervisors, Shenzhen Stock Exchange avoids this issue in its<<Growth Enterprise Market Trading Rules>>, while Shanghai Stock Exchange attaches the right of financial examination simultaneously to these two organizations in its<<Corporate Governance Guideline for Listed Companies>>.Therefore, both are responsible for the supervision, only with a result of wasting resources or mutual prevarication. Securities and Futures Commission doesn’t mention any relation between the independent director and the Board of Supervisors in its<<Guiding Opinion>>.
监事会是保护股东权益的特殊机构, 主要监督董事会对股东大会通过的决策的履行情况以及监督董事会成员和管理层. 根据制度经济学, 制度设计的作用在于合理地界定权限, 只有这样, 各方的责任才能明确, 制度的运营成本才会缩减, 以增加外部效应. 以此类推, 如果监事会与独立董事的权利与义务界定不清, 两个机构就会因为 “搭便车” 心理而发生争执和推委, 最后只会让监督职能形同虚设. 关于如何协调独立董事和监事会的关系, 深圳证券交易所在<<增长型企业市场交易规则>>中并没有谈及这个问题, 而上海证券交易所则在其<<上市公司治理准则>>中把财务审查职能同时交给这两个部门. 因此, 两个部门都以监督为职责, 这导致了资源的浪费和责任的推委. 证券及期货事务委员会在<<意见>>中并未提及独立董事和监事会的关系.
2.5 Strength of guide and supervision of the independent director is not strong.
Introduction of the independent director system is an innovation of the governance model in binary companies in China. Theoretically, this innovation helps make up for disadvantages of the Board of Supervisors in terms of the subsequent supervision. However, in practice, the supervision function of the independent director is not as what is originally expected. One important reason is the fact that, after the implementation of the independent director system, the stock supervision department neglects administrative guide and supervision on the independent director, excessively believes in and depends on self-conscious play of the supervision function of the independent director,and put its constraint mostly on the moral level of the independent director.
独立董事制度的引进是中国二元公司治理结构模型的一大创新. 理论上讲, 这个创造有助于弥补监事会在后续监督中的不足. 但是在实践中, 独立董事的监督功能并没有预期那么好. 一个很重要的原因是独立董事制度执行后, 证券监管部门忽视了对独立董事的行政指导与监督, 过分地相信和依赖独立董事的自主监督功能, 而且仅仅局限在规范独立董事的道理层面.
2.6 There is a shortage of talents among independent directors.
Currently, most of independent directors hired by listed companies are technical experts. The primary role of the independent director is to perfect the corporate governance structure in the company. However, it is far from enough for a technical expert to hold the position of an independent director who is merely proficient in the main business of the company. Especially, under the circumstance when the ownership structure is extremely irrational, a listed company not only requires the technical expert to give suggestions on developmental strategy of the company, but needs a relatively impartial independent director to play his supervising and balancing role in the corporate governance structure, capital utilization and management of the company, so as to achieve the target of improving its corporate governance structure and protecting interests of medium-and-small size of investors.
目前, 上市公司聘用的独立董事大多是技术型专家. 独立董事最主要的任务是完善公司治理结构. 然而, 仅仅依靠只精通公司主要业务的技术型专家来担任独立董事是不够的. 尤其是当股权结构非常不合理的情况下, 上市公司不仅需要技术型专家来为公司的发展战略提供建议, 还需要一个相对公正的独立董事在公司治理结构, 资本利用以及公司管理上履行其监督和平衡角色, 以实现提高公司治理结构和保护中小型投资者利益的目的.
3. Improvement and perfection of thought on the independent director system
Practice of many countries indicates that the independent director system plays an extremely important role in specialized operation of a company, in the judgment and supervision of the operators and top managerial personnel and in protecting interests of medium and small investors. However, if there isn’t a series of perfect institutional arrangement for guarantee, then this system might soon become just a decoration. Therefore, full play of the role of the independent director calls for a set of independent director systems that fits in characteristics of Chinese listed companies and also for support from a harmonious external environment.
许多国家的实践证明, 独立董事制度在公司专业化经营, 经营者和高层管理人员的评估与监督以及保护中小型投资者方面起着非常重要的作用. 但是, 如果没有一系列完善的机构管理安排, 这个制度也可能很快就变得形同虚设. 因此, 独立董事作用的有效发挥需要一套符合中国上市公司特色以及得到和协外部环境支持的独立董事制度.
3.1 Reinforcement and perfection of Board of Supervisors
The independent director system is an assistant mechanism in the corporate governance. Even in US which has successful experiences in operation of the independent director system, the role of its independent director is often challenged because there lacks the target of shareholder interest maximization in its independent directors, and their supervision is restricted by time and information. As for listed companies in China, it’s most important to reinforce and perfect formulation and operation mechanism of the special supervisory organ and to play the supervision role of the Board of Supervisors. After all, as a standing supervision organ within the joint-stock company, the Board of Supervisors helps with precaution beforehand, timely standardization and subsequent supervision, and tries to resolves an issue with internal corporate mechanism, which not only increases efficiency of problem resolution and saves social cost and resources, but also may try not to publicize disputes within the company, so as to affect confidence of investors and the image and reputation of the company, and to prevent some business secrets from being divulged during internal controversy and investigation or litigation of any external power.
独立董事制度是公司治理的辅助制度. 即使在美国这个在独立董事制度的推行中有着成功经验的国家, 独立董事的角色仍然经常面临挑战, 因为独立董事缺乏股东利益最大化目标, 同是他们的监督受到时间和信息的限制. 就中国的上市公司而言, 最重要的是加强和完善这个特殊的监管机构的确立与执行, 让其与监事会一样履行监管职责. 毕竟, 作为股份制公司现行的监管机构, 监事会可以对未来的问题提供预警, 及时对公司的管理规范标准化以及进行后续监督, 同时尽可能地解决公司内部体制问题. 这不仅提高了解决问题的效率和节省社会资源成本, 也可以尽可能地避免公司内部的分歧公开化, 以免影响投资者的信心以及公司的形象和声誉, 也可以避免在内部争论和外部势力的调查或者诉讼中导致公司的商业秘密泄露.
3.2 Coordination of functions of the independent director and the Board of Supervisors
Supervision of the independent director has the characteristics of close integration of supervision beforehand, internal supervision and decision-making supervision, while the Board of Supervisors has the characteristics of frequent supervision, subsequent supervision and external supervision that the independent director system doesn’t have. Full play of the arrangement functions of these two systems depends not only on perfection of each system per se, but on coordination of these two systems. In order for the independent director and the existing corporate governance structure in China to “switch in seamlessly”, it is necessary not only to play the role of the independent director and the Board of Supervisors, but to avoid functional conflicts and the situation of no one being responsible.
独立董事监督集事前监督, 内部监督, 决策监督的特征于一体, 而监事会则具备经常监督, 后续监督以及外部监督的特征, 而这些特征是独立董事所不具备的. 这两种制度职能的妥善安排不仅取决于它们本身的完善程度, 也取决于它们之间的协调程度. 为了让中国的独立董事和现行的公司治理结构配合得天衣无缝, 我们不仅需要独立董事和监事会, 还要避免它们之前的职能冲突以及无人履职的情况.
Therefore, (1) the company should define and integrate functions of the independent director and the Board of Supervisors. Since it has been expressively stipulated in the<<Common Law>>on the Board of Supervisors, then the company should take up strengthening the supervision function of the Board of Supervisors. Functions of the independent director can be concentrated on examining and approving significant associative transactions, nomination of internal board members, audit and control of salary of internal board members and managers and financial information of the company, etc. (2) The company should establish a negotiation and cooperation mechanism between the independent director and the Board of Supervisors. It is necessary to regularly hold a meeting which is only attended by the independent director and the Board of Supervisors, in which they can exchange information and report any new conditions. The meeting can be convened by the independent director and the Board of Supervisors in turns. The independent director can have access to and utilize the financial audit report of the Board of Supervisors, and can recommend the Board of Supervisors to give a specific audit on a certain financial item.
因此, (1) 上市公司应该明确定义以及统一独立董事和监事会的职能. 既然<<普通法>>已经对监事会有明文规定, 公司就应该积极加强监事会的监管职能. 独立董事的职能可以专注于检查和批阅重大的关联交易, 内部董事成员的任命, 内部董事成员及管理层薪酬和公司财务信息的审计与控制, 等等. (2) 上市公司应当在独立董事和监事会之间设立一个协商合作机制. 定期让独立董事与监事会单独会面是非常必要的, 通过这样两者可以交流相关信息以及各自汇报最新的情况. 会议可以由独立董事和监事会轮流召开. 独立董事有权查阅和利用监事会的财务审计报告, 同时可以建议监事会就某个财务项目进行特别审计.
3.3 Perfection of selection and employment mechanism of the independent director
What’s special for the independent director is his “independence” and “being sensible”. Firstly, he is required to be “independent”. That is, he should have independent property, independent personality, independent business, independent interest and independent operation. Secondly, he is required to be “sensible”. In order for the independent director to play his proper role, he is required to have high qualifications in terms of professional ethics, professional knowledge and social qualifications, etc. The number of the listed companies in which the independent director can hold a position should exceed three, so that he can have enough time and energy to participate in the operation and decision-making of the company. He should be in good condition, with the age from 35 to 60 being the optimal choice. Selection and employment of the independent director is the key to ensuring personality independence and exercise independence of the independent director.
独立董事的最独特之处在于他的 “独立” 与 “理性”. 首先, 他必须 “独立”. 也就是说, 他必须要有独立的资产, 独立的个性, 独立的业务, 独立的利益以及独立的运作. 第二, 他必须是 “理性” 的. 为了让独立董事可以更好的履行他的职责, 他必须具有在专业道德, 专业知识以及社会资历等方面有较高的造诣. 上市公司的独立董事数目必须有3个以上, 这样它才可以有足够的时间与精力来参与公司的运作与决策. 独立董事必须有良好的身体素质, 年龄最好在35-60之间. 独立董事的选择与任命对保证性格独立和履行其职能的独立性至关重要.
In order to isolate relations between the independent director and major shareholders from the selection and employment of personnel, a listed company should set up a Nominating Committee of the independent directors, which is particularly responsible for selection and supervision of board members. The Nominating Committee should be constituted by supervision organ, professional personnel and medium and small shareholders. Therefore, it is suggested that the first selection of positions should be nominated by the Board of Directors, Board of Supervisors, or those shareholders who hold above 1%of issued capital stocks individually or together with others, and also that the cumulative voting system should be introduced, so as to ensure that medium and small shareholders can select an independent director who represents their will. Afterwards, the Nominating Committee constituted by the independent directors can decide to select candidates the next independent directors, which should be submitted to the General Meeting of shareholders for vote. The General Meeting of shareholders adopts competitive election. Besides, the independent director should be regularly replaced, and his term of office should not be too long(a term of 3-5 years being best), so as to ensure his independence.
为了让独立董事与主要股东不参与到员工的选择与聘用, 上市公司应当设立独立董事任命委员会, 以专门负责董事会成员的选择与监督. 任命委员会必须由监管机构, 专业员工以及中小股东组成. 因此, 这意味着职位的后选人应当由董事会, 监事会或者持股份额总额在1%以上的个体股东或者集体股东任命, 同时应当引进累积投票制, 以保证中小股东可以选择合适的独立董事代表他们的立场. 之后, 由独立董事组成的任命委员会可以决定下一届独立董事的后选人, 并把他们的名单递交到股东大会进行投票表决. 股东大会可以采取比赛竞选. 另外, 独立董事应当定期换届, 每个独立董事的任期不能太长(最好在3-5年), 以保证他的独立性.
3.4 Establishment and improvement of incentive and constraint mechanism of the independent director.
The independent director is not merely a consultant, because medium and small shareholders expect him to play an actual role and even to go against the controlling shareholders in terms of right-safeguarding. Therefore, the legal rights of the independent director should be effectively guaranteed in the legal system. Only if the rights of the independent director are guaranteed in the legal system, can he play a proper and due role.
独立董事不仅仅是一个顾问, 因为中小股东希望他可以切实履行其职责甚至出于维权需要而与控股股东抗衡. 因此, 独立董事的法律权利应当在相关法律制度中予以有效保障. 只有独立董事的权利在法律上得到保障, 他才可以履行其应有的职责.
Motive of the independent director originates from the reputation and remuneration mechanism. (1)Reputation mechanism. Reputation is one of the significant mechanisms to ensure implementation of a contract. As for the independent director, maintenance of his reputation is an important motive to prompt him to perform his duty. Reputation mechanism may stimulate the independent director to supervise the executive director and managers, so that collusion between the independent director and the executive director and managers can be avoided to a certain extent. In market economy, formulation and perfection of the market selection mechanism and judgment system of the independent director is a precondition and fundamental guarantee of the functioning of reputation mechanism (2) Remuneration mechanism. As a primary means to stimulate hard work of the independent director and to play his important role in the corporate governance, rationality of remuneration has a direct effect on enthusiasm of the independent director. Remuneration of an independent director is an intractable issue, because too high remuneration might result in his dependence on the company, and too low remuneration can’t stimulate his enthusiasm.
独立董事的动机来源于声誉和薪酬政策. (1)声誉政策. 声誉是确保合同履行的重要因素之一. 对独立董事来说, 保持自身的声誉是促使他履行职责的重要动机之一. 声誉政策可以激发独立董事对执行董事和管理人员进行监督, 避免独立董事与执行董事以及管理人员串通共谋. 在市场经济中, 建立和完善独立董事的市场选择机制和评估机制是保证声誉政策得到正常运行的前提和根本条件. (2) 薪酬政策. 作为刺激独立董事积极工作和履行其在公司治理中的重要职责, 合理的薪酬对独立董事的工作热情有直接的作用. 独立董事的薪酬是一个棘手的问题, 因为薪酬太高会让他对公司产生依赖, 而太低又不能刺激他的工作热情.
The role of the independent director is to supervise and restrict administrative authorities of the company. Once he is excessively dependent on the remuneration, he might lessen due inquiry and counterviews from the managerial personnel, and consequently, his independence might be destroyed. Given the above consideration, a common practice is to pay his remuneration in the form of annual fee and conference expenses, etc, nothing related to the corporate performance. However, with view to the role of the independent director that is to supervise and balance managerial personnel of a listed company, and to the fact that remuneration plays an important role in stimulating enthusiasm of the independent director, it is also feasible to offer the stock option to the independent director in addition to actual fixed monetary remuneration in order to bring interests of the independent director and shareholders into correspondence. In such way, a great variation emerges intangibly in the total remuneration of the independent director, which can stimulate his enthusiasm in taking part in decision making of the company.
独立董事的职责是对公司的行政机构进行监督和约束. 而一旦他过分地依赖薪酬, 他可能会降低对管理层行为的质疑, 结果会导致他的独立性降低. 鉴于上述的考虑, 惯常的做法是以年费或者会议费用等形式来支付他的薪酬, 这些形式与公司的业绩无关. 然而, 鉴于独立董事的职责是监督和平衡上市公司管理层的行为以及薪酬在激发独立董事工作热情上的重要作用, 公司除了给独立董事支付固定数额的薪金外, 还可以提供股票期权给他, 让他将独立董事的利益和股东的利益联系起来. 这样, 独立董事的薪酬组合发生了变化, 可以大大地刺激他参与公司决策的热情.
As an agent, the independent director also has an opportunistic behavior just like an industrialist. In order for the independent director to exercise his rights impartially and equitably, nothing can go without a constraint mechanism in addition to above-mentioned incentive mechanism. Only when constraint on the independent director is emphasized, can the independent director be established upon the basis of the system, but not merely on the basis of the individual initiative and self-consciousness.(1)To make clear legal liabilities of the independent director and to strengthen legal constraints o him. In order to avoid nonfeasance or immoral conducts of the independent director, definite stipulation should be made on the liabilities he should assume and on the legal consequences. If an independent director doesn’t properly perform his duty, doesn’t fully play his role in the listed company, or is bribed by the major shareholders, then he should not only be punished in terms of his morality, but should also assume civil compensation liability for any loss of the company or other shareholders. In order to avoid the independent director from being absent from the board meeting, his absence should considered as approval of any decision made by the Board of Directors from the Asian Social Science July, 2009 perspective of the law, and he should also assume proper obligation.
作为代理, 独立董事也会像实业家一样有投机行为. 为了让独立董事更公正与公平地履行他的职责, 除了上述的激励机制外, 一个有效的约束机制也是必不可少的. 只有当对独立董事的约束真正得到重视, 独立董事可以在此基础上真正地成立, 而不是仅仅依靠个人的自主性与自觉性. (1)明确独立董事的法律责任, 加强对其的法律约束. 为了避免独立董事的失职或者一些不道德行为, 我们应当明确他应当承担的法律责任以及相关的法律后果. 如果独立董事没有尽职, 或者被一些大股东贿赂, 那么他不仅要受到道德层面上的惩罚, 还需要对公司以及其他股东的损失承担民事赔偿责任. 为了避免独立董事缺席董事会会议, 根据2009年7月的<<亚洲社会科学>>, 他的缺席将意味对董事会做出的所有决定表示默认支持, 同时他也应当承担相应的责任.
(2)To strengthen integrity and diligence obligation of the independent director. Considering the general weak consciousness of among the independent directors currently in Chinese listed companies, a lowest requirement should be made for their duty performance time each year. When on post, they are required to make a commitment that they will have enough time and energy to perform their duty. Besides, responsibility investigation mechanism should be intensified for their breach of duty. (3)The company should establish and improve performance assessment system among independent directors, and regular assessment should be made among them. Their performance assessment should be primarily based on the performance situation of their functions (supervision function, assessment function, and strategic function),together with several indices. Performance indices of the independent directors include frequency and time of their participation in the Board of Directors and in relevant committee meetings, their attitudes towards significant decisions and their votes, their suggestions on the Board of Directors and its Committee and the implementation performance, their opinions and assessment on the corporate operation, their advisory opinions on the operational strategy, and their views on authenticity of disclosed information about the listed companies.
(2)加强独立董事的廉正与尽职. 中国上市公司对独立董事制度的重要性普遍缺乏意识, 因此我们应当每年为独立董事的义务履行情况设立最低的要求. 任职时, 他们应当承诺以后会有足够的时间与精力来履行义务. (3)公司应当建立和完善独立董事的业绩评估系统, 定期对他们进行评估. 他们的工作评估不仅仅是看他们职能(监督职能, 评估职能和战略职能)的履行情况, 还需要结合其他几个指标. 独立董事的业绩评估应包括参与董事会会议以及别的相关会议的频率与时间, 对董事会及其委员会以及工作的执行情况提供的建议, 对公司运营的意见与评估, 对营运策略的建议以及对上公司披露的信息的真实性发表的意见.
(4) To actively cultivate the independent director market. Establishment of the independent director can, on one hand, provide impartial and equitable evaluation on human capital of the independent directors, which facilitates training of talents among the independent directors. On the other hand, its establishment can connect closely the reputation and behavior of an independent director by means of the mechanism to publicize information through the market, so as to formulate a convincing constraint on the independent director.
(4) 积极培养独立董事市场. 设立独立董事制度一方面可以为独立董事的人力资本提供客观公平的评估, 便于对独立董事中的人才进行培训, 另一方面也可以通过在市场上公开信息将独立董事的声誉和行为紧密地联系起来, 形成对独立董事的强大约束力.
3.5 Establishment of self-regulatory organization of the independent director
For establishment of the independent director system which matches China’s actual conditions, it is also crucial to establish such self-regulatory organizations as independent director association, and independent director office, etc, to work out a practice standard, to improve the market system of the independent director, to establish and improve the “business reputation” system of the independent director, and to strengthen training and self-regulatory education among the independent directors. Establishment of the independent director association with a membership system can reinforce training and education among the independent directors, which can form a specialized independent director level, intensify construction of the independent directors, standardize and restrict behaviors of the independent directors. Compared with the independent director association, operation of the independent director office tends to marketization. The independent director office can transfer liability of a natural person to liability of a legal person. It is a carrier which constrains the independent director and can replace the independent director to assume the liability. In the situation when the “business reputation” system of professional persons hasn’t been established in China, the independent director can directly standardize and restrict behaviors of the independent director, which is propitious for the independent director to play the role of independent judgment, supervision and management, and which is helpful for actual implementation of professionalization of the independent director.
除了建立适合中国实际情况的独立董事制度, 建立一个像独立董事协会, 独立董事办公室等类型的自律组织, 制定行为准则, 提高独立董事的市场机制, 加强独立董事的自律教育也非常重要. 建立以会员制度为形式的独立董事协会可以增强独立董事的训练与教育. 从专业独立董事层面来说, 这可以加强独立董事的建设, 规范以及约束他们的行为. 与独立董事协会相比, 独立董事办公室的运作则更倾向于市场化. 独立董事办公室可以将自然人的责任转为法人的责任. 这是约束独立董事以及替换独立董事以承担责任的力量的载体.当中国专业人士的 “商业信誉” 制度还未确立时, 独立董事会可以直接规范和约束独立董事成员的行为, 这有利于独立董事履行其独立的判断, 监督以及管理的职能, 同时也有利于独立董事专业化的执行任务的进行.