The aim of this paper is to examine the nexus between firm-specific attributes and a company’s decision to setup a separate risk management committee (RMC) as a sub-committee of the board within the context of an emerging economy, South Africa.
The authors analyse data extracted from audited annual financial reports of 181 non-financial firms listed on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange (JSE) by using logistic regression technique.
The results show a strong positive relationship between the existence of a separate RMC and board independence, board size, firm size and industry type. However, the authors fail to find support for the hypotheses that independent board chairman, auditor reputation, reporting risk and financial leverage have an influence on a firm’s decision to establish RMC as a separately standing committee in the board structure. The findings signify the role of costs associated with information asymmetry, agency, upkeep of a standalone RMC, damage to the reputation of directors and industry-specific idiosyncrasies on a firm’s decision to form a separate RMC.
As in most empirical studies, this study focuses on listed firms. Nonetheless, future studies that focus on non-listed firms could add additional insights to the literature. Investigating the role of firm-specific governance attributes other than those considered in the present study (e.g. gender of directors, ownership structure, etc.) could further enhance the understanding of antecedents of risk-management practices.
The findings have practical implications for the investment community in assessing the quality of risk management practices of companies listed on the JSE. Furthermore, the results provide insights that are potentially useful to the King Committee and other corporate governance regulators in South Africa in their effort to improve corporate governance practices.
The present study focuses on firms drawn from an emerging economy which has profound economic, institutional, political and cultural differences compared to advanced economies, which have received a disproportionately higher share of attention in prior studies. Thus, the study contributes additional insights to the literature on corporate risk management from the perspective of an emerging economy.
The work is based on an M Com minor dissertation submitted to University of Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2013, by Nkoko B. Sekome
Blessy Sekome, N. and Taddesse Lemma, T. (2014), "Determinants of voluntary formation of risk management committees: Evidence from an emerging economy", Managerial Auditing Journal, Vol. 29 No. 7, pp. 649-671. https://doi.org/10.1108/MAJ-02-2014-0998Download as .RIS
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