Mohammed Al-Shroogi is the chairman of the GCC BDI and the co-chief executive officer of the global investment group, Investcorp. Prior to this, Al-Shroogi enjoyed a 30-year career with Citigroup in Bahrain, London and the UAE. He holds a BA in Commerce from Kuwait University and attended the Executive Program at Harvard Business School.
In your opinion, what role does the GCC BDI play in promoting excellence in directorship in the region?
The BDI’s major strength is its member network. By bringing together board directors from across the region, we have created a nexus of corporate governance excellence. We can share experiences, ideas and debate emerging best governance practices.
When wearing your other hat of Investcorp, how have you helped to drive and implement corporate governance in the company in 2016?
Not only is Investcorp listed on the Bahrain Bourse, one of the region’s most established and well respected exchanges, but we are also an investor in private companies around the world, sometimes taking these companies public themselves. Therefore, we see as both the investor and the investee how corporate governance can enhance value creation.
At the most fundamental level, at Investcorp, we are constantly hosting workshops and masterclasses for our investment professionals. It is important to understand that a key part of our business at Investcorp is all about maximising the potential of the companies in which we invest. Ensuring there is a strong board and corporate governance framework in place is an important part of this.
That means we have to ensure all our investment professionals are at the forefront of corporate governance thinking and working towards enhancing standards at our portfolio companies.
How does Investcorp’s corporate governance strategy impact the confidence of your investors and stakeholders?
In our view, good corporate governance involves keeping business practice above reproach and retaining the trust and confidence of all the stakeholders who enable Investcorp to operate, thrive and prosper.
This is perhaps more important to us than with most companies because Investcorp primarily invests in illiquid assets such as private companies and real estate, so our investors have to have full confidence in us to protect and grow their capital.
Investcorp’s corporate governance strategy has been developed over 30 years and is built around three principles. Firstly, alignment of interests among investors, clients and management, which can be seen in our practice of co-investing alongside our clients and our performance-based compensation model.
Secondly, transparency of reporting and actions along with proactive risk control, which involves the open and proactive discussion of issues and problems with all stakeholders.
Finally, the collective decision-making approach we have to running Investcorp and making investments, which ensures every investment we make has been fully analysed and assessed.
How will an improved corporate governance landscape across GCC businesses and governments help to improve the region in the coming years?
It all comes down to confidence and trust. If the market has more confidence and trust in a company, is has better access to capital, both domestic and foreign. This allows the company to invest and create more jobs, which in turn stimulate the growth of the wider economy.