Driven by a resolute vision to be at the forefront in the ASEAN region by being the catalyst in the Philippine corporate governance ecosystem towards an inclusive and sustainable development, the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) is leaving no stones unturned in its commitment to build better corporate boards.
As a non-stock, non-profit national association of corporate directors and other stakeholders engaged in corporate governance, the ICD has been championing good corporate governance and stewardship that shall redound to the overall benefit of society and the Filipino people since its establishment in 1999 by founding chairman Dr. Jesus P. Estanislao.
Dr. Estanislao, who served as National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Director-General and Secretary of Finance during the time of then President Corazon Aquino, put up ICD in the aftermath of the Asian financial crisis.
He has always been committed to governance reforms as evidenced by his move to put up ICD for corporate governance as well as simultaneously heading the Institute for Solidarity in Asia, which focuses on national governance.
A year before establishing ICD, Dr. Estanislao was the founding Dean of the Asian Development Bank Institute in Tokyo, Japan.
After his tenure in the cabinet of President Cory ended in 1992, he served as the founding President of the University of Asia and the Pacific, which was previously known as the Center for Research and Communications.
The ICD Chairman Emeritus has had many published works and he has at least four for the institute including the “Practical Guidelines for Board Governance Committees,” “Practical Guidelines for Audit Committees,” “Practical Guidelines for Risk Oversight Committees,” and “Practical Guidelines for Financial Numeracy for Corporate Directors.”
With a well-defined vision and mission in place, ICD immediately buckled down to work with its no-nonsense dedication to the professionalization of corporate directorship as it continuously strives to raise the level of corporate governance policy and practice in the Philippines to world-class standards.
ICD’s commitment to the attainment of its goals and objectives is anchored on its core values of social responsibility, excellence, ethics, patriotism, independence, and solidarity.
Today, amid the transition of leadership over the years from Dr. Estanislao to Atty. Cesar L. Villanueva, as the current Chairman, ICD remains steadfast in the very same commitment that it has set forth nearly 25 years ago.
It continues to raise the corporate governance commitment of the board in driving strategy, improving performance, and contributing to inclusive and sustainable development. It has been ICD’s mantra, then and now, in its advocacy to build better corporate boards.
Essence of Good Corporate Governance
ICD inculcates among its members the importance of good and effective corporate governance. It proselytizes in public that good corporate governance is an essential ingredient to contribute to the betterment of society and the Filipino people.
As one of the organizations that comprise the Centers for Excellence in Governance (CEG), ICD believes that good corporate governance is about doing what’s right, and doing it well.
Since 2018, the organization has had numerous awardees or honorees of the prestigious Golden Arrow recognition as perfect examples of how good corporate governance should be.
Good corporate governance is critical to a country’s global competitiveness and has been shown to have a direct correlation with corporate profitability and growth. Government and regulators require it. Companies of all sizes need it.
Good corporate governance protects and balances all stakeholder interests, strengthens business relationships, increases access to external financing, and leads to better operational performance.
Adoption of good corporate governance practices results to sustained returns and increased shareholder value; factors that help attract investment for companies.
The Men and Women of ICD
ICD is governed by a 12-person Board of Trustees, each of whom serves a three-year term and each has the opportunity to be re-elected and serve for up to two terms more. While the election of the members of the Board of Trustees is every year, only four director positions are being opened for election every year to ensure continuity and hassle-free transition.
The Board is currently headed by Atty. Villanueva as Chairman and ably backstopped by Ma. Aurora ‘Boots’ D. Geotina-Garcia, who is the Vice-Chairperson and President of ICD.
The other director-members of the Board of Trustees of ICD include Ida Ceniza-Tiongson, Director and Treasurer, Atty. Bendicta Du-Balabad, Atty. Pedro H. Maniego, Ma. Victoria C. Españo, Jonathan Juan DC Moreno, Tomasa H. Lipana, Senen L. Matoto, Donald Patrick L. Lim, Henry Rhoel R. Aguda, Geocel D. Olanday, and Atty. Teodoro Kalaw IV.
The ICD team that implements the programs, activities, and initiatives of the non-profit organization is led by Dr. Carlos Jose P. Gatmaitan as Chief Executive Officer, heading a total of seven key departments.
The seven departments include Finance, HR and Admin, Programs, Partnerships, and Marketing, Corporate Governance Advocacy, Members Relations, Board Advisory and Consulting Services, and Faculty, Research, and Development. These departments are all staffed with competent professionals, whose average age, according to the ICD CEO is around 30.
According to Dr. Gatmaitan, ICD currently has 501 members and these members are divided into Regular Members, Associate Members, Graduate Members, Experience-based Members, Fellow, Honorary, and Life Fellows. From previously accepting individual members only, the organization is now also accepting corporate membership, and each company member can bring to the ICD fold between three to five individual members.
Raising Corporate Governance Commitment
So how does ICD raise its corporate governance commitment?
As an institution, ICD relies primarily on knowledge enhancement and capacity building to breathe life to its advocacies divided into four synergistic functions – Publish, Educate, Empower, and Engage.
ICD is recognized as a national and international resource for corporate governance content. The institute promotes its advocacies through the publication of director surveys, reports, course modules and primers.
It is also a member of the Global Network of Director Institutes (GNDI).
ICD has likewise established relations with global organizations involved in corporate governance including the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the ASEAN Capital Markets Forum (ACMF).
ICD offers corporate governance learning solutions for board members and senior executives. Through customized in-depth learning sessions composed of lectures, case studies, and structured learning experiences, ICD helps professionalize the practice of corporate directorship.
Learning sessions are facilitated by a distinguished faculty composed of ICD Fellows, professional directors who are recognized for their expertise and experience.
ICD is the only institution in the Philippines accredited as a corporate governance training body by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Insurance Commission (IC), Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the Governance Commission for Government-Owned or-Controlled Corporations (GCG) and the Career Executive Service Board (CESB).
Its most essential course is the Corporate Governance Orientation Program. The course covers the basic principles, as well as the importance and benefits of modern corporate governance.
Global, regional, and local reforms and initiatives in the field of corporate governance is also presented and discussed in detail during the course along with regulatory updates, best practices, emerging risks and trends, and the continuing relevance of adopting good corporate governance principles and methodologies
ICD’s flagship course is the Professional Directors Program, which is a five-day extensive program that trains participants on the key roles of directors and boards who are responsible for the governance of a corporation or a company.
The program provides participants with tools to create value for their respective corporation and be a catalyst for transformative change.
ICD’s highly-experienced and internationally-trained teaching Fellows facilitate discussions and share their real-life boardroom experiences with participants under this program.
Dr. Gatmaitan disclosed that ICD is now in talks with several higher learning institutions where some of the programs of the institute can eventually be credited as units earned for those who are pursuing masteral or doctoral studies related to corporate governance in those colleges or universities.
ICD helps boards optimize performance to deliver maximum value for a company’s stakeholders.
From health checks, to board evaluations, to crafting board protocols, drafting charters and defining strategy maps and scorecards, ICD imparts and empowers boards by equipping them with knowledge and tools to govern their organizations.
These consulting engagements and interventions are facilitated by ICD’s Teaching Fellows who bring with them years of directorship and senior management experience and know-how, culled from practices in diverse fields and functions.
ICD is a learned society composed of more than 500 professional directors practicing ethical governance. ICD’s members are committed to a shared vision of a transformed corporate governance ecosystem that bears the fruits of corporate and individual social responsibility.
Fellows, Graduate Members, Regular Members, and Associates enjoy exclusive membership privileges including:
νaccess to monthly continuous learning, networking and fellowship events
νendorsement by ICD to boards for independent director placement
νthe right to affix the ICD’s post nominal membership initials including FICD for Fellows; GICD for Graduate Members; MICD for Regular Members; and AICD for Associates.
ICD members also have the unique opportunity to support the good governance advocacy in public speaking, teaching corporate governance courses, facilitating board interventions, writing and contributing to ICD publications, crafting position papers, policy proposals, organizing events, fora and other endeavors undertaken by the society.
Heaps and Praises for ICD’s Corporate Governance Programs
ICD’s programs have piled up tons of heaps and praises from its fellows, graduate members, regular members, and associate members after completing for themselves some, if not all of the programs being offered by the institute over the years.
Jose L. Cuisia, an ICD honorary fellow who served as former governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) as well as a former Ambassador of the Philippines to the United States, has this to say: “The quality of Philippine boards has improved because many directors have gone through more professional training and development with the help of ICD.”
“I enjoy learning about good governance in ICD. Ultimately, as a millennial, I have come to see it as an important way to contribute concretely to nation building. I’ve invited many friends who have become Fellows themselves,” says Clarissa Isabelle L. Delgado, ICD Fellow, and CEO and Founder of the Teach for the Philippines.
An Obama Foundation fellow, Delgado was one of the recipients of prestigious The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service Award. She was recognized as Young Leader of the Year during the 2016 Asia CEO Awards, and also honored by the Philippine Jaycees in 2016 as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men.
These are just two of the countless testimonials that ICD’s programs and activities have generated over a period of 24 years. And there will be more of the same in the years to come.