CORPORATE GOVERNANCE IN CURACAO

Lessons for the government

1. Why is good corporate governance necessary?

Basically, corporate governance is about the structures and processes for the direction and control of a company.

Corporate governance is intended to increase the accountability of a company and to avoid massive disasters before they occur. It is held that good corporate governance helps companies operate more efficiently, improve access to capital, mitigate risk and safeguard against mismanagement.

According to the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group:

It makes companies more accountable and transparent to investors and gives them the tools to respond to legitimate stakeholder concerns …
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05
Apr 2017
CATEGORY

Corporate

COMMENTS No Comments

GOVERNMENT-OWNED COMPANIES

Opposing views on political influence

Few people would argue that the rules issued by the state (government) must also be correctly and strictly observed by that same state. It cannot be well conceived that, for example, the police and Public Prosecutor’s Office (as instruments of the state) should be allowed to violate the law with impunity.

Though there may be very different opinions about the nature and the role of the state (particularly from a philosophical and jurisprudential viewpoint), here we address the question of how we should consider government-owned companies, and in particular, what level of influence the government …
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17
Feb 2014
CATEGORY

Corporate

COMMENTS No Comments

THE INCORPORATION OF A CURACAO LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY

Incorporating an NV or BV is not a hassle

The act on corporate law (Book 2 Curaçao Civil Code) governs the NV (‘public limited liability company’) and BV (‘private limited liability company’). These companies can be used for group finance or holding activities, (international) joint-ventures, funds, structured finance, as a Curaçao Trust and for “plain-vanilla” (local) activities.

A notarial deed is required for the formation of an NV or BV and for any amendment to articles of association (a.k.a. articles of incorporation). Formation can however, be very quick (within one or two days if necessary) and does not require many …
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14
Feb 2014
CATEGORY

Corporate

COMMENTS No Comments

ORDER OF THE COMMON APPEAL COURT OF CURACAO CONCERNING THE RIGHT TO INSTITUTE AN INQUIRY

The Appeal Court has taken several fundamental decisions

On 5 March 2013 the Common Court of Justice of Aruba, Curacao, Sint Maarten and of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (case: Ghis 55769 – HAR 28/12) issued an order in connection with inquiry proceedings. This order contains three major considerations.

The right of legal entities (including public limited companies [NV] and private companies with limited liability [BV]) to institute an inquiry was introduced in Curacao on 1 January 2012. Almost immediately after this introduction an application for instituting inquiry proceedings was submitted to the Appeal Court. The facts …
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07
Mar 2013
CATEGORY

Corporate

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BESCHIKKING INZAKE ENQUETERECHT GEMEENSCHAPPELIJK HOF CURACAO

Het Hof neemt enkele principiële beslissingen

Op 5 maart 2013 heeft het Gemeenschappelijk Hof van Justitie van Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten en van Bonaire, Sint Eustatius en Saba (zaak: Ghis 55769 – HAR 28/12) een beschikking in het kader van een enquêteprocedure gegeven. Drie belangrijke overwegingen worden hier genoemd.

Het enquêterecht voor rechtspersonen (waaronder naamloze en besloten vennootschappen) is in Curaçao op 1 januari 2012 ingevoerd. Vrijwel direct na de invoering is een enquêteverzoek bij het Hof ingediend. De feiten die aan dat verzoek ten grondslag zijn gelegd hebben betrekking op de jaren voorafgaande aan de invoering van het enquêterecht. …
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05
Mar 2013
CATEGORY

Corporate

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LECTURE ON GOOD CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

Looking back on the future: the further development of corporate governance in Curaçao

A seminar on Checks and Balances in Corporate Governance on Curacao, was held on Thursday February 21st, 2013. More than 125 interested managing directors, supervisory directors, lawyers, accountants and other participants were in attendance.

The seminar was organized by the Board of financial supervision (College financieel toezicht – Cft), the Foundation Bureau for Supervision and Standardization Government Entities (Stichting Bureau Toezicht en Normering Overheidsentiteiten – SBTNO) and the Dutch Caribbean Accountants Association (DCAA). I had the honor to speak on the present and future of the Corporate …
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28
Feb 2013
CATEGORY

Corporate

COMMENTS No Comments

GOVERNMENT AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE (V)

Government drafted model articles of association

The first model articles of association date from March 15, 2011.

For criticism see: K. Frielink, Visie Land op overheids-NV’s verkeerd [Vision Country on government-owned NVs incorrect], Antilliaans Dagblad 15 April 2011, p. 16 and M.L. Alexander, F.B.M. Kunneman, L.G. Santine and R.J. in ’t Veld, Modelstatuten ten sterkste afgeraden [Model articles of association strongly discouraged], Antilliaans Dagblad 20 September 2011, p. 14-15. See also K. Frielink, Stop politieke benoemings- en ontslagcarrousel [Stop politicial appointment and dismissal merry-go-round], Antilliaans Dagblad 14 September 2010, p. 14-15.

In the meantime, the models for …
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21
Jun 2012
CATEGORY

Corporate

COMMENTS No Comments

GOVERNMENT AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE (IV)

Code Corporate Governance Curacao

On January 1, 2010, the National Ordinance regarding corporate governance came into effect. Based on this the Code Corporate Governance Curacao came into being, that also came into effect on January 1, 2010. In it, reference is still made to the Executive Council and the island territory of Curacao, but as from October 10, 2010 these are understood to mean the government of Curacao and the Country Curacao.

The National Ordinance does not only undertake to establish a corporate governance code, but also to implement the Code in the government-owned companies. In 2011, this implementation obligation …
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14
Jun 2012
CATEGORY

Corporate

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GOVERNMENT AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE (III)

The government is not automatically an ‘ordinary’ shareholder

It is obvious that in a small community such as that of Curacao, with only a limited choice when it comes to directors and supervisory directors to be appointed, and in which (family, social) networks seem to play an important role in making choices, there is a field of tension. It is even more important therefore that government has a clear vision regarding its shareholdership and that there are good and transparent procedures, e.g. regarding the appointment of directors and supervisory directors.

Does the obligation exist for the government to, briefly stated, …
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07
Jun 2012
CATEGORY

Corporate

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GOVERNMENT AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE (II)

Government (not) at a distance?

Being a director of a government-owned company is certainly not always as easy. Neither is being a shareholder in a government-owned company. The directors will usually complain about too much influence from politicians, while the politicians will usually find that they have too little grip on government-owned companies. In this connection, there are two important topics we will have to consider briefly.

I will ignore cultural aspects here. In that respect see e.g. chapter 8 of the dissertation of A. van Marrewijk, Internationalisation, cooperation and ethnicity in the telecom sector, Delft: Uitgeverij Eburon 1999, 340 …
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31
May 2012
CATEGORY

Corporate

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GOVERNMENT AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE (I)

For Hobbes, it is certain that there must be a sovereign

According to Thomas Hobbes we all have natural passions that carry us to, among other things, partiality, pride, and revenge. The laws of nature, as Hobbes sees them, including ‘justice’, ‘equity’, ‘modesty’, and ‘mercy’, are contrary to our passions. Therefore, we will only observe the laws of nature if we have fear of some power to cause them to be observed. According to him, covenants, without the sword, are but words that lack every strength to protect a person.

See Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, Amsterdam: Boom 2007, p. 207 and …
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24
May 2012
CATEGORY

Corporate

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CURACAO COURT INTERVENES IN POLITICAL APPOINTMENT

Political appointments unacceptable

The Court of First Instance of Curacao passed judgment on 23 January 2012 in the case of Selikor N.V. versus Drs. Ivar Asjes (JOR 2012, 105). This case is a follow-up to the judgment of the Joint Court of Appeal of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba of 10 August 2010, JOR 2010, 296. In a nutshell the case boils down to Asjes being appointed as the managing director of waste processor Selikor N.V., but that this is an appointment pushed through politically without an open job application procedure. This deprived at least six of Selikor’s members of …
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12
May 2012
CATEGORY

Corporate

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