Five Things You Should Read

October 11, 2018

Google and the question of 'audit rights,' CVS-Aetna merger approved, and leaders have to address this corporate risk.

CVS-Aetna Merger Approved

NYT - Paywall

The Justice Department’s approval of the $69 billion merger between CVS Health and Aetna on Wednesday caps a wave of consolidation among giant health care players. Facing the prospect of competition from outsiders like Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway, established players have also been looking for ways to stay relevant to their customers and enlarge their share of the health care market.

BlackRock Comes Out in Support of UK Accounting Watchdog

Amid calls to restructure or shutter the U.K.’s Financial Reporting Council (FRC), the world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock, is throwing its weight behind the watchdog. BlackRock manages $6 trillion in assets and has considerable clout with policymakers. In August the Institute of Directors called for a breakup of the FRC following the collapse of major government contractor Carillion.

Patisserie Suspends CFO Amid Accounting Probe


U.K. cake baker Patisserie Holdings Plc suspended its CFO after uncovering “significant, and potentially fraudulent, accounting irregularities” and a demand for more than a million pounds ($1.5 million) in back taxes. CFO Chris Marsh was part of a management team that took the business public in 2014.

Google and the Question of 'Audit Rights'

Compliance Week - Paywall

Google executives delayed announcing the breach for fear of “immediate regulatory interest” and comparisons to Facebook’s nefarious Cambridge Analytica data imbroglio. Then there is also the revelation that the company’s investigation was hampered by a lack of “audit rights” over developers. Just as audit rights need to be a negotiated part of any supply chain relied upon by any company, the wide world of third parties in a tech company’s orbit demand an extra level of scrutiny. There is no excuse for not doing so.

Leaders Have to Address This Corporate Risk


The latest Employee Wellbeing Research 2018 finds that the board actively drives the wellbeing agenda in just 8% of organizations. Meanwhile, in a further 5% of organizations, the board is perceived as having little or no interest in employee wellbeing at all. The research also found that only half or employees who experienced stress, anxiety or low mood talked to their employer about it. Boards and CEOs should recognize mental health as a corporate risk and take steps to identify, manage and mitigate it.