NEW YORK—Kethcum has created a corporate governance advisory board that will draw on the expertise of senior individuals from the fields of securities law, academia, and shareholder and investor relations, to provide valuable counsel and strategic approaches to its clients on emerging regulatory issues surrounding the profound changes impacting investor communications.


The firm says the board was created in response to significant changes to corporate governance in the U.S.—touching areas such as SEC reporting rules, New York Stock Exchange broker discretionary voting and proxy access—and the promise of new regulations in the coming year.


“The changes to corporate governance laws require companies to make a number of changes to their business practices, including the way they communicate and share information," says Ray Kotcher, senior partner and CEO.


The board initiative is led by Ron Culp, Ketchum partner and director of the North American corporate practice that is aligned with the agency's global corporate practice. The overall practice provides clients with a full arsenal of communication solutions that include community and government relations, public affairs, issues and crisis management, financial communications, change management counsel, influencer and media relations, strategic planning, research, and online engagement.


Board members include Jerry Burgdoerfer, partner in the Chicago office of law firm Jenner & Block, a member of its corporate department, and co-chair of its securities practice; Sophie L'Helias, principal of L'Helias Strategic Governance Service; Fred Marquardt, senior managing director of capital market intelligence firm Morrow & Co.; Bill Ultan, senior managing director of Morrow & Co.; Kurt Stocker, member of the SEC investor advisory board and member of the Financial Industry Regulation Authority, and chairman of the New York Stock Exchange Regulation and chairman of the NYSE Individual Investors Advisory Committee; and Lou Thompson, former president and CEO of the National Investor Relations Institute and a former assistant White House press secretary during the Ford administration.


"As a response to the financial crisis and longer-term activism from a wide range of stakeholders, we are seeing corporate governance rules change in some fundamental, yet crucial ways," said Stocker.