Bringing Opportunity Oversight Onto the Board’s Agenda

These days, many boards of directors devote much of their time and energy to risk management. But oversight of a company’s opportunity-generating capabilities is just as important.

LARRY BENNIGSON AND FRANK S. LEONARD

CORPORATIONS ARE AWASH in cash. In early 2013, nonfinancial U.S. corporations had more than $1.5 trillion in cash and equivalents.1 However, a recent survey of 50 Standard & Poor’s 500 companies found that they were planning to increase capital spending by only 2%, indicating a dearth of big growth opportunities.2 Given the sluggish economy and the level of cash on hand, one would think the top priority for many companies would be finding investment opportunities where they ...

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