Boardroom briefing: no more IPOs boys’ club, shipping index sinks, and digital marketing tricks


Goldman Sachs bans all-male boards in its IPOs, the coronavirus hits international shipping and how SMEs can market better online. Readings from around the world on business, leadership and management.

You’ve got (too many) males

Goldman Sach’s David Solomon says they will no longer back all-male IPOs.

No IPOs with all-male board members: that is the new policy at Wall Street powerbroker Goldman Sachs.

Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon told CNBC that they would require at least one ‘diverse’ board member before taking a company public from now on. That figure would rise to two diverse board members in IPOs starting from 2021.

Solomon said that about 60 companies in the US and Europe had gone public recently with all the top jobs taken by white males and that US companies with at least one female on the board tended to perform ‘significantly better’. So it was time for a policy change.

‘We might miss some business, but in the long run, this I think is the best advice for companies that want to drive premium returns for their shareholders over time,’ Solomon told CNBC.

Shipping index sinks

Coronavirus is hitting international shipping hard.

An opinion piece for the Sydney Morning Herald has noted that shipping is one of the hardest hit businesses by the coronavirus.

The story noted that demand for LNG in China is plunging as manufacturing plants are in shutdown and the number of infections soars above 40,000.

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As a result the Baltic Dry Index – the bellwether for international shipping – has dropped 83 per cent since September last year.

So if you want to see the real impact of this global health scare, keep your eyes on the ports.

Digital marketing tricks

Make sure you get your Google ads right, SMEs told.

In a story on the Top 6 Marketing Money Wasters, Entrepreneur Asia warns small business that digital ads on Facebook and Google may seem easy, but can be a waste of money.

The website warns that pay-per-click ads can seem simple to use but they need to be carefully worded (some ads take days of tweaking) and should not be knocked together by the business owner (consider getting a professional in).

Other marketing money pits include not knowing when to stop a poor marketing campaign, having a confused social media marketing approach and not driving traffic to your website.

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