Activist Investing: Interview with Corporate Library's Nell Minow

As the co-founder of The Corporate Library, Nell Minow has done more to raise awareness about shareholder rights than just about anyone in history. BusinessWeek has called her "the queen of good corporate governance" and she's a former president of Institutional Shareholder Services. I recently asked her for her thoughts on some of the most pressing issues related to corporate governance today.

Zac Bissonnette: You've been crusading against corporate governance problems for a long time. How much of the current financial debacle can be blamed on bad corporate governance?

Nell Minow
: It takes a village to create a disaster as broad and deep as this one and there is plenty of blame to go around. But poor corporate governance is at the heart of it. Boards are supposed to manage risk, tie pay to performance, and make sure that the corporate strategy is directed at sustainable growth. They failed on all counts. Indeed, they agreed to pay packages with incentives that all but guaranteed this result and to corporate influence in Washington that short-circuited oversight from regulators and from the market itself.