Dominic Barton appointed IIRC Chair for next strategic phase

12 October 2018 4 min. read
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Former Global Managing Partner of McKinsey & Company Dominic Barton has landed a new role with the International Integrated Reporting Council. As Chair of the global entity, Barton will work to ensure that corporations put sustainability as a central tenet of their long-term business plan.

Having first arrived at the firm in 1986, Dominic Barton spent the last nine years as global strategy and management consultancy McKinsey & Company's Global Managing Partner. Barton, who had previously led the firm’s Korean office, before becoming Chair of its Asian wing, helmed the company for the maximum three terms, before being replaced by Kevin Sneader in 2018.

The long-standing head of McKinsey presided over a solid period of expansion, growing well beyond what the firm had historically witnessed. Commenting in 2016, in fact, Barton said McKinsey’s impact, top talent attraction, and financial results were “better than ever before.” This was not to say that his time in charge was without its problems, however, and McKinsey suffered in South Africa thanks to the on-going Gupta family saga – something which Barton has since said he regrets, telling the Australian Financial Review, “I needed to do a better job of embracing it,” in regards to errors of judgement in how he handled the crisis.

Despite this, his stewardship of the company still ended with Barton’s popularity riding high among staff and consultants. With an employee approval rating of 96%, he was found to be the joint most popular CEO in the managing consulting industry, alongside Accenture’s Pierre Nanterme.

Dominic Barton appointed IIRC Chair for next strategic phase

Now, as the Global Managing Partner Emeritus prepares for life after McKinsey’s hot-seat, Barton has been appointed as the Chair of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC). The group was formed with the remit of developing the globally accepted International IR Framework that elicits from organisations material information about their strategy, governance, performance and prospects in a clear, concise and comparable format. The aim of the organisation remains to foster transparency in the corporate world, accelerating the evolution of business reporting to reflect increased demand for scrutiny in financial, governance, management commentary and sustainability reporting. Currently, around 1,600 companies spanning more than 65 countries utilise integrated reporting principles to communicate their activities and value creation.

Barton’s first duty as Chair saw him head to Paris in early October, where he oversaw an IIRC meeting to launch its new global strategy, to be known as the “Momentum Phase”. This is aimed at seeing the council stepping up its campaign for worldwide adoption of integrated thinking as a better way of doing business. Key objectives include promoting integrated thinking as a driver of effective corporate governance, and creating a policy and regulatory environment that encourages moves towards integrated reporting, among others, while also pushing for the US and China to adopt integrated reporting.

As it looks to forge ahead, IIRC Chief Executive Richard Howitt said that Barton’s appointment was “a sure sign of the momentum which integrated reporting continues to build across the world.” He added, “As one of the leading proponents for long-termism and inclusive capitalism, I am delighted that Dominic Barton will be working with us to drive that momentum towards integrated reporting globally as chair of the IIRC council.”

Barton is keen to put his in-depth experience to work for the IIRC, said, “We can ensure that business is working for society, for the planet and for all stakeholders… That is why the first decision I made when stepping down from the global managing partner role at McKinsey was to join the IIRC as its council chair and I look forward to working with the team as we launch this new momentum phase.”

The new Chair takes up the position from out-going Professor Judge Mervyn King, who was among the founding members of the IIRC eight years ago. Since its launch in 2010, the coalition has expanded to embrace more than 70 organisations, including regulators, investors, companies, standard-setters, the accounting profession and NGOs.

Related: Lawyers cross-examine Big Four for climate reporting of audit clients.