Olympus crisis reaches Europe

Started Nov 1, 2011 | Discussions thread
MichaelKJ Veteran Member • Posts: 3,466
Re: Nobel laureate in economics was on BOD

In 2005, just before making four acquisitions that have become the subject of controversy, Olympus Corp. decided to bolster board oversight by bringing in its first-ever outside directors, including a foreign face: Nobel-laureate economist Robert Mundell.

the Japanese affiliate of the adviser on one of the deals sponsored several trips by Mr. Mundell to give lectures in the Tokyo area between 2002 and 2005, according to people involved in organizing those talks. Mr. Mundell was still on the Olympus board in 2007 when it approved the contract for the adviser, Axes America LLC, which, with an affiliate, received a nearly $700 million payment for the deal

Mr. Mundell, who is on leave from his position as a professor at Columbia University in New York, didn't reply to requests for comment.

The situation at Olympus "will raise questions on whether the external board members have been functioning properly and whether auditors have done their jobs," says Masaki Shizuka, a senior executive officer at the Tokyo exchange. "The issue is: what kind of debate was carried out, what remarks the external board members made, and on what basis they agreed to allow such massive fees and expensive acquisitions of companies."

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