This article appeared in The Advertiser on 12 September 2017 (subscription may be required).
Mr Tragakis, who is chairman, South Australia and lead
partner property for KPMG,
recently completed the International Company Directors
Course in Singapore.
With decades of experience
already under his belt, Mr Tragakis thought his continuing
education would be best served
by engaging with issues and professionals dealing on a global scale.
“Being a director there are
three key areas that you look
at,’’ he said. “One is strategy,
one is risk and the other is
board effectiveness in helping
the CEO achieve success.
“In all three of these topics
we received an international
flavour. Directors overseeing
companies that are doing business globally need to understand what it means being a
director in a global context.
That is why I did the international course.’’
Mr Tragakis said while there were legal and cultural
norms in Australia which directors might be well versed in,
in other regions there were different issues which arose. A
good example of this was the
impact of bribery and corruption in some areas, or the use of
“How do you deal with different cultures? For example
the openness and the transparency is dealt with differently in different jurisdictions,’’
Mr Tragakis said. “We had an
international law speaker that
talked to us about how nuances – for example, with acting
in the best interests of shareholders, which is a director’s
duty – (are) viewed differently
in different countries based on
their legal requirements.’’
Mr Tragakis said a core
takeaway was “how to think,
act and behave as an international director”.
“The second exciting takeaway was meeting people and
forming relationships with directors and executives from all
over Asia,’’ he said. “There
were a number SA expats who
are now running major global
enterprises. One runs a very
large Saudi family office and
another runs a major global
hotel chain out of Singapore.
Both love SA and want to return someday”.
Mr Tragakis said Australian
directors who might, for example, be appointed to companies
or their own subsidiaries operating in Asia, might not be
across local laws and regulations regarding their obligations, and it was vital they
“What we might do here
isn’t necessarily the way you’d
do it in Singapore or elsewhere
in Asia,’’ he said. “The calibre
and the quality of the facilitators was exceptional. I thoroughly recommend the
international course. It is intense, there is a lot a preparation but the knowledge
imparted was invaluable.”
The AICD says the course is
for: “Directors, chairs, managing directors, senior managers
and executives of organisations
operating internationally or
planning to do so.
The next International
Company Directors’ Courses
will be held in Dubai commencing October 8 and in
Singapore commencing November 13.