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Showcase: Corporate governance and the law

Introducing a newly endorsed training initiative

Corporate governance has evolved significantly since the early 1990’s with an increased focus on stakeholder engagement, the consideration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues during board decision-making and an awareness of board diversity and a corporate culture with mindful compliance of good governance rules and regulations. Prof Esser’s training initiative addresses various corporate governance topics, from a legal perspective and within a regulatory environment, based on hard law as well as soft law approaches.

More about the course here.

Ansie Ramalho

Corporate Governance Specialist

Ansie Ramalho is a lawyer by training and an authority on corporate governance with both theoretical and applied knowledge on the topic. She consults, presents, trains and writes on the various aspects of corporate law, directors’ duties and governance. She believes that corporate governance can and should be harnessed for the benefit of the economy, society and the natural environment.

Ansie serves as a professional non-executive director and her current directorships include the boards of KPMG South Africa and The South African National Blood Service NPC. She has been conferred the Chartered Director (SA) designation by the Institute of Directors South Africa (IoDSA).

She regularly facilitates training on corporate governance and company law for the IoDSA and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange Sponsorship Development Programme offered by KAR. In addition, Ansie provides corporate governance consulting and advisory services on an ad hoc-basis to the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a subsidiary of the World Bank – working predominantly in sub-Sahara Africa. Her more recent IFC assignments involved reviewing the code of corporate governance for the Rwanda Capital Market Authority and the drafting of listings requirements pertaining to corporate governance for the Ghana Stock Exchange.

Ansie is a member of a number of technical committees, including the King Committee on Corporate Governance for South Africa and the Integrated Reporting Committee of South Africa. She is also the appointed examiner for the Chartered Director designation of the IoDSA. Ansie is also certified as a results coach.

From August 2014 to November 2016 Ansie was the appointed King IV Project Lead with responsibility for the successful finalisation of the King IV Report on Corporate Governance for South Africa, 2016. This role involved the design of the project and its governance structures, oversight of project implementation, stakeholder engagement and the drafting of the King IV Report.

Ansie’s prior positions include being the Chief Executive of the IoDSA from 2010 to 2014. Before joining the IoDSA, Ansie cut her business teeth at KPMG in the corporate restructuring and recovery environment with assignments that included the Saambou Bank receivership and Kebble insolvency. Ansie played a key role in respect of both. The experience on business failure was applied with much fruit when she later took up the position as a dedicated corporate governance specialist

Professor Irene-marié Esser

Professor of Corporate Law and Governance at the University of Glasgow

Professor Irene-marié Esser is a Professor of Corporate Law and Governance at the University of Glasgow.


Her research spans doctrinal and empirical approaches, covering the UK, EU and South Africa in the field of corporate governance, company law and corporate social responsibility.


She also served as a Professor Extraordinarius at the University of South Africa (UNISA) and was, until 2017, a Visiting Professor at the Open University, UK.  Since 2020 she is an Extraordinary Professor at Stellenbosch University, South Africa.


She has been in academia for more than 15 years and was admitted as an Attorney of the High Court of South Africa in 2005. Reference has been made to her work in the King IV Report on Corporate Governance following her inclusive stakeholder protection approach. Irene-marie also provides training on corporate governance on a regular basis to industry and also presents a workshop at the University of Johannesburg on Board Governance since 2009. She is on the editorial board of the European Business Law Review and has been the Company Law Convenor of the UK Society of Legal Scholars from 2019-2021. She has recently been invited to act as an academic expert to a new accreditation service on ESG Investing.

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