Be Nimble, Be Quick
Once you’re part of a large international law firm it’s hard to jump over the candlestick as fast as Jack. But that’s the prognosis I take for ambitious firms, from The Economist’s thought-provoking brief in the Sept 21 issue "The World's Biggest Firms: Back on Top" on the world’s ten leading companies. To keep up with the amazing pace of change in corporate competition worldwide, law firms have got to be able to flex, leap, scale tall buildings, speak many tongues. The article shows that changes in positioning of top 10 companies since 2009 are extraordinary, and there’s just as much churning in the top 50 companies. Then take a look at The Economist’s article in the Sept 14 issue on “The Lehman Anniversary: Five Years in Charts” and the position of top ten banks globally today vs. 2007– you begin to get seasick.
The lead article in the ‘top ten firms’ (companies) briefing suggests that good governance (and by implication, strong legal and compliance) is a key way investors define value:
“Today’s investors value America’s big firms more, with respect to their incomes, than they do firms elsewhere, perhaps reflecting a belief in their ability and willingness to allocate resources efficiently and to govern themselves in a shareholder-friendly way. By improving the way they are run, other firms with large profits could boost their valuations and creep up the league table.”