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Corporate Governance and Social Responsibility Assignment.

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Case Study 13.3 in chapter 13 of Tricker (p. 354) presents a cameo of Australia’s largest and most infamous corporate collapse, HIH Insurance. Following the failure of the HIH group, the Australian Government established the HIH Royal Commission to inquire into the causes of the failure. The following is taken from the introduction to the Royal Commission’s website. Visit the HIH Royal Commission website, which provides all the factual information you require to undertake the assessment: “The HIH Royal Commission completed its enquiries and its report was made public in A...

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Case Study 13.3 in chapter 13 of Tricker (p. 354) presents a cameo of Australia’s largest and most infamous corporate collapse, HIH Insurance. Following the failure of the HIH group, the Australian Government established the HIH Royal Commission to inquire into the causes of the failure. The following is taken from the introduction to the Royal Commission’s website. Visit the HIH Royal Commission website, which provides all the factual information you require to undertake the assessment: “The HIH Royal Commission completed its enquiries and its report was made public in April 2003. In addition to the final report, the HIH Royal Commission made extensive information available to the public via its website which can be accessed at www.hihroyalcom.gov.au. The following documents are taken from the Explanatory Statement and the HIH Royal Commission website: "The HIH Royal Commission - The failure of HIH Insurance. Commonwealth of Australia 2003. Copyright Commonwealth of Australia reproduced by permission." Corporate chart - this is an abbreviated chart identifying the ownership structure of some of the significant companies in the HIH Group, with the eight insurance companies licensed or formerly licensed in Australia identified on the chart. Chronology of key events - this is the HIH Royal Commission's summary of key events in the history of the HIH Group between its commencement in 1968 and its failure in 2001. Historical introductions - these brief summaries are the historical introductions published by the HIH Royal Commission for the eight licenced insurers in the HIH Group now subject to Schemes of Arrangement. The Royal Commission website contains a great deal more information in relation to each of the companies, including details of any name changes in prior years, details of directors and office holders, and the last published financial information for each company prior to the failure.” The Royal Commission reported that:  The inquiry did not find fraud or embezzlement to be behind the collapse. The failure was more the result of attempts to paper over the cracks caused by over-priced acquisitions and too much corporate extravagance based on a misconception that the 'money' was there in the business. The primary reason for the failure was that adequate provision had not been made for insurance claims. Past claims on policies had not been properly priced. HIH was mismanaged in the area of its core business activity. The ultimate shortfall is likely to be in the billions of dollars.  The acquisition of FAI Insurance Ltd in Australia, combined with re-entry into the US market and the expansion of the UK operations, were poor commercial decisions. All were afflicted with under-reserving. The Royal Commission noted that a culture appeared to have developed within HIH not to question leadership decisions.  HIH had a corporate governance model but the Royal Commission found that HIH had failed to review the model to assess its suitability for changing circumstances in the insurance industry. Under the HIH model, the internal audit committee focused almost exclusively onthe accounts rather than taking on an additional function of overall risk identification and assessment. Also, the Royal Commission noted that the audit committee within HIH should have met more often with directors with management absent.  HIH had three authorised insurance arms, including FAI. The Royal Commission found that prior to its provisional liquidation in March 2001 all three companies had operated below the minimum solvency requirements stipulated by the regulator and the Insurance Act 1973. The prudential regulator is the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA).  Overall, the Royal Commission referred 56 possible breaches of the Corporations Law and the NSW Crimes Act 1900 to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and to the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions for consideration.  Although the Royal Commission found that APRA did not cause or contribute to HIH's collapse, APRA did not recognise the seriousness of the situation or question the reliability of the information it was receiving from HIH until too late.  A significant recommendation of the Royal Commission was an overhaul of APRA, including the replacement of its non-executive board with an executive group. 1. What was the HIH board doing while this saga was going on? What should they have done? 2. Whose fault was it that FAI had been acquired, without a due diligence study and with 'gaping holes in its finances'? Provide reasons for your answer. NOTE:  This assessment is worth 25% of the total marks for the unit.  Total indicative word length is approximately 2000 words. Your responses to the questions need not be of equal length. You will not be penalised for going over the word limit if what you have to say adds value to your response. However, falling short of the word limit by more than 100 words may cost you marks.  No extensions will be granted automatically.  If you are ill or have compassionate or other compelling grounds for an extension, please contact your tutor as soon as possible. Please visit Policies and Procedures for further information about a range of ACU policies and regulations, including the University’s Academic Honesty Policy (including information on plagiarism); Academic Regulations and Policies - see especially Assessment Policy and Assessment Procedures (extension for an assignment, factors affecting performance completion of assessment tasks, group work and collaborative assessment, personal circumstances affecting assessment, submission, collection and retention of assessment tasks, resubmission of assessment tasks); conduct and responsibilities;  English language expression will be taken into account in marking your submission, so please pay attention to grammar, coherence and style.  You MUST use the Harvard referencing style. Marks will be lost for poor or inadequate referencing: Harvard referencing style

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There has been a failure of HIH group and HIH Royal Commission is being appointed as to enquire about the causes of the failure of HIH groups. This report went public in the year April 2003. This repot had all the reasons for the failure of the group. It presented the data in the four forms: Chronology of the Key Events, Corporate Chart, The Royal Commission website and Historical Introductions. The failure as resulted was because of the corporate extravagance that the company did and even the acquisitions that are priced higher. The claims of the past were not priced properly and even the company failed to manage its activities related to the core business. There was acquisition of the FAI Insurance that led to re-entry of US market and expansion of UK operations. They could not recognize the corporate governance model as that could help them in understanding the needs for the change management. The 3 insurance arms worked under the minimum solvency level. There were 56 breaches to the corporation law.

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