Connecticut headquartered Xerox, Stanley Black & Decker, and General Electric are among the highest ranked U.S. publicly traded companies for the capacity of their boards of directors to govern well, according to a new report. Xerox, the document-processing and data services outfit based in Norwalk, was No. 12 on JamesDruryPartners' second annual report measuring the governance capacity of America's Fortune 550 companies. New Britain toolmaker Stanley Black & Decker was No. 29 and Fairfield industrial conglomerate GE was No. 33. Also highly ranked was Stamford's Pitney Bowes, No. 35, and Hartford-based health insurer Aetna Inc. was No. 39.
The study is based on a new methodology by which each director's business acumen, and the board's total business acumen, can be valued as a predictive indicator of a board's governance capacity. JDP, based in Chicago, said its research measures governance capacity -- the board's "capacity to govern well", not governance effectiveness. "Whether the board uses that capacity effectively is a separate question," said JDP Chairman and CEO James Drury.