Non-profit making companies in Hong Kong improved corporate governance standards substantially last year, but directors of mainland firms have yet to focus on the issue. No mainland company director was honoured at the Directors of the Year Award 2003 ceremony hosted by the Hong Kong Institute of Directors. Chairman Herbert Hui Ho-ming said yesterday that corporate governance was still a new concept in China and mainland directors needed time to catch up with international trends. The annual competition, in its third year, recognises corporate governance improvements among directors and boards in various categories of listed, private and non-profit making companies. Key improvements were seen among non-profit making companies, Mr Hui said. 'However, since there is no regulator for non-profit making companies, there are wide gaps among the various organisations as a set of standards for these public bodies is lacking,' he said. Mr Hui said more independent directors also had a clearer understanding of their role and duties when it came to vetting company transactions. 'But we still see there are cases where the chairman controls everything without advice from non-executive directors,' Mr Hui said. Cafe De Coral Group chairman Michael Chan Yue-kwong and Standard Chartered Bank director Peter Wong Tung-shing were joint winners of the best executive director of listed companies. Electricity supplier CLP Holdings won the award for best board of directors. The best board award for non-profit making bodies went to the Airport Authority Hong Kong, Hong Kong Society for the Protection of Children and the Hong Kong Watch Manufacturers Association.