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Proposed shake-up to UK board practices bodes well

Paul Myners, long-standing advocate of better corporate governance and UK City Minister, is urging experts to put forward radical ideas for reforming the way corporate governance occurs in the UK.

Among the ideas being mooted in this FT article today are:

– Compulsory seminars on financial stability for bank board members
– Longer working weeks and enforced “devil’s advocates” on boards
– Making non-executives go back to the classroom
– Giving non-executives their own staff to provide independent information
– Encouraging more experience of life outside financial markets for fund managers
– Supporting a more activist approach by fund managers (as Hermes undertakes)

Full article is here.

All this seems extremely sensible. Head of sustainability, risk and corporate responsibility that I know have long bemoaned the limits of current UK board structures. Dominant CEOs and non-execs who are too part time and under resourced to take a real interest in risk have definitely been part of the problem.

Elsewhere, a couple of weeks ago Sir Richard Greenbury, an influential player in corporate governance in the 1990’s, said he now favours a a two tier board system over the current approach.

The two tier system is well used in Europe, and has its benefits, as the Times piece points out.

All of this will be debated in print in the pages of our print magazine in the coming months.

There’s a conference on the topic coming up soon too, more details are here.

1 Comment

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