Sir Philip Hampton's evidence to The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy select committee raises important issues on corporate governance.
Quite rightly, Sir Philip focuses on the lack of women in an executive capacity rather than in an non executive independent director role. He also raises the issue of whether an independent board can have sufficient oversight on large complex multinationals in this age of the global economy.
He points out the difficulties an independent board has in reviewing the operations of large multinational if they are only expected to spend a few days a month in the role.
This begs a much more fundamental issue as to what investors expect of boards and whether the role of an independent board needs reviewing or revisiting. If there will always be corporate governance failures, then institutional investors need to clearly define what minimum criteria they require from independent directors in terms of relevant expertise, compliance, annual certificates and spell out the consequences of failure.
The issues of independent director competence also extends to areas of remuneration, audit and strategy.
It feels like a comprehensive review is required.
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