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Blog : BOARD TALK

#Occupy Points Way To Better Politics Than Theatre

Posted on October 28, 2011 at 2:05 PM

I was always sympathetic to the #Occupy protest, - despite the confused message - but it just got a  whole lot more interesting in London.


As the City of London announced that it would "regrettably" have to use force to evict the protestors outside St Paul's Cathedral, a decision that has already divided the church, the activists have published their first list of demands, which have been signed by more than half of the protestors at Occupy London Stock Exchange and som...

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We Can Talk About Sex, But It's About Power

Posted on August 17, 2011 at 2:35 PM

It's a sad fact that if you call a report the 'Sex & Power 2011 Report'  there's a fair chance someone might actually read it. So good for the UK's Equality and Human Rights Commission, which has not minced its words in reporting about the shocking state of inequality by gender in Britain today.


More than 54,000 women are 'missing' from Britain's 26,000 most powerful positions, if you add up all the posts held by men and women, halve that figure for equal sharing be...

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UK Watchdog In Pursuit Of Transparency

Posted on August 16, 2011 at 2:30 PM

Good to know that the UK's Financial Services Authority (FSA) isn't in awe of anyone. It has just fined Sir Ken Morrison, one of the country's best-known businessmen £210,000 for breaching the disclosure and transparency rules by failing to disclose his reduced shareholding and voting rights in Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc.


Sir Ken did not benefit financially from the breaches - but the FSA

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UK Cats Fatten Against A Backdrop of Austerity

Posted on August 8, 2011 at 1:50 PM

Pressure on executive pay levels in the UK shows no signs of abating. Excellent. Now we need business secretary Vince Cable, who has repeatedly threatened government action to deal with what he has called 'outrageous' levels of executive remuneration, to make full political capital of the sentiment out there.


ICAP, the UK's biggest interdealer broker, says it's going to undertake a thorough review of its pay policy for the first time in eight years after shareholder pro...

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Pressure Builds To Put Women On UK Boards

Posted on August 2, 2011 at 3:34 PM

The heat is rising in London, both literally and figuratively, around the issue of more diversity in boardrooms. As we slide into August on the back of an action-packed summer in terms of the news, it's clear that this month may not conform to its reputation for being soporific.


It will be six months on August 24th since Lord Davies published his report on women and the lack of them in the boardrooms of UK plc (and six months on August 7th since this blog saw light of d...

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When Wealth Could Inspire Better Governance

Posted on July 26, 2011 at 5:56 PM

Well, when the richest businessman in the Arab world backs you, I guess you can still be very pleased you are Rupert Murdoch.


Saudi Arabia's Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, News Corp's most powerful shareholder after the Murdoch family with 7% of the voting shares, has spoken out in support of the existing dual-class share structure in the group and its leadership, according to a story in the

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When Questions Stop....And Boards Begin To Smell

Posted on July 20, 2011 at 11:37 PM

It's a bit late to blog today, but I am indebted to The Guardian newspaper - as are we all for Messrs Rupert and James Murdoch in the spotlight - for  inspiration.


In all the coverage of the phone hacking scandal in the UK and the Murdoch media empire, I feel too little has been said about the role of the non-executives on the News Corp board, and the fact that corporate governance is actually about asking questions before there is visible evidence that you need to - a...

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Someone Give Rupert Murdoch A Dictionary

Posted on July 19, 2011 at 8:04 PM

For a man who runs a media empire, Rupert Murdoch is in grave need of a dictionary. The world was watching today as Britain's parliament questioned the media tycoon, his son James, and Rebekah Brooks, former editor of News International, the UK paper at the heart of the phone hacking scandal.


Rupert Murdoch decided to play to the gallery. He said he was 'humbled.' But my Oxford English Dictionary suggests that 'humble' means 'having or showing a low estimate of one's own imp...

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Mr Murdoch's Saga Is A Warning

Posted on July 18, 2011 at 5:08 PM

This blog took a break for 10 days after asking what was going on at board level at Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. Since then the company has provided a full-blown demonstration of why governance, ethics and anti-corruption laws are necessary.


The phone hacking saga is, of course, still unfurling. And in my view it's a good thing that it has crossed borders and become 'global.' It should concentrate minds on the need for transparency in relationships which increasingly ...

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Glencore Makes It Clear.....So Does Bank Pay

Posted on June 15, 2011 at 10:08 AM

Fascinating. I'd say Simon Buerk, head of communications for Glencore International plc, is thinking laterally and working hard to keep the company's image 'fresh and clear' amid a flood of media hype and speculation.


Today, for the first time,  the company has a statement on its website "in response to press speculation" about a potential bid for Eurasian Natural Resources Cor...

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