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A Good Day For Governance

Posted on October 11, 2011 at 11:55 AM

It was a good start to the day. The UK's Financial Reporting Council is amending the corporate governance code to strengthen the principle on boardroom diversity, following a consultation.

Less than 10 days ago Peter Montagnon, corporate governance guru and senior adviser to the FRC, couldn't resist muttering about "resisting political interference" and the dangers of too much tinkering with the code, when speaking at the ICSA conference for company secretaries. But the FRC has come through - let's hear some W00ts!

The amendments announced today will require listed companies to report annually on their boardroom diversity policy, including gender, and "on any measurable objectives that the board has set for implementing the policy and the progress it hadmade in achieving the objectives." The FRC is also to update the Code to include the diversity of the board, including gender, as one of the factors to be considered when evaluating its effectivess.

Can it be the UK's coalition government is not going to let this initiative slide into waffle ? It's certainly beginning to feel that way. The new provisions on diversity will apply to financial years beginning on or after October 1, 2012. Time for chairmen who may have been hard of hearing to listen up.

And what will 2012 bring for Rupert and James Murdoch I wonder ?

ISS, the biggest investor advisory group in the United States, has recommended that shareholders vote against the re-election of 13 of  media company News Corp's 15 directors, including Rupert Murdoch as chairman and chief executive.ISS also recommeded a vote against Mr Murdoch's $12.1m (£7.6m) bonus, as possibly inappropriate in the circumstances.

The phone hacking scandal at the London-based newspaper group had "laid bare a striking lack of stewardship and failure of independence" by the News Corp board, said ISS, resulting in enormous financial and reputational costs to shareholders.

I do believe the Financial Times had the story first, and it is in today's paper - but you can read it without a paywall here.

Categories: Women, Stewardship, Measurement