UK - Phoenix Venture Holdings - the owner of car firm MG Rover - has appointed its first non-executive director following criticism of its corporate governance structure.
Nigel Petrie – chairman of electronic security equipment maker Dedicated Microcomputers – will set up and chair an audit committee and a remuneration committee for Phoenix.
Petrie – who was selected from 30 candidates – will review the group’s corporate governance structure and how financial information is disclosed. Earlier this year, the company’s four directors – which four years ago bought Rover from BMW – faced a backlash from unions and investors over multi-million pound salaries despite falling sales.
And in March, the House of Commons trade and industry committee accused the four of “financial sleight of hand” and “manipulative book-keeping” after it was revealed they had set aside £13m for their own pension pots.
The Transport & General Workers’ Union, which has been pushing for two non-executive directors at the group, said Petrie’s appointment would “assist” in restoring the confidence of the “workforce, customers and investors”.
T&G national secretary for the car industry Dave Osborne said: “It will help to ensure that the interests of all stakeholders are properly considered when decisions are made concerning the company’s corporate structure.”
Most respondents in this week's Pensions Buzz do not think businesses should be able suspend AE contributions if in financial distress.
Former BHS owner Dominic Chappell has lost the appeal against his section 72 conviction and sentence for failing to hand over information to The Pensions Regulator (TPR).
This week's top stories include Marsh and McLennan Companies agreeing to buy JLT, and the home secretary calling for AE to be scrapped in a no-deal Brexit scenario.
Lesley Titcomb says the watchdog wants closer interactions with pension funds to spot problems sooner and act before having to use its more stringent powers