UK - Corporate governance experts want companies to spell out the time demands on non-executive directors.
The call follows a meeting between Pensions Investment Research Consultants and National Grid Transco chairman Sir John Parker who is rumoured to be the front-runner to succeed Sir Dick Evans as chairman of defence equipment group BAE Systems.
Taking on a second chairmanship would contravene Sir Derek Higgs’s combined code which recommends that no individual should be chairman of more than one FTSE100 company.
PIRC met with Parker to discuss corporate governance issues at NGT. The amount of time required from directors was one of the main issues following concerns raised by PIRC last year about the workload of two NEDs.
PIRC corporate governance policy manager David Somerlinck acknowledged there was “subjectivity” when assessing how many positions could be “managed effectively” but he said shareholders needed greater clarification.
He added: “Firms should set out the expected time commitment in an NED’s letter of appointment and make the terms and conditions available for inspection.
“On re-election the chairman should confirm that the individual demonstrates commitment to the role and we will be considering these issues in our 2004 AGM reports.”
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