UK - British Airways chairman Lord Marshall has hit out at new corporate governance guidelines which were forcing him to stand down because he reached the age of 70.
Marshall – who has been at BA for 21 years – said that under the combined code he had reached the “venerable age where FTSE100s are out”.
Until recently Marshall was also chairman of engineering group, Invensys, and a non-executive director at HSBC.
Unlike the combined code – based on Sir Derek Higgs’s corporate governance report – Marshall said he believed directors should be allowed to stay on while they provided a “real benefit to a company”.
He added: “It’s a pity that doesn’t happen because of a principle that has been established. It’s important for people in their mid-60s not to feel obligated to step down.”
Marshall also defended the company’s decision not to pay a dividend, and said BA had been hit by “huge external factors”, including the September 11 attacks, the Iraq war and the Sars virus.
The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) has announced it will shrink its board by more than one-third as part of a governance overhaul to make it "agile and more appropriate".
Smaller FTSE 350 defined benefit (DB) schemes were nearly 15 percentage points less well-funded than larger schemes in 2017, according to a Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) analysis.
The advent of collective pension systems could help the UK avoid demographic challenges which will make it "impossible" for society to help savers in retirement, experts say.