Tuesday, 1 December 2009

FRC stuff

The FRC has released its proposed new version of the Combined Code, plus the results of the previous review. Obviously it is significantly influenced by Walker. Notably the FRC propose two options on director elections - either annual election of the chair, or of all directors. I reckon we could well end up with the latter, because the former feels like a tilt away from the unitary board, surely?

Some useful commentary from the FRC on this stuff too:
it was argued that voting on the board as a whole was more consistent with the concept of collective responsibility, but there were concerns that it might have a destabilising effect or encourage short-termism on the part of the board and shareholders. The FRC notes these concerns, although anecdotal evidence suggests that this has not been the experience of those companies that have moved to annual reelection of all directors. In those cases the majority of investors have used their votes responsibly.
As I blogged previously, investors who oppose annual elections are - in my opinion - simply taking their pro-management stance too far. So it's good to see the FRC look at the actual evidence of companies that have made the move, rather than taking for granted that the conservative position is the right one.

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