There are more FTSE 350 non-executive directors than in 2003 – and they are
more experienced than their predecessors, according to a study.
Across the 12 sectors examined,
survey for the Financial Reporting
Council found 30% of non-execs now have direct experience of
working in the same sector as the company whose boards they sit on.
Those with wider related experience rose to 59% from 53% in 2003.
Nearly a quarter (23%) of non-execs on banks have direct banking experience,
compared to just 6% six years ago.
Relevant wider “financial industry” experience among bank sector non-execs
doubled, from 31% to 60% over the same period to come into line with the average
of 59% across the FTSE 350.
“Of course, there are many factors affecting the operation of individual
company boards but it is important that NEDs have sufficient direct knowledge as
well as broad experience to act as effective counterpoints,” said Simon Lowe,
head of business risk services at Grant Thornton.
“In my experience, the most effective boards in large listed companies are
those with a balance of sector, listed and wider commercial experience.”
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