BusinessCompany NewsDirectors worry about professional advice

Directors worry about professional advice

Nearly a third of executive directors are concerned about the integrity of their professional advisors in the wake of the collapse of Andersen, a new survey has revealed.

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Read out special reports on WorldCom and Andersen.

This was the most worrying finding in the study undertaken by law firm Eversheds, which questioned 100 executive directors of listed companies.

Thirty two percent said they were concerned about the integrity of their professional advisors, while 34% had grown worried about the quality of the advice they received.

Also disturbing was the consensus that non-executive directors provide little support in the area of corporate governance. Over half of those surveyed said NEDs were at a disadvantage in identifying and managing risk.

The survey painted executive directors as driven to act to improve corporate governance and risk management in the wake of Enron and WorldCom, but also as being largely unaware of new corporate legislation – nine out of ten were unfamiliar with the Enterprise Bill.

Martin Issitt, head of corporate at Eversheds, commented: ‘This research demonstrates that UK plc board directors are concerned about personal risk, yet remain largely unaware of the legislation that fuels those worries.’

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