The UK’s Institute of Directors (IoD) is to publish a revised code of corporate governance for private companies and has reportedly called on the prime minister to endorse them.
The move comes in the wake of the collapse of high street retailer BHS, which went out of business with a huge pension fund deficit.
Oliver Parry, head of corporate at the IoD, is quoted in The Telegraph as saying that “unlisted companies are a neglected sector for corporate governance in the post financial crisis world”.
The IoD revised code is expected in November. The Financial Times reported yesterday that the IoD wants its nine principles of governance to be officially backed by the government. The FT says the IoD believes the way forward for private companies is improved transparency.
However, the FT also cautions against more red tape for private companies:
“… private companies are very often the property of founders or their families. As long as they treat staff, customers and suppliers decently and within the law, governance is up to them. The IoD and government should follow the example of owner managers: mind their own business.”
Theresa May came to power in July after a speech in which she pledged to overhaul corporate governance and fix poor corporate behaviour. Among her policy intentions was the introduction of employee representatives in company boards.