A safe seat
The board of THG, the e-commerce company, has bestowed its New Year favours by coming to the defence of director Iain McDonald, after shareholders voted against his re-election.
On the morning of the vote, back in June, McDonald resigned from his position on the company’s remuneration committee. In advance of the vote, both ISS and Glass Lewis had advised voting against McDonald, based on his “independence”, or a perceived lack thereof.
This week, however, THG says, after engagement with shareholders, McDonald will remain as a director. “Iain is regarded as a valuable member of the board and, possessing extensive financial and remuneration expertise and investment acumen, brings a wealth of experience to its overall skill sets and knowledge base.”
The pun of a creature man
London Business School is, as the name suggests, a bastion of business scholarship. But recent evidence has emerged of a sense of humour, too.
The school recently posted an article about a NED Network event led by its professor of organisational behaviour Ben Hardy on business ethics.
Now, this is a worthy subject, make no mistake—but Board Agenda’s eye was drawn to the report by the pithy headline: “The only way is ethics.”
That works because it’s a pun on the TV show The Only Way is Essex, and…oh, it’s not funny if we have to explain it!
Anyway, organising business people can be a bit like herding cats, which is useful because Prof Hardy was a veterinary surgeon in a previous career. But if you’re on the MBA and feeling under the weather, best not ask him to take your temperature.
Practise what you preach
There are reports all over the world this week that the Big Four professional services mobs—PwC, Deloitte, KPMG and EY—are all looking to rethink their own governance.
This follows a number of scandals and debacles that the Financial Times reports “exposed shortcomings” in their governance.
The most recent high-profile story was PwC’s tax scandal in Australia, which involved a partner passing on secrets obtained while working for the government to fellow partners.
Laura Empson, a professor at Bayes Business School, points out in the FT that the Big Four struggle with “the worst aspects of partnership governance and the worst aspects of corporate governance”. That, we are sure, made many a partner wince. Globally.
Anyway, Board Agenda would also point out that the Big Four, without exception, offer clients advice on the mundane topic of… (drum roll, please) corporate governance. There’s an irony.