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In this section of the site you have access to a number of external articles and reports which we believe you will find of interest. Use the side bar menu to find items in each particular area. Click on the link and the item will open in a new window.


If you have any items you think should be added to this area, please e-mail Cerys Llewellyn at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Boards are uniquely positioned to oversee the long-term vision of an organization. Yet, many boards and executive teams are often tempted to focus on the short term. How can boards inject long-term thinking into their oversight role? In this report, Deloitte business leaders and non-executive directors comment on how boards can apply a long-term lens to their oversight role in an age of disruption and uncertainty.

The EY Center for Board Matters took a close look at independent directors newly elected in 2018 by investors to Fortune 100 boards, and this report presents the findings of their analysis. The report analyses what these directors bring to the boardroom and how companies are showcasing those strengths, based on a review of corporate disclosures highlighting the skills, expertise and backgrounds associated with these new nominees.

The FT–ICSA Boardroom Bellwether is a twice-yearly survey of FTSE 350 companies that seeks to gauge the sentiment inside UK boardrooms. It canvasses the views of their company secretaries to find out how boards are responding to the challenges of the economy, market conditions and the wider business and governance environment.

Looking to the year ahead, the following report discusses the board trends Spencer Stuart believes will continue or accelerate in 2019, and how they are likely to shape board composition in 2019 and beyond.

This report is designed to give corporate directors and senior executive a comprehensive overview of major business and governance issues likely to demand board focus over the coming year. The report begins with an introduction from NACD, highlighting survey findings about leading board priorities for 2019, and follows with four partner contributions that provide distinct insights and projections on the following themes: business risks, climate change, M&A, regulatory priorities and board composition and succession.

Today’s board members, company secretaries and governance professionals are expected to manage critical issues like cyber risk, regulation, culture and ethics alongside the constant pressure to drive business performance.

Diligent commissioned Forrester Consulting to evaluate global executive board governance practices. After conducting a survey targeting governance professionals across 11 countries, we found that board members and governance professionals are practicing some shockingly dangerous practices-leaving boards open to a potential barrage of cyberattacks.

Michael Henson and John Dawson look at the way that AGMs are run currently and make some suggestions for modernising the process to empower both the company and the investors.

With its inclusive involvement from chairs and non-executives operating within organisations of all sizes, comprising all ownership models and from all sectors and industry types across the world, this study aims to be the most authoritative global study on the issues that have an impact on effectiveness in the boardroom.

The QCA Corporate Governance Code states that the board of a company is responsible for setting the vision and strategy for the company to deliver value to its shareholders. But how do small and mid-sized companies and their advisors think boards and directors are performing in relation to this in the real world?

Paul Lee asks if Elizabeth Warren’s Accountable Capitalism Act is actually debating points not legislation?

Despite microcap public companies’ importance in our capital markets, there is a paucity of studies examining their board composition and governance practices. This study provides insights into the current governance landscape in this asset class. Where available, comparisons are made to the boards of the companies included in the Russell 3000 Index.

According to a new survey, directors see good operations and effective execution of key board activities linking with stronger self-reported performance, suggesting that value can flow from improving the way boards work.

Alison Gill uses her experience as a board evaluator to draw out what makes a good external board evaluation and the benefits it can bring.

The composition of the board must reflect the company’s current strategy. Strategy evolves and as such, so must the board. This article discusses the importance of board refreshment, and looks how boards can embrace the opportunities provided by the pace and scaleof change.

The work of boards and their chairs is likely to change significantly. More women and a wider array of professionals are likely to fill future boards, while technology will play a bigger role in their work.

The five Tenets of Good Corporate Governance is a report published by ACCA which looks at the interrelation between businesses and society over the years and the importance of good corporate governance.

Company strategies evolve and shift quickly today, due to acquisitions, new competitors or emerging technology adoption. So boards need to take a fresh look at how they think about strategy. This can help the board contribute to the success of the company's long-term strategic plan.

Every year, Corporate Board Member and Spencer Stuart collaborate to survey directors of publicly traded companies to check their pulse on the challenges and best practices of corporate directorship in the united states. This year, in their 15th annual What Directors Think Survey, 230 board members shared their overwhelming concern of being ill-equipped to keep up with the acceleration of technology and disruption. This report presents their key findings.

Today, with less implicit understanding among directors about how the board should behave, it’s more important than ever to define and manage a board culture to facilitate constructive interactions between board members. For boards striving to be more dynamic, performance-oriented and shareholder focused, getting culture right is key. What is board culture?

2018 Governance Outlook: Projections on Emerging Board Matters is NACD’s first publication of its kind, designed to give corporate directors and senior executives a comprehensive overview of major business and governance issues likely to demand board focus over the coming year. The report begins with an introduction from NACD, highlighting survey findings about leading board priorities for 2018, and follows with six partner contributions that provide distinct insights and projections on the following themes: business risks, board evolution, litigation, workforce disruption, and cybersecurity.

The Effective Board, published by Advanced Boardroom Excellence seeks to bring together some of the more important aspects of current thinking about boards, and individual and collective director effectiveness, based on recent research and experience, and new understanding.

Heidrick & Struggles recently hosted two roundtable board discussions with corporate chairmen to consider how the digital revolution has driven innovation and customer experience in the financial services and consumer sectors.

This is a brief, ICSA blog which examines the top five core qualities every Non-Executive Director needs. 

This brief Spencer Stuart report looks at the process of CEO selection and the potential hazards that companies may face if CEO succession and selection isn’t successful.

Spencer Stuart explores in this article the 10 key steps that a board must take to make way for a successful CEO succession, which in turn creates long-term value for the company.

From Heidrick & Struggles comes this 2016 Board Monitor, focusing on CEO and Board practice in which the latest trends in boardroom composition, experience and turnover are examined for the year 2015.

This Korn Ferry report highlights the importance of effective succession management in terms of the continuation of organisational success, using the thoughts and opinions of business leaders across all levels from more than 50 countries globally.

This Spencer Stuart report on CEO succession planning highlights the four major succession risks that, if not recognised and managed, can derail and disrupt the process of succession and destroy value. 

This latest piece on corporate reporting from the Black Sun examines some of the culture indicators that can currently be found in FTSE 100 annual reports, exploring what increased reporting in this area could look like in the future. It finds that, surprisingly, only 14% of the FTSE 100 surveyed directly report on culture.

This joint research programme on board leadership from Alvarez & Marsal and Henley Business offers practical guidance for leadership teams, as well as a set of core disciplines to increase the chances of boards successfully navigating through major disruption. The focus of this research is to understand how Boards address any complex challenges that they may face, and how the speed of which they do so affects the eventual outcome.  

This EY America report, based on a global survey of the world’s largest family businesses, examines how these family businesses undertake successful successions. The report discovers how these companies lay the groundwork for new leadership through four distinct actions, and as EY explores each long-term preparation, they highlight certain factors that help these family firms manage successions while minimising turmoil and disruption to the business. 

The Credit Suisse Research Institute (CSRI) has recently published this report which examines more than 900 family-owned companies across the globe to understand how family businesses have become not only key drivers of economic growth, but also key employers. This report looks to further the findings from previous Credit Suisse reports, more specifically one conducted in 2007, where they highlighted a number of strengths that characterise family businesses. This new report adds to those characteristics, and examines why and how family businesses stand apart from the wider corporate world.

This report by Korn Ferry investigates the changing role of the non-exec since 2005, whilst simultaneously examining the new demands being placed on non-execs. Exploring the skill sets of current non-execs, this report offers an insight into the foundation characteristics of successful non-execs, defining the aspects of the role that have remained constant over the time specified in the report, and the aspects that have grown in significance.

This recent report, published jointly by Henley Business School and the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) was based on in-depth research of the role amongst FTSE, SME and private, not-for-profit and public sector board-level stakeholders in UK, Republic of Ireland and internationally based organisations. It found that the company secretary adds significant value as a vital go-between and helps facilitate the successful delivery of organisational objectives.

This report from Egon Zehnder focuses on interviews of chairmen and independent directors from several leading global companies where chairman and CEO roles are split. It looks at a number of topics that are relevant in today’s boardrooms, including risk, succession planning, strategy and group dynamics. 

EY have produced this report, which is based on a series of individual meetings and roundtables held by EY and The Investment Association. The meetings brought together leading chairmen, board directors and senior investors in order to debate the issue of board effectiveness. The report aims to highlight leading practice for improving and demonstrating board effectiveness, and takes into account seven themes including the role of the chairman, progress on diversity, and the purpose and impact of board evaluations. 

For this report, EY has teamed up with Kennesaw State University’s Cox Family Enterprise Center, to survey the world’s largest family businesses. The survey focussed on seven success factors, including women in leadership, cybersecurity, and corporate social responsibility. The report looks at the leaders of family businesses, the views of management, and also the plans for future growth which shows the success of these companies – with 68% planning to increase their production capacity in 2015.

This research is from ESRC, Sapphire Partners and Kings College London, and shows that the recent efforts to increase the participation of women on boards have had a significant effect, particularly on FTSE boards. Women are being encouraged by their networks to seek NED roles, and are targeting FTSE boards. Men, on the other hand, are targeting a wider set of boards including non-FTSE plc and private company boards. The report was launched at an event on 12th March, at which the panel consisted of Carola Hoyos from the FT NED Club; Helena Morrissey from the 30 percent club; and Robert Swannell, Chairman of Marks & Spencer.

This survey from Deloitte is now in its third consecutive year of publication. It aims to provide a unique perspective on the concerns that boards of directors face around the world, on a variety of corporate governance matters. These matters range from board composition and risk oversight, to the directors’ role in strategy. This year’s survey also covers topics such as cyber security, compliance, and anti-corruption regulations. 

This article by G & C Digital discusses the rise of 'briefcase technology' and what this will mean in the Boardroom. Whilst recognising how technology can be a massive benefit and make life much easier in many respects, the article also looks at many of the risks involved with software and offers tips on how to best secure important information.  

This report by the Korn/Ferry Institute describes how for top non-execs, there is a clear interplay between behavioural attributes, skills and competencies, much of which remains unspoken in the boardroom. The report brings together numerous elements of outstanding non-execs through interviews with 34 chairmen, deputy chairmen, CEOs and non-execs across listed companies in the Australasian region and aims to assist organisations in developing highly functional boards.

This report by Ian Muir is based on interviews with several FTSE 350 businesses about how important the tone from the top is to them, and also how it can be improved.


CEDR's report attempts to show the significant effects that boardroom disputes can have on an organisation and the challenges that individual members of those boards encounter when attempting to resolve a dispute at this level. It is the result of an online survey of 191 members of corporate boards across the world, with 43% of these members having served on boards for over 10 years.

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‘The focus on making boards more gender representative has skewed the debate away from how we can get more people with a diversity of appropriate skills and experience onto boards,’ according to a recent report from Policy Exchange.  The report, Board Rules: Improving Corporate Governance,  suggests that instead of executive search firms expanding shortlists to include more women, attention should be on including people with different skills and experiences to those traditionally head-hunted.  Engaging shareholders is another necessary step:  shareholders should make up the majority of people on the committee responsible for appointing board members to improve performance, diversity and accountability of UK companies.  

The latest global survey of governance from McKinsey suggests that boards should increase their focus on risk; directors should spend more time on board work and should learn from how their peers on high-performing boards work.

Unprecedented demand for the unique skill-set of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) outside the finance role makes them arguably the individual with the most career options in the corporate hierarchy according to a global study recently published by Ernst & Young.

The way you run board meetings says much about how you run the company. Successful companies use board meetings to create and improve key business strategies.

This briefing is aimed mostly at companies large enough to have board meetings. But it is also useful for smaller businesses, as many of the points apply to strategy meetings in general.

The briefing outlines:

The objectives of board meetings.

Who should be on the board.

Preparing for board meetings.

Running and following up board meetings.

The Guidance on Board Effectiveness is one of a suite of guidance notes issued by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) to assist companies in applying the principles of the UK Corporate Governance Code. It replaces ‘Good Practice Suggestions from the Higgs Report’ (known as “the Higgs Guidance”), which was last issued in 2006.

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