My last issue as Editor of Governance and Compliance
This month's cover interview is with Giles Peel, Head of
Governance Advisory Practice at DAC Beachcroft. His career to date
has been a unique one, spending 20 years in the Royal Navy as a
Supply and Secretariat Officer, during which time he completed the
ICSA qualifications to become a chartered secretary. He had the
foresight to plan for life after the armed forces, and his
background enables him to offer an alternative perspective on
corporate governance and the role of the company
Giles offers some interesting insight to the boardroom –
of particular note are his thoughts on increasing responsibilities
placed upon non-executive directors in light of the SMR and SMIR.
He explains that he is passionate about the principle of collective
responsibility for boards and believes that these regimes could
perhaps undermine this. His concern is that the increased level of
responsibility placed upon NEDs may be well received by some, but
not by others – 'I am not sure we want two tiers of
NEDs', he says. Read the full interview,
'We must not conflate governance with democracy'.
Another theme that runs through this issue is the perennial
topic of reporting. We feature a somewhat critical article from
'Governance clutter', who believes there is much room
for improvement in many annual reports. He describes
'governance clutter' in many and cites HSBC Holdings plc as
an example, which is 'a massive 502 pages' – although
reporting requirements have gotten more onerous.
Peter Swabey, in his feature
'Award winning reporting', however, notes that
reporting on the whole is getting better. Overseeing the ICSA
Awards judging process, he observes 'Reports that were
outstanding three years ago are now at the back of the pack, not
because they have got worse, but because others have learned from
them and have caught up or even overtaken'. He also provides
some useful advice to those organisations hoping to improve their
On a final note, this will be my last issue as Editor of
Governance and Compliance. I have very much enjoyed my time
producing this magazine – thank you for all your insights to
the profession and I wish you all a prosperous career.
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