Aviva Investors welcomes FRC guidelines on board diversity and the annual re-election of company directors
28 May 2010
(London): Aviva Investors has today welcomed the Financial Reporting Council’s new governance standards, in particular its recommendation that directors of FTSE 350 companies stand for annual re-election and its efforts improve board diversity.
Anita Skipper, Aviva Investors Corporate Governance Director said: “We have been an advocate of both increasing board diversity and the annual re-election of directors and are pleased to see these recommendations included.
“Aviva Investors believes that annual elections of all directors will make boards more aware of their accountability to shareholders and is consistent with the philosophy of the unitary board.
“While we are aware of some concerns that annual elections will lead to short term thinking on boards, we hope instead that being more accountable to shareholders will encourage boards to foster relationships with their long-term shareholders for their support of long-term strategies. UK companies that already put their directors up for election each year have not behaved in a short-term manner and shareholders have not abused their right to vote directors off boards.
“We are also pleased that the Code recognises the importance of diversity on boards. We believe a board that more closely reflects society and the company's client base is likely to make better, more informed decisions. In our annual letter to FTSE Chairman sent in February this year, we recommended that companies provide bespoke disclosure on their board construction, including a description of the skill-sets, relevant experience and diversity brought to the board by each director.”
For more information contact:
+44 (0)20 7809 8618
Notes to Editors
Aviva Investors is the global asset management business of Aviva plc. The company delivers investment management solutions, services and client-driven performance to clients worldwide. Aviva Investors operates in 16 countries in Asia Pacific, Europe, North America and the United Kingdom with assets under management of almost £250 billion at 31 December 2009.
- Aviva is the world’s fifth largest* insurance group, serving 53 million customers across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific
- Aviva’s main business activities are long-term savings, fund management and general insurance, with worldwide total sales of £45.1 billion and funds under management of £379 billion at 31 December 2009
* Based on gross worldwide premiums for the year ended 31 December 2008
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