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The Boardroom Pulse From Korn/Ferry Whitehead Mann

The Boardroom Pulse From  Korn/Ferry Whitehead Mann

Two thirds of FTSE 100 Chairmen (65%) think the Eurozone will not fracture in the next 12 months and their confidence in the Government’s economic policy is waning, according to new findings* out today.

The & lsquo;Boardroom Pulse’ survey has been created by Korn/Ferry Whitehead Mann, the leading executive search and talent management consultancy, to give FTSE 100 Chairmen a collective voice on the business and governance issues of the day and offer a real-time insight into the views inside the boardrooms of the UK’s most powerful companies.

According to the findings, while two thirds of chairmen expect the Eurozone to remain intact over the next year, they are still taking the threat of disintegration very seriously, with 87% factoring a potential collapse into their scenario planning as a critical risk to their business. However, despite extensive planning there remains a great deal of trepidation over a potential break-up, with one respondent suggesting that “it is far from obvious what we can actually do to mitigate the risk.”

Dominic Schofield, Senior Client Partner in Korn/Ferry’s Board Practice, commented: “Businesses are essential to our economic recovery so we felt it was important to create a forum for business leaders to collectively voice their opinion on the major issues affecting British business and the economy.”

The survey indicates a drop in approval levels for the Government’s economic policy when compared to an earlier study** from January 2011 that showed that 89% of UK business leaders thought the Government’s policies would improve economic conditions. The new Boardroom Pulse findings reveal that there is a 50/50 split amongst FTSE 100 Chairmen on whether the Government is striking the right balance between driving growth and tackling the budget deficit.

Many respondents believe that the Government should do more to stimulate growth. One FTSE Chairman suggests that “the Government needs to use PFI to fund capital projects, [and] immediately implement the new financing package for lending to small firms” while another recommends that “regulation and taxes need to be cut and Government spending refocused.”

On the issue of executive remuneration, 29% of Chairmen agreed that shareholders should have a binding vote, a number that Korn/Ferry suggests is much more significant than it would have been a few years ago.

Dominic Schofield commented: “Shareholders have been taking a much more active role in the stewardship of companies recently and we believe there is a growing acceptance of this from FTSE boardrooms. However, there is still a lot of opposition to the principle of a binding vote, with many Chairmen believing it would be counter-productive. Much remains to be done by the Government to truly convince business leaders of the merits of its recently announced plans to introduce a binding vote.”

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