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Over 60% of FTSE 100 General Counsel appointments are external hires, finds Norman Broadbent

A report released by Norman Broadbent has found that over the last three years, over 60% of General Counsel appointments in the FTSE 100 were external hires.  

The company interviewed over fifty general counsel, executive and non-executive directors for FTSE 100, FTSE 250 companies and overseas listed businesses in the research for the paper.

Looking at the statistics from the wide range of FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 GCs interviewed, Norman Boradbent found that three quarters (74%) have an internal succession plan, of which 70% have what they regard to be a robust succession plan. The company, in its report, found that effective succession planning contributes to business success through continuity, likely cultural alignment, retained knowledge and expertise within the organisation as well as motivating and incentivising employees.

The report also explores the challenge of hiring an internal candidate. Norman Broadbent stated, “Their [internal candidates] remit is often quite focused and they are less likely to have much interaction with the ExCo or the Board, and thus will be remote from some of the key PLC issues and therefore may not necessarily be seen as a successor.”

Julian Ortner, director of Norman Broadbent, said, “General Counsel succession planning is far from simple or consistent in large corporates. For the internal plan to succeed there needs to be an alignment of personal development, fortuitous timing, effective retention, a Board and Executive Committee that are aligned with the exiting GC and a dose of good luck and pragmatism.” 

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