The main findings of a new study of company board structure, described in this article, are:
- The trend towards an increasing number of non-executive directors on the boards of quoted companies has been maintained: only one quoted company in twenty in the present study had no non-executive directors and, on average, one director in three was non-executive. Moreover, in 60% of the companies examined, the board included three or more non-executive directors; in 1979 this was true of only half the quoted companies.
- Almost one in three non-executive directors identified in this study was either a former executive of the company or a professional adviser to it. Roughly three companies in five had appointed such people as non-executive directors and they formed almost a half of the non-executives on the boards of these companies.
- Eighty-five per cent of the non-executive directors were receiving fees of £10,000 or less.
- Few companies provide information about the experience and qualifications of non-executive directors or the responsibilities of executive directors in their reports and accounts. Indeed, only one in two of the largest 250 industrial companies indicated in their annual reports whether directors were executive or non-executive.