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Factsheet:

Board performance

Resource summary

This guide was written by Coffin Mew LLP and is for general information only. Last updated October 2014.

Running effective board meetings

A board meeting is fundamentally like any other type of meeting so the basic principles of running effective meetings apply. The board meeting needs:

  • an agenda – comprising a mix of long-term strategy and short-term performance issues
  • papers – concise, well-written and with salient points highlighted, distributed in good time whether by email or in hard copy
  • appropriate information – financial and non-financial reports should be available
  • to be held regularly – research shows the boards of the large listed companies meet between eight and ten times a year
  • to be well attended – attendance should be expected (the UK Corporate Governance Code (2010) ("the Code") specifically states that attendance details of board meetings should be disclosed)
  • attendees who are prepared – papers circulated have been read and considered and attendees arrive ready to contribute
  • leadership – the chair introduces items and facilitates discussions, encouraging contributions from all
  • non-executive directors - there is a recommendation that within all listed public limited companies (except those below FTSE 350) at least half the board should comprise of them. Those companies below the FTSE 350 should have at least two independent non-executive directors. They are required to scrutinise the board and management.
  • financial and human resources - the board must ensure that these are available to meet the long term strategies and short term performance issues and
  • values and standards - the board should set these to ensure every member of the board knows the main objective and that the interests of the company are considered at all times.

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  • Running effective board meetings
  • Evaluating the performance of the board
  • Evaluation of non-executive directors
  • Reporting performance

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