First Flight Non-Executive Directors (AIM specialists) are delighted to announce that Sophie Tomkins has joined our client Proactis Holdings plc, the global spend management and B2B eCommerce solution provider, as Senior Independent Non-Executive Director with immediate effect.

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ROBERT WATSHAM

First Flight has had a number of clients in the regulated Financial Services sector and we are delighted that Robert Watsham has joined the First Flight team to address the growing need for Non  Executive Directors within the Financial Services community.

In the summer, when some Non-Executive Directors might have been in holiday mode, the Financial Reporting Council published its latest version of the official UK corporate governance code.

First Flight Non-Executive Directors have recently become a preferred partner of the London Stock Exchange Issuer Services Marketplace as a provider of Chairs, Non-Execs & Advisory Boards to smaller quoted companies on the Main Market & AIM companies.  The issuer services platform is central to London Stock Exchange's commitment to fostering connectivity, partnership & innovation.

 

First Flight and ShareSoc have long called for the Governance of AIM Companies to be improved following various frauds such as Globo, Quindell and a number of Chinese companies who have cost investors a great deal of money.

 

‘Overboarding’ – when Non-Executive Directors and Chairmen take on too many roles – is in the news because of recent shareholder rebellions at British American Tobacco, SSP and Meggitt where Marion Helmes, Vagn Sørensen and Sir Nigel Rudd respectively all faced opposition to their re-election. And in general, we at First Flight Non-Executive Directors side with the concerned shareholders. When recruiting a new NED or Chair, one of the first questions our search consultants ask candidates with current Non-Executive roles is how much time do their existing commitments take up, and how much headroom do they really have free if the unexpected happens?

 

In April 2018  The UK's Financial Conduct Authority confirmed the steps it wanted UK asset management to take to increase the competitiveness of their products (see FCA PS18/8 for the full report). Among the new rules is a requirement for authorised fund managers to appoint a minimum of two independent directors to their boards – but what does the FCA really mean by independent?

 

What makes a good Chair of a company? Its an interesting question and one we have tried to answer ourselves in the past, at least from the perspective of  recruiting Company Chairmen. (NB: we use the word ‘Chairman’ because that is the title most of our clients use, regardless of whether a man or a woman holds the office, and it’s not meant to imply any gender-bias.)

 

With the many pressures and challenges facing housing boards currently - what makes a great housing association board? What are the skills and knowledge required around the boardroom table in order to be effective?

Following the NHF conference earlier this year, Gill Payne is Executive Director of Public Impact speaks about managing diversity, technical challenges, social and political predictions and bringing in young talent.

As a search firm specialising in NED recruitment, First Flight Non-Executive Directors has teamed up with the accountancy firm Hacker Young, law firm Wedlake Bell and company secretarial services provider Bridgehouse Company Secretaires to form a Governance Group which runs quarterly 'Bite Sized' seminars for Chairmen, Non-Execs, Executive Directors and Co Secs. 

 

An Interesting article from the IoD on why SMEs should not ignore governance. As many of First Flight’s NED recruitment searches are for  SME clients, it’s an opinion we agree with, although improving their governance is just one of the reasons why SMEs recruit Non Execs: expertise, experience, commercial acumen, management know-how, broadening the skill-base, risk awareness, professional reputation, and help with making them more investable, are just some of the others.

 

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Authority engaged First Flight Non-Executive Directors to conduct and independant review to the approach and appointment of one of their members as a Non-Executive Director Board member for their commercial fire safety business Red One. 

 

Financial Conduct Authority publishes final report into asset management sector, recommending that at least two independent Non-Executive Directors are appointed to all AFM (Authorised Fund Manager) boards.

 

Boards in the UK and across the globe are experiencing increased pressure driven by high profile corporate scandals, investor dissatisfaction, questioning of Director Remuneration, a lack of contribution from many Non-Exexcutive Directors and financial regulation.

 

Ciscos last problem page explored what a Board of Directors can do for your start-up and how to build one.

Today we will look at why you might consider extending your Boards membership to include Non- Executive members who don't hold a full time role within the company.

 

HSBC Plc (HSBC) has chosen an outsider to be its Chairman for the first time.

Mark Tucker has has been named the bank's new group chairman and director. He will take up the position on September 1st. following his stewardship of AIA Group.

 

In EY's new report, Demystifying family boards: strong governance builds a legacy for generations who cannot read the annual report of a major public company without finding somewhere in come, they discuss how families need to decide on the right governing body for the size and stage of their business, as well as help their members understan their role within the business.

 

You cannot read the annual report of a major public company without finding somewhere in the musings of the chairman or chief executive a paragraph on the talents, diligence and resourcefulness of the employees, “who are without doubt the company’s most important asset”.

 

Recruitment firm Ferguson Partners released a report showing that the real estate investment trust (REIT) industry is lagging behind others in improving gender diversity on boards in both the United Kingdom and United States.

 

A Non-Executive Director (Non Exec) specializing in Risk and Compliance is required for a leading housing association based in London.

A Non-Executive Director (Non Exec) specializing in Private sector residential property development is required for a leading housing association based in London.

A Non-Executive Director (Non Exec) specializing in HR is required for a leading housing association based in London.

It is good to hear our Prime Minister endorsing the need for Non Execs to not be drawn from the same, narrow social and professional circles.

t will be held at The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, Euston Road, London, NW1

Non-Executive Director (Non Exec) is required for the Manufacturing Technology Centre Ltd (MTC).

Our next Non Exec Workshop will be held on 17th March 2016, It will be held at The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, Euston Road, London, NW1

First Flight would like to wish all nominees for the 'Non-Exec of the year' Award good luck for tonight especially our very own Jan Ward, Hardide and Lorraine Adlam, Red 24.

First Flight in conjunction with the Association of Finanical Mutuals conducted a survey on 'Chairmans Expectations on Board Remuneration and Time Committment'.  We are pleased to release the results here! Chairmans Expectations Survey

We are proud to announce that First Flight Non-Executive Directors are Award Sponsors of the Quoted Company Awards 2016!

We will start with three clarification points. Firstly, we are using the term Chairman because that is what most organisations in the UK use, regardless of whether their Chairman is a man or a woman, so no gender bias is intended.

Hardide PLC is an AIM Listed company specialising in advanced surface coating technologies that significantly extend the life of components used in industries like oil and gas, aerospace and precision engineering.

The Association of Financial Mutuals (AFM) yesterday confirmed that it had awarded First Flight Non-Executive Directors Associate Member status in recognition of First Flight’s work in helping its members recruit high quality Non Execs.

Damien Knight, a Principal at remuneration consultancy MM&K, discusses the findings of a recent survey of Chairman and Non-Executive Director fees, time commitments and views.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that the majority of new Non-Executive Director appointments (especially roles at non-FTSE 350 companies) are still made through existing connections rather than a formal search and selection process

Does your board have a clear and shared sense of its role? Are you aware of its strengths and the areas it might need to work on? Do you have a clear way forward for the board’s work over the next year?

Our Workshops are aimed at potential Non-Executive Directors and NEDs who have just acquired their first role. Attendees are likely to be successful business people, whom we believe have the ability to be excellent Non-Execs and whom we know would like to gain a better understanding of the complexities of being an effective NED.

We are pleased to announce that Valerie Stogdale has joined the First Flight team; she was with Russell Reynolds for 11 years handling Non Exec projects for FTSE 100-350 companies and PE backed companies.

First Flight are partnering with the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries and speaking at their NED Seminar: Matching the Profile of a Suitable Non-Executive Director on Monday 3rd November.

We are exhibiting at the 'Mello 2014 - Invest in good company' event on 6-8th November in Derby.  It is the UK's premier event for Investors and Companies.

It is probably fair to say that the changes are not substantial and it is unlikely Directors or investors will notice the impact in the short term. It can be seen more as a "polishing exercise" than a major revision.

Following a successful round of fundraising and substantial growth in 2014, EcoHydra Technologies Ltd, one of the UK's leading manufacturers of superior alcohol free hand hygiene formulations, has now established an Advisory Board to support the executive team.

Networking for everybody in business in these modern times is vital and the book 'The Relectant Networker' written by Neil Munz-Jones explains in a simple very readable way the importance of networking and how to become a good networker. 

Non-Executive Directors can make or break companies as we saw with the Banks – where were the Non Execs?

Norrie Johnston Recruitment Ltd, the fast growing agency providing permanent and interim senior managers, has announced the appointment of Graham Oates as   their Non-Executive Director after a search managed by First Flight Non-Executive Directors Ltd

We would welcome your comments on Chris Spencer-Phillips letter featured in The Sunday Times this week.

It’s 4pm on Friday and you are beginning to think about the weekend that you have planned. You are looking forward to a reunion with some old friends.

Origin Housing, the £45m turnover provider of affordable housing and care and support services in London and Hertfordshire, has announced the appointment of Mash Halai as a Non-Executive Director, after a search and selection process managed by First Flight-Non Executive Directors.

Boards look for a range of skills, experience, expertise, business acumen and personal qualities. Although the blend varies with each assignment, the most common categories are:

First Flight Non-Executive Directors is pleased to announce that our next one day Non-Executive Director Workshop will be held on Wednesday October 15th at The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, SW1

Although a lot of the “ideal” Board” criteria are aimed at larger and listed companies, other organisations should also strive for “best practise” where possible and start out in the way they want to continue.

Boards are spending more time in answering the crucial question of what skills and qualities they need to enable their company to be successful; some analysis such as a Board Evaluation (either internal or external) should be carried out to ascertain the required composition of the Board.

Nowadays, IP rights like patents and trade marks should no longer just be seen as being defensive or offensive tools that businesses can use against competitors to stop copycats in their tracks

As a Non-Executive Director of a growth company, you’ll know that you have to evaluate the performance of the senior executives (and their cost too), but there are other critical, often legal, HR agenda items

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