Some companies have failed to embrace the spirit of the revised code on corporate governance and simply “wish it will go away”, according to the creator of the reforms.
Making a rare public comment on the issue, Derek Higgs told a conference in the Netherlands yesterday that a minority of companies were “going through the motions”.
In comments reported by the Financial Times, he added: “That is cynical and disappointing, but true.” He did not name specific companies.
Higgs was commissioned by the Government to review the role of non-executive directors. His recommendations, incorporated into the revised governance Code, apply to reporting years beginning after 1 November 2003.
Some business lobby groups have criticised the new Code for creating a ‘box-ticking’ mentality among directors and shareholders that has resulted in an unproductive focus on compliance, at the expense of business performance.