Sir George Cox has been commissioned by Ed Miliband MP, Leader of the Labour Party, to carry out an Review of ’short-termism’ in British business. Sir George accepted on the condition that the review will be entirely independent from the Labour Party.
Sir George Cox said:
“If there are problems in this area – holding the UK back against international competition – then they are long standing, systemic and cannot be laid at the feet of any one government. However, they need addressing urgently if we are to build the industries and businesses which can compete globally in the 21st century.”
The Review will look at market and governance pressures to focus on short-term results, to the possible detriment of the longer-term health of the organisation and the wider economy, and will put forward recommendations to address this.
Ed Miliband MP, Leader of the Labour Party, said:
“I am delighted that Sir George Cox has agreed to carry out this independent review and gathered such a strong group of experts to help steer his work. I believe businesses need to be able to take a more long-term view if we are to develop an economy which works for working people, compete with countries where longer term planning is taken for granted, and pay our way in the world.
“This review will be comprehensive, going where the evidence takes it, examining factors impeding long-termism in the UK economy, and how together we might best reform them. I hope that a wide range of businesses, trade unions, academics and others will make submissions to the review.”
Specifically the Review will examine issues including:
* Corporate governance and the functioning of equity markets;
* Tax, including the treatment of debt, equity and the extent to which the tax system can and should encourage long-termism; and
* Corporate management, including issues of culture and quality.
The assembled Steering Group is comprised of business, academic and policy leaders from a range of backgrounds and fields:
* Terry Scuoler, Chief Executive of the Engineering Employers Federation (EEF)
* Simon Walker, Director General of the Institute of Directors (IoD)
* Frances O’Grady, Deputy General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC)
* Professor Joe Nellis, Professor of International Management Economics at Cranfield University, School of Management
* David Pitt-Watson, Founder and Chair of Hermes Equity and Ownership Service
* Mike Turner CBE, Chairman of Babcock International Group and former Chief Executive of BAE Systems
* Paul Lester CBE, Chairman of The Peverel Group, Greenergy International Ltd and Non Executive Director of Invensys.
The Review is currently in its initial phase of investigation, carrying out interviews with a wide range of top businesspeople, investors, academics, employees and ex-civil servants The EEF, IoD and CBI have all expressed support the Review.
The review will report to Ed Miliband MP, Ed Balls MP and Chuka Umunna MP. Sir George Cox is former Director General of the Institute of Directors and is a Director of NYSE-Euronext.
Call for Evidence
Sir George Cox is issuing a call for evidence for his review. Respondents are asked to consider, in particular, the following questions:
1. What are the timescales under consideration by boards and senior management in evaluating corporate risks and opportunities, and by institutional shareholders and managers in making investment and governance decisions, and to what extent do these match the long term needs of the business?
2. Is ’short-termism’ – the pressure to focus on short-term performance to the detriment of the long-term development of the business – really an issue?
And if so, to what extent?
3. What’s the cause of short-termism?
4. To what extent, if any, does it have an effect on the sector/economy as a whole?
5. What role, if any, does government have in driving a more long-term approach within UK business?
6. The financial crisis has had far reaching implications for the business environment and for the economy as a whole. Are there any signs that either firms or investors have been changing their behaviour since the financial crisis?
Submission should be sent to: email@example.com
Steering Group Profiles
Professor Joe Nellis, BSc(Econ) MA PhD FHEA AcSS, Professor of International Management Economics & Director of Policy Strategy & Performance Community at The Cranfield University School of Management.
Professor Joe Nellis specialises in global macroeconomics and business environment. He was formerly Director of Graduate Programmes and Academic Dean.
From 2005-2008 he was Pro-Vice Chancellor of Cranfield University and is currently Director of the Policy, Strategy & Performance Academic Community within the School. He sits on the School’s Executive Board.
He also holds Visiting Professorial appointments at various universities throughout Europe and is a recipient of an ‘Outstanding Professor’ award in Hungary, a ‘Distinguished Graduate Award’ from the University of Ulster, and the ‘Best Professor Award’ two years running from GISMA/Purdue University.
He has published 18 research and subject-based books and over 200 academic and practitioner journal articles. He is a frequent contributor to a wide range of national and international conferences, is a consultant to a number of UK and international companies and has also acted as a consultant to several central government departments and public sector organisations.
Terry Scuoler, Chief Executive of the Engineering Employers Federation (EEF)
Following graduation from Glasgow University with a degree in economics, Terry attended the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst and was commissioned into the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders where he served for five years as an infantry officer. On leaving the Army in 1978 he started his commercial career in publishing and in the construction industry.
In 1984 he joined Royal Ordnance (now part of BAE Systems) as European Marketing Manager and worked in a number of divisions in the UK, Western Europe, North America and the Middle East.
In 1999 he became Managing Director of Ferranti Technologies Ltd and with a supportive team returned the company from years of decline and a loss-making situation to one of substantial growth and high profitability. He puts down his success at Ferranti to a very strong team ethic, a commitment to investing heavily in the business and an early recognition of the need to develop people and skills at all levels.
Terry became CEO of EEF in March 2010 with a vision and commitment to take part in a renewed interest and resurgence in the UK’s manufacturing and engineering sectors. He also sits on the Boards of SEMTA, the Sector Skills Council for Manufacturing, the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Institute (AMI) and is a member of the Apprentice Ambassador Network.
David Pitt-Watson, Founder and Chair of Hermes Equity Ownership Service
David Pitt-Watson has had a varied business career, both as a prominent City investor and as a senior strategic advisor. He is also a Trustee of Oxfam.
Between 1997 and 1999 he was Assistant General Secretary of the Labour Party. He has advised leading politicians on issues of industrial policy and organisation for over 20 years. He is a director of Oxford Analytica and a trustee of the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR). He has been a member of several policy commissions.
A graduate of Oxford and Stanford Universities, David was Visiting Professor at Cranfield University School of Management from 1990 to 1996. He is the author of The New Capitalists, published by Harvard, which describes how a “civil economy” can emerge in the economic sphere, mirroring civil society in the political sphere.
He was formerly head of all Hermes shareholder activist activities. Hermes Equity Ownership Service is the largest shareholder stewardship programme in the world.
Frances O’Grady, Deputy General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC)
Before the TUC, Frances worked for the Transport and General Workers Union where she worked on successful campaigns to stop the abolition of the Agricultural Wages Board and for the introduction of a national minimum wage; equal pay for women, and on a range of industrial wage claims.
In 1994 Frances was appointed as TUC Campaigns, in 1997, she was appointed to head up the New Unionism campaign and launched the TUC’s Organising Academy, followed in 1999 with her heading up the TUC’s organisation department.
As Deputy General Secretary since 2003, Frances led on winning the 2012 Principles of Co-operation Agreement with the Olympic Authorities, led on industrial policy arguing the case for a strategic approach to rebalancing the economy in the wake of the financial crash, and represents the TUC on the Low Pay and the High Pay Commissions and on the Resolution Foundation’s Commission on Living Standards.
Michael John Turner CBE, Chairman of Babcock International Group and former Chief Executive of BAE Systems
Michael John Turnet is the former Chief Executive of the aerospace and defence company BAE systems and previously held the role of. He joined BAES in 1966 and held a number of roles including that of Chief Operating Officer (COO) at BAES, responsible for all of the company’s business units. Other roles put him in charge of managerial, commercial and marketing positions.
Since leaving BAES he has served as Director of Lazard Ltd and the Lazard Group since 2006. He is also Senior Independent Director of GKN PLC, is a member of the Apprenticeships Ambassadors Network and is a member of the Compensation Committee and the Nominating & Governance Committee of Forbes’ Board of Directors.
He is now Non-Executive Chairman of Babcock International Group.
In 2009 he was awarded the prestigious “Honorary Apprenticeship Award” in July 2009.
Simon Walker, Director General of the Institute of Directors (IoD)
After serving as Director of Corporate Affairs at British Airway and non-executive director of Comair Ltd (South Africa) Simon Walker worked from 1996-1997 as a special adviser in the Prime Minister’s Policy Unit at 10 Downing Street, and in 2000 was appointed Communications Secretary to HM The Queen at Buckingham Palace, a post held until 2003.
From 2003-2007 Simon worked at Reuters as Director of Corporate Communications and Marketing. He was Chief Executive of the BVCA, the organisation that represents British private equity and venture capital, from 2007-2011
Simon Walker was previously a partner at Brunswick, a member of the Better Regulation Commission, a Trustee of The Queen’s Golden Jubilee Trust, a Council Member of the European Policy Forum, and a member of the Parliamentary Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Public Engagement. He read PPE at Oxford, where he was President of the Oxford Union. He was a Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University.
Paul Lester CBE, Chairman of The Peverel Group, Greenergy International Ltd and John Laing Infrastructure Fund, Norland Managed Services and Survitec, Non-Executive Director of Invensys and Former Chief Executive of VT Group and Group Managing Director of Balfour Beatty plc.
Paul Lester CBE has extensive experience working within British industry, most recently as the Chief Executive of VT Group, which he transformed into a diversified support and business services group. Before that, he was Group Managing Director of Balfour Beatty plc.
Paul is a member of the HM Treasury Major Projects Review Group and was previously the President of the Society of Maritime Industries and the Engineering Employers Federation. He has a degree in Mechanical Engineering and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Law degree at Portsmouth University.
He is also Non-Executive Chairman of Invensys, Greenergy International Ltd, John Laing Infrastructure Fund Norland Managed Services and Survitec.
Paul Lester CBE was appointed as independent Non-Executive Chairman of The Peverel Group in 2012.
Sir George Cox, Former Director General of the Institute of Directors and is a Director of NYSE-Euronext
Sir George Cox has served as a director of NYSE Euronext and its predecessors since April 2002. Prior to that, he was a senior independent director of London International Financial Futures & Options Exchange (United Kingdom)(“LIFFE”) from 1999 until the acquisition of LIFFE by Euronext in 2002.
Sir George was director general of the Institute of Directors, an organization representing individual company directors in the United Kingdom, from 1999 to 2004, and director of Enterprise Insight (United Kingdom) from 2000 to 2005.
He also served as chairman of the Design Council, the United Kingdom’s national strategic body for design, served as a senior independent director of Bradford & Bingley (United Kingdom) and served as a trustee of VSO. He is a non-executive director of Shorts Ltd (United Kingdom), the president of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, the chairman of Merlin (Medical Emergency Relief International) USA, Chair of Counsel and Pro Chancellor of Warwick University, and the president of the Institution of Engineering Designs.Other news from The Labour Party