NEDs speak out

KPMG’s research also highlights that NEDs believe the greatest constraints to their contribution in major corporate transactions are access to timely and accurate information (56%); threat of potential litigation/shareholder action (50%); external pressure from market observers, e.g. media coverage and analysts (49%); and scrutiny from regulators/stock market obligations (43%).

The survey carried out in September 2007 includes 61 responses from NEDs who sit on the boards of a cross-section of FTSE100, FTSE 250, AIM-listed, unlisted and listed UK and non-UK companies. Of those surveyed, 76% have six or more years’ experience as a NED and the majority have experienced more than six major corporate transactions.

Commenting on the survey, Tom Franks, partner in KPMG Corporate Finance and head of the Quoted Company Team, said: “Our survey and follow-up research has identified that there is no area where NEDs need high quality independent advice more than in public-to-private transactions. Greater efforts must be made to ensure that NEDs are assisted with the latest information on best practice in order for them to be able to meet the obligations that their roles require and to protect their own personal integrity.”