LONDON: UK outsourcing and security group involved in scandals over Olympic Games staffing and offender tagging — has the worst performing board of directors of any British company, according to new survey assessments.
In a survey of 400 business people, who were asked by the Institute of Directors and Cass Business School to rate UK companies on their corporate governance, G4S was deemed to come bottom of all FTSE 100 groups, preceded by Sports Direct, and then Royal Bank of Scotland and Tesco.
When the IoD and Cass Business School measured corporate governance using their own set of criteria — such as board effectiveness, auditing and remuneration — G4S and RBS moved to around the middle of the table of FTSE 100 companies. Tesco also moved higher.
Sports Direct remained the second worst performer, though, in the view of the IoD and Cass — just above Babcock, which had the worst score based on their criteria.
In the case of G4S, Sports Direct, RBS and Babcock, it was poor relationships with shareholders that lowered corporate governance scores. For Tesco, it was concern over auditing and external accountability, the research found.
By contrast, the survey respondents rated Intertek Group, Bunzl, Weir Group, 3i and Aggreko as the FTSE 100 companies with the best corporate governance. Again, though, when using the IoD and Cass Business School criteria, all five groups were ranked differently. Bunzl remained in the top half of the table, but Intertek, Weir, 3i and Aggreko fell to around mid-table in terms of corporate governance performance.
In response to the findings, G4S said: “G4S has appointed a new chairman, chief executive officer, chief financial officer and four new non-executive directors to its board. The company has embarked on a comprehensive transformation programme and this study highlights a strong positive trend in the group’s governance.”