I have recently had my abstract accepted to present my research paper at next year's World Interdisciplinary Network for Institutional Research (WINIR) Symposium taking place 22nd-24th April 2015 in Lugano Switzerland. My abstract is posted below. I will be presenting some of my research findings from my empirical study in to self-interest amongst non-executive directors. Its aim is to serve as a rebuttal of sorts to cool claims that greater involvement from non-executive directors will lead to better governance.
The governance of a company in England consists of a single board of directors comprising executives and non-executives. Executives run the company on a day-to-day basis, whilst non-executives oversee and participate in monitoring and strategy. Legal rules and corporate governance structures often focus on how the interests of the executives can be aligned with the interests of the company. Research also considers how effective these are. However, seldom is the focus on potential self-interest amongst non-executive directors. Their role has increased, as has their remuneration, creating greater opportunity for non-executives to use their position for self-interested means. Multiple appointments are common amongst non-executives and are a central feature of the corporate governance landscape. Yet they may also be a form of perquisite consumption, taken for the personal benefit of the non-executive or used advantageously to benefit one firm over another. Using multiple appointments as a proxy for self-interest this quantitative study investigates the governance mechanisms that may be used to control self-interest and the effect that these appointments may have on the governance of the firm. Using data collected from FTSE 100 companies at firm level over a five-year period 2006-2010, the study focuses on aspects such as remuneration, equity and agency problems as possible influences on the taking of multiple appointments. The study reveals that increased fees result in a greater amount of external appointments, as does a concentration of agency problems. The study also reveals that whilst equity may reduce external appointments it may be an insufficient control on self-interest. The impact of the study shows that propositions for greater non-executive involvement to enhance governance in the firm needs to be balanced against the current lack of controls on self-interest. Without such considerations greater involvement may not have the intended consequences.