For our second event of the year, we met at the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists to hear Professor Ruth Bender give an insightful and amusing talk on corporate governance.
The room was full, with ten guests joining a good cross-section of XTEND members. The guests, many of whom had corporate finance or governance expertise, were invited to introduce themselves and their interests in networking. We then welcomed two new members; Richard Hagen and Ed Adshead-Grant.
Ruth took us on a whirlwind tour around the issues she has been working with and lecturing on in her role as a Professor at Cranfield. She talked about shareholder value – and why Jack Welch was wrong (twice). She mentioned executive pay – and her proposed solution, which sounded very sensible. Having talked to many senior CEOs, Ruth believed that many would accept a 50% pay cut – but only if all their peers did the same. We then moved onto Non-Executive Directors – and why they had been likened to supermarket trolleys, before briefly touching on regulators, audit companies and institutional investors. The topics were explored further by a series of questions from the audience before we broke up to continue the discussions over wine and canapes.
Overall, a great evening in a good location, that we will be returning to in the future – now we know how to find it….
Next month we will be welcoming Christian Rodwell who has just published his first book – “Sack Your Boss – The ultimate guide to escape your 9-5”. As well as telling you how to start out on your own, it also challenges you to understand a bit more about yourself – “choosing what you want to do is not as important as knowing why you want to do it” was one quote that particularly struck me. Christian is an expert presenter and will be able to share the key messages from his book with us. We’ll be at the National Liberal Club and the event starts from 6pm. It looks to be another great evening, and I hope to see many of you there.