Private UK companies face governance shakeup

Author: Lizzie Meager | Published: 6 Sep 2017

Large privately owned companies are set for a governance shakeup as part of set of reforms tabled by the UK government last week. These tackle a number of areas including executive pay, employee representation and governance at large unlisted companies, though have been accused of being watered down.

The government will be working with the Financial Reporting Council, which drafted the UK’s existing corporate governance code, to develop voluntary principles for these firms.

"Unlisted companies have so far not been encompassed by governance best practices, so that could be a really significant change," said Roger Barker, head of corporate governance at the Institute of Directors. "The government is clearly saying that they should still be required to benchmark relative to some sort of principles."

The announcement follows a green paper released in November 2016, which refers to troubled high street store BHS by name, noting that 'employees, customers, supply...