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Drive for wider board diversity challenged by trend for smaller boards - new report identifies global standards and emerging trends for effective boards

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  • Major new study into global boardroom composition and culture investigates how board structures are changing
  • Across the globe, boards are becoming smaller - and smaller boards tend to deliver better share price performance
  • Diversity, in the widest sense, is key to an effective board
  • Companies with a higher ratio of executive directors to non-executive directors (NEDs) tend to perform better and NEDs who come from a different sector or who are CEOs elsewhere are also key to successful performance
  • The 'shareholder spring has been over-stated and positive engagement between shareholders and boards is more evident.

A move towards smaller boards is making boardroom diversity an ever-more challenging objective, according to a major new report released on Monday 22 April 2013 by global law firm Eversheds. The study demonstrates that, although companies with smaller boards tend to deliver better share price performance, chairmen and nomination committees will have to balance size with a number of other important factors shown to demonstrate better share price performance, such as appointing more executives to boards and encouraging greater diversity in the broadest sense.

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Source: Contact Online, BPCC, No. 10 (105) 2013