Why it’s hard to live by the rules

Regulatory restrictions are making it harder for the boards of financial services groups to hire “generalist” non- executive directors, a new report contends.

Conducted by the search firm Per Ardua, the survey of FTSE 350 chairmen working in the sector found most are now highly focused on risk and regulatory issues, but also that some feel this raises the possibility that meeting the broader needs of the business will be secondary to satisfying the regulators.

Most people in the sector feel increased regulation is a good thing, even when it increases boards’ workloads, said Simon Hearn, the chief executive of Per Ardua. “But some chairmen went on to say that there is such a focus on risk and remuneration committees that they don’t have any room on their board for generalists, and that they need some because they are the people more likely to be the next chairman.

Read more in The Sunday Times