United Kingdom

The stewardship pyramid

By Tim Copnell, Chairman of the UK Audit Committee Institute

Along with clear accountability, relevant and reliable information is the life-blood of the capital markets. If it fails to flow freely between all invested parties, then the confidence in the capital markets is lost and the economy, jobs and future pensions will suffer.

We’re all investors

By Helen Brennan, Audit Director at KPMG in the UK

The question of how best to achieve engagement between investors in and managers of listed companies is as old as the limited company itself. But the question of who or what is an investor is more pivotal. The increase in intermediation – funds, asset-managers, custodians – has the end result that the ultimate providers of finance may be transitory, have differing objectives from each other and/or be unknown to management.

Self-driving into the future

John Leech, Head of Automotive at KPMG in the UK

Imagine if you will, a world where self-driving cars are the norm.  A world where connected cars work rather like lifts in a building, except horizontally, taking people from A to B efficiently.  The majority of journeys will be on an individual basis, but with more sharing than today; energy consumption and pollution will be halved, congestion will be eliminated and hundreds of thousands of lives will be saved every year. 

The Board: more than the sum of its parts

By Tim Copnell, Chairman of the UK Audit Committee Institute

Non-executive directors are expected to develop strategy and ensure the robustness of executive decisions. But they need to be recruited on the basis of their skills and behaviour not just their gender, ethnicity or social profile. 

Stewardship stretched to breaking point?

By John Hughes, Audit Partner at KPMG in the UK 

The traditional model of stewardship has taken a knock since the financial crisis. But it’s no good just blaming companies and non-execs. Society should recognise there are deeper problems that need solving. 

Ending the governance arms race

By Hugh Green, Audit Partner at KPMG in the UK

It’s fine for big organisations to comply fully with the UK Corporate Governance Code, but more entrepreneurial businesses should have the courage to explain why it doesn’t always work for them. 

The future is in 3D

By Stephen Cooper, Head of Manufacturing at KPMG in the UK

Sometimes the future is closer than we think. Futuristic concepts seem to make their way into reality faster and faster these days.

There was a lot of publicity for example around Amazon’s announcement that it was planning to trial deliveries by unmanned drones. But the use of drones is already here in the manufacturing sector.  Some companies are using drones to help carry out their stock takes.  By getting the drones to fly around in the warehouse taking photos, there is no longer a need to physically bring everything down to be counted – saving both time and money.

Networking, but not as you know it…

By Melanie Richards, Partner and Vice Chairman, KPMG UK

More than 200 of London’s most successful and aspirational businesswomen gathered in London’s Canary Wharf on Thursday 19 June 2014 for the launch of the global phenomenon Lean In.

World cup fever heats up economy

By Andrew Smith, Chief Economist at KPMG UK

Having scored five straight quarters of positive growth since the recovery began in early 2013, and with real wages starting to pick up the economy can look forward to a further boost from the World Cup this summer.

Growing consumerism and materials scarcity

By Vincent Neate, Head of KPMG’s UK Climate Change & Sustainability practice

A colleague recently had dinner with a client who described the issues of growing consumerism and materials scarcity as being like two planes speeding towards each other. Neither can be stopped in midair but it may be possible to divert their courses.