Standard Chartered will split its risk and audit committees
by the middle of 2010, in one of the earliest responses to the recommendations
of the Walker Report and proposed changes to the Combined Code on Corporate
The split will see StanChart’s group finance director Richard Meddings take
line management responsibility for chief risk officer (CRO) Richard Goulding.
Once separated, the audit committee will continue to monitor its financial
reporting, compliance and internal controls under non-executive director Rudy
Markham, who was FD for Unilever until 2007. He is currently a member of the
board at the Financial Reporting Council.
Its decision to hire three additional non-executive directors to beef up its
governance capabilities sees it import several current or past FDs with major
business and political clout.
The risk committee will be chaired by Jamie Dundas, chairman of Jupiter
Investment Management who has been a non-executive director at StanChart since
2004 and was FD for the Airport Authority Hong Kong. Dundas is charged with
ensuring the committee oversees the management of the bank’s “fundamental
prudential risks” and reviews of the effectiveness of its risk management
StanChart chairman John Peace also announced that Simon Lowth, Astra Zeneca’s
CFO who was previously FD at Scottish Power, will join the business on 1 May and
that Richard Delbridge, previously group FD at HSBC and before that, CFO for
Natwest and Midland Bank, joined on New Year’s Day to sit on both the risk and
audit committees. Dr Han Seung-Soo, who stepped down as prime minister of South
Korea last September and was the republic’s minister of finance, foreign affairs
and trade before that, also joined on 1 January.
“Strong corporate governance is essential for delivering sustainable
shareholder value,” Peace said. “I am pleased to say that these changes are in
line with the Walker Report recommendations and the proposed updates to the
The FTSE-100 group – which largely avoided damage from the recession so far
and is as yet unaffected by its exposure to Dubai World amid its debt moratorium
in December – strengthened its relationships with the UK government amid the
financial crisis as FD Richard Meddings was drafted in as a member of its
‘crisis Cabinet’, a group of people selected to advise on putting together the
bank bailout package.
One of the keynote speakers on risk at the 2009 Financial Director
Summit, Meddings was chosen by the judges of the recent Accountancy Age
Awards to receive the Blue Chip FD of The Year gong. The judges said he had put
his professional reputation on the line in stepping up to that challenge.
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