An open letter to Sajid Javid, Chancellor of the Exchequer: Why Dame Helena Morrissey is unfit to become the next Governor of the Bank of England

We’ve just posted this, along with the evidence that increasing gender diversity on boards leads to a decline in corporate performance.

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‘Men as Change Agents’ board meets for first time

Another day, another ill-considered ideologically-driven anti-business initiative intended to increase the number of women on corporate boards. I’ve archived the piece just published by Personnel Today, my comments – also archived – are “awaiting moderation”. I’m more likely to win a gold medal for pole vaulting at the next Olympics, than the comments be published.

One day the business community will wake up and realise the Empress has no clothes, but how much damage will have been done by then, and what will be the cost to business of unravelling the mess?

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If everyone who read this gave us £5.00 – or even better, £5.00 or more, monthly – we could change the world. £5.00 monthly would entitle you to Bronze party membership, details here. Benefits include a dedicated and signed book by Mike Buchanan. Click below to make a difference. Thanks.

Helena Morrissey, mother of nine children, whose husband is a Buddhist monk, is tipped to be the first female Governor of the Bank of England in its 325-year history

A piece in The Daily Mail, updated today. Wikipedia’s details on the career of Helena Morrissey:

Morrissey began her career at the New York and London bond desks at Schroders. Finding her career path blocked there, she moved to Newton Investment Management in the early 1990s as a fixed income fund manager.

Morrissey became Newton’s chief executive; as of 2015, it manages £47 billion of assets.

She is Head of Personal Investing at Legal & General Investment Management, which has over £1 trillion of assets under management (2019).

Morrissey has no more experience in banking than the vast majority of people reading this blog piece. So what, precisely, puts her in strong contention to become the next Governor of the Bank of England? Nothing, if you exclude ideologically-motivated reasons.

People familiar with this website will be aware of the longstanding pro-feminist bias of the Bank of England, including under the present Governor, Mark Carney. Morrissey was the founder of The 30% Club, an organization which has relentlessly implied that the observed correlation between boardroom gender diversity and financial performance indicates a causal link, a cynical lie to suggest there’s a business case for appointing more women on boards. In fact, as followers of this website know very well, the evidence from longitudinal studies all point in one direction – there’s a clear causal link between appointing more women on boards, and corporate financial DECLINE. If anything, the business case is to appoint fewer female directors, not more.

Our many blog pieces on Morrissey are here. C4MB was publicly challenging her as early as 2012 – an example here.

So, the next Governer of the Bank of England could be a lying feminist (but I repeat myself). What could possibly go wrong?

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Our YouTube channel is here.

If everyone who read this gave us £5.00 – or even better, £5.00 or more, monthly – we could change the world. £5.00 monthly would entitle you to Bronze party membership, details here. Benefits include a dedicated and signed book by Mike Buchanan. Click below to make a difference. Thanks.

An open invitation to Philip Aldrick, Economics Editor of The Times

I’ve been a subscriber to The Times for some years, despite the paper’s enthusiasm for spreading feminist narratives, no matter how clearly they’re based on lies. Philip Aldrick’s profile on The Times website:

Philip Aldrick is economics editor and an economics columnist for The Times, covering the daily news and writing two opinion pieces a week. He joined the paper in 2013 from The Daily Telegraph, where he held the same role. Prior to that he was banking editor at the Telegraph during the financial crisis, winning several awards including business and finance journalist of the year at the 2011 Press Awards. He was shortlisted again for his economics columns in the 2017 Press Awards.

@philaldrick

His article in today’s Times, which led to me writing an open letter inviting him to become the first mainstream media journalist in the world to tell the truth about the impact of increasing female representation on boards:

Business executives remain stubbornly male, pale and stale, despite progress on bringing women into the boardroom, governance experts have said.

Between 1996 and 2017, the share of women in FTSE 100 executive roles has risen from 1 per cent to only 3 per cent, according to ICSA: The Governance Institute. It analysed the boards of Britain’s top 100 listed companies for its report A View at the Top.

The slow progress on gender diversity in key decision-making roles has been masked by a big increase in non-executive positions. Female representation on FTSE 100 boards has risen from 4.1 per cent in 1996 to 28 per cent in 2017. The institute said that the findings showed “a lack of genuine diversity”.

Improving gender diversity on boards is one of the government’s core policy goals. In 2016 the Hampton- Alexander Review set a target that women should hold 33 per cent of board and senior leadership positions in the FTSE 350 by the end of 2020.

Figures released this month suggest that companies are on track to meet the challenge, with 32.1 per cent of FTSE 100 board positions occupied by women in November and 27.5 per cent for the FTSE 250. Only four of Britain’s 350 largest listed companies have no women board members.

Kelly Tolhurst, a business minister, said: “These figures show there are now more women than ever before at the top of UK business.”

However, the institute’s analysis suggests that far more effort is needed if advances are to last. Without more progress, “there will be little change in the C-Suite in coming years”, it said.

Unrepresentative boards may be doing shareholders a disservice. Studies have shown that companies with women on the board perform better. [J4MB emphasis.]

The institute is a 125-year-old body that works with regulators to champion high standards of governance. Its research was a follow-up review to similar analysis undertaken in 1998 by Elisabeth Marx, a leadership consultant.

It added that diversity was about more than gender balance. “While there has been progress in gender diversity at non-executive director level, boards remain more obviously male, as well as significantly whiter than the British population,” it said. “Directors are increasing in age, with little diversity in terms of educational or career background.”

The average age of a FTSE 100 board director was 58.5 years in 2017, compared with 56 in 1996. A greater proportion came from a background of accountancy or finance — 49 per cent in 2017, up from 38 per cent in 1996 — and a quarter had qualifications from Oxbridge or Harvard University.

Sara Drake, head of the institute, said: “Given the rapidly changing expectations of organisations and their boards, diversity of thoughts and experience are an even more crucial component of board effectiveness than ever before.”

You can subscribe to The Times here.

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If everyone who read this gave us £5.00 – or even better, £5.00 or more, monthly – we could change the world. £5.00 monthly would entitle you to Bronze party membership, details here. Benefits include a dedicated and signed book by Mike Buchanan. Click below to make a difference. Thanks.

James Delingpole: “Study – Woke Gender Quotas on Company Boards Reduce Profitability by 12 Percent”

Enjoy. The study to which James Delingpole refers was published in The Leadership Quarterly three weeks ago – Women directors, firm performance, and firm risk: A causal perspective. The full Abstract:

Norway was the first of ten countries to legislate gender quotas for boards of publicly traded firms. There is considerable debate and mixed evidence concerning the implications of female board representation. In this paper, we explain the main sources of biases in the existing literature on the effects of women directors on firm performance and review methods to account for these biases. We address the endogeneity problem by using a difference-in-differences approach to study the effects of women directors on firm performance with specific consideration of the common trend assumption, and we explicitly distinguish between accounting-based (i.e., operating income divided by assets, return on assets) and market-based (i.e., market-to-book ratio and Tobin’s Q) performance measures in the Norwegian setting. The control group are firms from Finland, Sweden, and Denmark. We further extend the analysis of causal effects of women directors to firm risk. Our results imply a negative effect of mandated female representation on firm performance and on firm risk.

Published yesterday, Delingpole’s article has already attracted 391 comments. The most up-voted, from “Loose Cannon”:

If women’s executive abilities were being undervalued/underutilized, then enterprising female investors and leaders would arbitrage the discrepancy and create more female driven businesses. Same applies to the so-called gender pay gap which would signal employers to hire an all female workforce and reap the cost advantage.

Regular visitors to this website will be aware that in 2012 I gave evidence to House of Commons and House of Lords inquiries, confirming a causal link between increasing female representation on boards, and corporate financial decline. I’ve just added details of this new study to our short briefing paper with direct links to the studies confirming that causal link – here.

Along with Dr Catherine Hakim and Steve Moxon, I gave oral evidence to the House of Commons inquiry in 2012 – here (video, 56:50).

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UK Men’s Rights Action, our official supporters’ Facebook page, is here.

If everyone who read this gave us £5.00 – or even better, £5.00 or more, monthly – we could change the world. £5.00 monthly would entitle you to Bronze party membership, details here. Benefits include a dedicated and signed book by Mike Buchanan. Click below to make a difference. Thanks.

We won’t let diversity tsars bully us, insist bosses at Daejan Holdings, Britain’s last big company with no women on the board

A piece in the latest edition of the Mail on Sunday. We salute the company’s board members.

If everyone who read this gave us £5.00 – or even better, £5.00 or more, monthly – we could change the world. £5.00 monthly would entitle you to Bronze party membership, details here. Benefits include a dedicated and signed book by Mike Buchanan. Click below to make a difference. Thanks.

Daejan Holdings, a FTSE250 property group, won’t appoint women ‘just for the sake of it’

At last, a major company to applaud on the issue of gender diversity in the boardroom. A piece by James Hurley in today’s Times:

Britain’s sole large listed company with no women on its board said has that it is not inclined to appoint a female director “just for the sake of it”.

Daejan Holdings, a FTSE 250 property group, is the only remaining business among Britain’s 350 largest quoted companies to have resisted pressure from the government’s Hampton-Alexander review body to stamp out all-male boardrooms.

The company, which owns buildings worth £2.4 billion, said that the Orthodox Jewish beliefs of its controlling family should be considered. Daejan was founded by Osias Freshwater, who came to the UK as a refugee from Nazi Germany. The group is led by his sons Benzion, 71, and Solomon, 63.

A strict interpretation of Orthodox religious law forbids or restricts physical contact with a member of the opposite sex except for one’s spouse and certain family members.

Daejan said that it had received a series of letters from the Hampton- Alexander Review. Denise Wilson, 60, the body’s chief executive, said: “Companies that have been slow to act are looking increasingly out of touch.” The Mail on Sunday first reported the row.

Mark Jenner, 67, company secretary, said that the religion of the Freshwater family was a “factor” in its all-male board. “This is not a legal obligation,” he said. “We’re not digging our heels in, saying we don’t like women.”

Mr Jenner said that while the brothers were not willing to be within touching distance of female colleagues, they were open to sharing their boardroom with women. He said that they should not be told “how to run their business”. “Next time there is a vacancy we will appoint on merit, whether it’s a man or a woman,” he said.

You can subscribe to The Times here.

If everyone who read this gave us £5.00 – or even better, £5.00 or more, monthly – we could change the world. £5.00 monthly would entitle you to Bronze party membership, details here. Benefits include a dedicated and signed book by Mike Buchanan. Click below to make a difference. Thanks.

Fearless Girl

Enjoy (9:18).

If everyone who read this gave us £5.00 – or even better, £5.00 or more, monthly – we could change the world. £5.00 monthly would entitle you to Bronze party membership, details here. Benefits include a dedicated and signed book by Mike Buchanan. Click below to make a difference. Thanks.

Companies told women must make up third of senior directors by 2020

Our thanks to Ian for this. An extract:

The Investment Association has 250 members which manage £7.7tn in assets. Its boss Chris Cummings said that it is “unacceptable” that one in five of the UK’s biggest companies are falling short on gender diversity.

“Companies must do more than take the tokenistic step of appointing just one woman to their board and consider that job done.

“There is also compelling evidence that boards with greater gender balance outperform their less diverse peers,” he said.

In the final sentence Cummings is, of course, confusing correlation with causation – whether knowingly or unknowingly. Better-performing firms can more easily afford to engage in social engineering exercises such as increasing the proportion of women on their boards. As every follower of this blog  knows, the only “compelling evidence” of a causal link is that between increasing gender diversity on boards, and financial performance decline. The evidence is here. Nobody has challenged the evidence since we published it in 2012, and presented it to House of Commons and House of Lords inquiries the same year.

If everyone who read this gave us £5.00 – or even better, £5.00 or more, monthly – we could change the world. £5.00 monthly would entitle you to Bronze party membership, details here. Benefits include a dedicated and signed book by Mike Buchanan. Click below to make a difference. Thanks.

Sacha Romanovitch, first female boss of a major City accountancy firm, Grant Thornton, fired for pursuing a “socialist agenda”

Our thanks to James and Ray for this. Extracts:

Sacha Romanovitch, the first UK female chief executive of a major City accountancy firm, will step down from Grant Thornton by the end of this year…

Romanovitch said: “As we enter the next phase of our plans, following discussions with Grant Thornton’s board, we have agreed that the time is right for a new chief executive to take the firm forward. I will be working to support a smooth transition to our next chief executive, focusing on continuing to deliver sustainable value for our clients through our diverse [J4MB emphasis] and talented team.”…

Last month, an unnamed Grant Thornton insider claiming to speak for 15 partners or directors [£] [J4MB: Another odd Grauniad typo] leaked to several news organisations the contents of Romanovitch’s annual performance review and an unsigned complaint saying she had “misdirected” the firm.

The anonymous writer accused Romanovitch of pursuing a “socialist agenda” [J4MB: More accurately, a feminist agenda, presumably, of advancing women over men, regardless of their relative merit] and that the firm had no focus on profitability under her leadership and was “out of control”….

The firm’s web page on Romanovitch is here. An extract:

My real passion is enabling others to meet their potential, which has led me to become a qualified coach; to champion our firm’s ground-breaking apprentice programme; and to challenge the norm on views regarding diversity [J4MB emphasis] – a role I am so passionate about I am the chair of the Patron Group for Access Accountancy.

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