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The Great Books Dispersal

Directors, UK Companies Act
and Risk Management

Boardroom hands

These easy access short books provide ready references without the need for detailed study. The 1995 Good Practice for Directors - Standards for the Board is a much ignored classic to which I refer frequently and which forms the basis of some of our courses.

Books in this collection

Good Practice for Directors - Standards for the Board

At 68 A5 pages, published in 1995 with funding from the UK Government, this IoD guide used to retail for £34. I believe it should have been given free to every new member. I regularly use the standards and include them in the Quick Check exercises included in our manuals and used in workshops. They also form the basis for some of the questionnaires used in our board assessment commissions.

The standards are intended to help boards and directors improve their performance. They are based on a major study of good practice involving several hundred UK directors and many boards. They are not prescriptive, but can be used, in whole or  in part, by all types of commercial enterprise, from small privately-owned business to large public-quoted company.

The standards are presented in three related sections:

1. Organising and running the board

2. Tasks of the board and indicators of good practice

3. Building an effective board

Guidelines for Directors

Originally published in 1973, this 130-page edition of 1990 provides guidelines on the social, economic and legal factors affecting a director of a limited company incorporated in England and Wales. It is an excellent and succinct resource.

It is presented in three parts:

Part One - the company and its board

Part Two - A director's legal status, powers and duties

Part Three - The director as an individual

Risk Management

This IoD guide highlights the major types of risk faced by businesses and advises on how to tackle them in a thorough and structured way. It also covers the vital role that insurance can play in helping companies protect themselves from the unexpected.

Topics include:

  • personal risks and responsibilities of directors

  • financial risks - cash flow problems

  • the real cost of fraud and dishonesty in the workplace

  • planning for potential environmental liabilities

Corporate Governance - A Diretor's Guide

This booklet published by the UK IoD provides practical advice for directors on today's most important boardroom issue. Governance means rigorous supervision of the management of a company; it means ensuring that business is done competently, with integrity and with due regard for the interests of all stakeholders. The pressure on boardrooms can only increase. This guide sets out the (2004) governance scene.

The Independent Director

Published by the UK IoD in 1999, The Independent Director offers advice and guidance to directors of all types and sizes of companies in understanding the role and contribution of the non-executive director. The different perspectives os small and medium-sized companies. PLCs and institutional investors are highlighted and particular attention paid to the definition and maintenance of the independence of non-executive directors.

The Companies Act 2006 - a director's handbook

This business guide published by the CBI in conjunction with Addleshaw Goddard LLP, acts as a useful introduction to the key reforms introduced in the 2006 Act, which forms the primary source of UK company law. It sets out and explains, at some length, the newly codified duties of a director, and the practical steps which should be considered to show compliance with them, not least to protect the position of a director and the company, should there be a future challenge. The guide also describes the law governing transactions between directors and their companies, and then provides a whistle-stop tour of the other principal provisions of, and changes made by, the 2006 Act.

Buying and Selling Private Companies

Buying and selling private companies is a subject about which surprisingly little has been written.  Whether buying or selling, the change of control of a private company needs a clear strategy, careful planning and expert advice.

Many owners of private companies only have the opportunity to buy or sell once in a business career and it is something they cannot afford to get wrong. For anyone who is contemplating such a transaction, this 80-page IoD Director's Guide is informative and gives helpful and practical advice on the way forward.

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