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Chairman's update: August 2016

02 Aug 2016
Photograph of Lady Barbara Judge, Chairman, The IoD

I was delighted to be able to announce to IoD Members, staff and the media last week that Stephen Martin has been selected to take over from Simon Walker as Director General of the Institute of Directors later this year.

Stephen has led the Clugston Group, a large privately-owned construction, logistics and property company based in Scunthorpe, as Chief Executive since 2006. During this time, the firm has featured in The Sunday Times Profit Track 100, The Sunday Times Top Track 250, and has been celebrated in the London Stock Exchange’s 1,000 Companies To Inspire Britain report.

I am very pleased that we have found such a strong leader to take over the role of Director General. Stephen’s commercial acumen, built up through a career in business, will be key in strengthening the Institute’s position and continuing to grow our membership. I hope you will join me in congratulating Stephen on his appointment and welcoming him into the IoD later this year.

I and other members of the IoD Policy Unit also had the pleasure this month of attending, along with several other senior business leaders, an informal introductory event for some of the new intake of government ministers. At the event we met with Greg Clark (Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Nick Hurd (Minister of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Jo Johnson (Minister of State for Universities and Science) and Baroness Neville-Rolfe (also a Minister of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy).

The evening provided a good opportunity to hear their plans and ambitions as they go forward. We also had the opportunity to discuss the plans and views of IoD members. Representing you, our members, and UK business as a whole is a central pillar of the IoD. If you would like to contribute directly to our dialogue with government I would strongly suggest that you join IoD Policy Voice.

Full instructions on how to join can be found here

I hope that you have noticed our new IoD website. Indeed by reading this you will have found yourself on it. It has been redesigned to enhance your online member experience. I would like to congratulate the team who have worked hard to bring this important project to fruition. 

On a separate note I hope some of you will have read my comments in the media over the past week on the need for greater powers for the Pensions Regulator to oversee corporate transactions which put pensioners at risk. Simon Walker and I have both recently publically condemned business failures which have left a large number of pensioners with an uncertain future. We all need to argue forcefully that such examples do not define British business

I believe that the Pensions Regulator should have the power to scrutinise large company transactions to ensure that members of the pension scheme have been properly considered.

As the former Chairman of the Pension Protection Fund, I strongly believe in its ability and importance in acting as a ‘lifeboat’ for pensioners. However, as I outlined in an article in the Sunday Telegraph (31/07/16), it should only ever be considered for emergencies and not to excuse corporate failure.

I hope you are all enjoying our typical English summer which is sometimes hot and sometimes cold, but always very lovely.

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