Korn/Ferry International’s UK Board & CEO Services Practice analyzed all FTSE 350 non-executive appointments during 2012 to uncover appointment trends at some of the UK’s largest companies. In addition, a survey and series of in-depth interviews with several first-time FTSE 350 NEDs were conducted to gain deeper insight into induction processes, board effectiveness, and respondents’ experiences as first-time NEDs.

The findings point to significant trends in appointments with respect to diversity, international experience, and career background. While the class of 2012 is significantly more diversified than it was five years ago, with 47% of first time appointments going to women and over half of new NEDs bringing international experience with them, this increased diversity may come at the expense of executive experience. The study found that in in 2007 almost half of first-time NED appointments had executive director experience, while in 2012 this dropped to 29%.

In addition, the report found that NEDs with backgrounds in finance, HR, legal, and marketing are more in demand. Ex-finance directors represented the largest group of new appointments, reflecting an increasing focus on financial acumen in the wake of the financial crisis. 

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