Board meetings are fairly tightly controlled, with regular meetings combined with a consistent high level of reporting. The meetings, aimed to last for 3 – 4 hours, are generally held in the London office of the company as well as at least one visit per annum to the Peterborough office. Board members are expected to attend in person where possible although on occasion they can be conferenced in. Typically, ten meetings are held per year, with two of these being video conference only and four timed to coincide with the quarterly meetings of LINX members. Directors are expected to attend all board meetings, although in practice this may not be possible. Attendance by the non-executive directors usually averages over 90%.
The content of the reporting to the Board is under continual review to ensure the appropriate level of detail, supporting information and transparency are provided. The minutes of each Board Meeting are published on the private part of the LINX website and are available to all Members. Certain subjects that are deemed sensitive, such as individual HR matters, are omitted from the published minutes. The information at each meeting typically includes reports on or by:
- Marketing & Business Development
- Public Affairs
As well as a number of key performance indicators comprising of graphs and stats showing metrics such as network traffic. The CEO provides a report containing a summary of topics and decisions taken from each meeting back to the Management.
Directors are expected to read CEO’s summary report and any specific papers prior to board meetings. A time guide for the publication of reports to the board, actions from any party (including the board and the management) and a protocol for dealing with matters has been adopted.
In addition to board meetings, management staff of LINX and in particular the CEO may have meetings of varying length with individual board members to cover specific issues such as statutory, accounting, technical and human resource. Increasingly, Board sub-committees are used to deal with such matters. Other communications are affected as required via email, individual voice conversations and via conferencing. The Chairman maintains a more one to one relationship with the CEO and becomes the first port of call for some issues.
In a typical year a non-executive board member may be expected to spend on average:
- 3 board meetings at 4 – 5 hours each inc. travelling (usually longer if held at Peterborough)
- 1 multi-day meeting devoted to strategic issues
- 4 shorter meetings combined with meetings of the LINX membership
- 2 video meetings
- An undetermined amount of time on sundry items including email, the reading of background documents and telephone time.
None of the above includes time spent at LINX General Meetings or other ad-hoc meetings. In addition to the above the Chairman will perform the appraisal of the CEO, alongside other board member(s), and may attend offsite meetings for business planning.