What you need to know about the property group's top executives.
Management can make all the difference to a company's success and thus its share price.
The best companies are those run by talented and experienced leaders with strong vested interests in the success of the business, held in check by a board with sound financial and business acumen. On the other hand, some of the worst investments to hold are those run by executives collecting fat rewards as the underlying business goes to pot.
In this series, I'm assessing the boardrooms of companies within the FTSE 100 (UKX). I hope to separate the management teams that are worth following from those that are not. Today I am looking at Land Securities (LSE: LAND), Britain's largest real estate investment trust.
Here are the key directors:
|Alison Carnwath||(non-exec) Chairman|
|Robert Noel||Chief Executive|
|Martin Greenslade||Finance Director|
|Richard Akers||Executive Director|
Alison Carnwath has the distinction of being the only female chairman of a FTSE 100 company. She has also featured in this series previously, as the chairman of the remuneration committee on Barclays’ (LSE: BARC) board who resigned in the wake of Bob Diamond’s demise. To be fair, it was said that she personally argued against the excesses of his remuneration package but was outvoted. A former investment banker herself, she has been chairman of Land Securities since 2008.
Robert Noel joined the board in 2010 and looked after the company’s London portfolio, including the iconic ‘walkie-talkie’ skyscraper development, before becoming CEO in April this year. His career has been spent in the property world in which he is well-regarded, serving as property director at the smaller – and some would say nimbler – rival Great Portland Estates (LSE: GPOR) from 2002 to 2009.
Martin Greenslade became CFO in 2005. The former finance director of Alvis plc is a chartered accountant who has also worked in corporate finance. Richard Akers also joined the board in 2005. He is a retail property professional, and a former President of the British Council of Shopping Centres.
Land Securities’ six non-execs include Sir Stuart Rose, the eminent former CEO and chairman of Marks and Spencer (LSE: MKS), and balance property, finance, consulting and business expertise.
The company has proposed a bonus claw-back mechanism for future management incentive awards, one of very few firms outside the financial sector to have such arrangements. It also has guidelines for the CEO and other executives to own shares worth 2 times and 1.5 times their salary respectively.
I analyse management teams from five different angles to help work out a verdict. Here's my assessment:
|1. Reputation. Management CVs and track record.|
|2. Performance. Success at the company.|
Too soon to judge CEO.
|3. Board Composition. Skills, experience, balance|
|4. Remuneration. Fairness of pay, link to performance.|
Reasonable, with bonus claw-back.
|5. Directors’ Holdings, compared to their pay.|
Chairman and execs have £1m plus.
Overall, Land Securities scores 20 out of 25, a very good result across the board that augurs well for Robert Noel’s tenure as CEO.
I've collated all my FTSE 100 boardroom verdicts on this summary page. I hope it helps with your analysis.
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> Tony owns shares in Great Portland Estates but no other shares mentioned in this article.