Services for PLC Boards

Independent Insight is a new business formed by experienced City professionals to provide both executive and non-executive directors of FTSE 350 companies with an independent source of information on the companies they serve.



Our detailed independent company analysis is a product designed to reflect the significant changes in the roles and responsibilities of NEDs in recent years, following the greater emphasis on complying with ever more stringent corporate governance requirements as well as their statutory legal responsibilities.

Our key proposition to non-executive directors is;

1. An independent assessment of the company’s performance against its major competitors in the industry.

2. An assessment of the executive management team.

3. A review of the company’s overall strategic direction and objectives, with the aim of highlighting medium and long term problems.

4. An annual review of investor sentiment, derived from interviews with senior fund managers and opinion formers, primarily sell-side analysts, and also those on the buy-side.

5. We will provide a value for money analysis of the company’s audit, looking at the audit fee relative to competitors and to other companies audited by the same audit firm. We will also review the amount spent with the auditors on non-audit assignments. This is achieved by comparison with our own database of the major audit fees for the top 600 European companies.

6. A detailed comparison of the stock market valuation of the company with key competitors. This includes an assessment of relative valuation measures on a common timeline as well as the tracking of estimate changes and share price moves relative to peers.

The information used to produce our reports is obtained from a variety of sources, including our own research and our extensive range of investor contacts. This is evidenced in our illustrative work on Marks and Spencer. On gathering the data, we had discussions with 8 sell side retail analysts, 4 unit trust managers, 3 hedge funds and 7 managers of insurance and pension funds. Of the buy-side firms, 5 are current holders of M&S shares.

For the non-executive community, we believe that our service provides the opportunity to have an independent source of analysis and information, and enable NED’s to ask key questions of the executive management to reflect their genuine independence.

If you are a non-executive Chairman or an NED of a quoted company and would like more information, and to see a sample of our research in Marks and Spencer, please email us on or call John Holmes on 020 7929 3399.

Audit Fees Comparison

We have built a database of audit fees and can provide data on fees by sector, by country and by auditor. Audit fees clearly vary significantly between companies and across geographies and industries. Nevertheless, we can give you some concrete information on a standardised basis which will allow you to relate your company's audit fee with competitors and industry averages, using some proprietary metrics which facilitate cross-company comparisons and even allow the benchmarking across industries and geographies.

Please contact us for more information or for an audit fee benchmark report for your company.