UK – The UK government is setting up a new office that will become a “centre of expertise” on corporate governance issues.

The government has placed a newspaper advertisement seeking a chief executive for the new Shareholder Executive office. The office is being set up to improve the government’s performance as a shareholder, the ad says. “It will also become the government’s centre of expertise on corporate finance and governance issues.”

The job reports to the head of the home civil service and commands a salary of up to 150,000 pounds (225,000 euros) with a non-contributory pension.

The National Association of Pension Funds has recently weighed in on corporate governance, saying its members “want their voice to be heard in the boardroom if they have legitimate concerns about corporate strategy or governance”.

In a letter to the Financial Times, the NAPF’s chief executive Christine Farnish says: “The three most important words in the Higgs Report into non-executive_directors are ‘comply or explain’.”

“It is the prerogative of any board to decide when parts of the code are not appropriate for their company and explain why.

“It is also the prerogative of investors to consider such explanations and draw their own conclusions,” she says.