The British Horseracing Board (BHB) today announced plans for a major restructuring of its Board.
The changes, together with the Executive restructuring announced in January, will ensure that Racing’s Governing Authority is appropriately structured to discharge its new responsibilities following the introduction of commercial licensing arrangements, and in anticipation of its role as successor central funding body to the Horserace Betting Levy Board and of the acquisition of the Tote by a Racing Trust.
The changes have been agreed following recommendations from a Structure Review Group, appointed by the BHB Board in July 2001. Chaired by BHB Chairman Peter Savill, the Group comprised the heads of the four BHB shareholder bodies – Christopher Spence (Jockey Club), Keith Brown (Racecourse Association), Jim Furlong (Racehorse Owners Association) and Rhydian Morgan-Jones (Industry Committee (Horseracing) Limited) – as well as Martin Broughton, an independent BHB Director, and BHB Secretary-General Tristram Ricketts.
The BHB Board agreed that effective commercial and governance arrangements require a more even balance between representatives of the industry, independent Directors and executive Directors. This will be achieved by:
a reduction in the representation of each of the four shareholders to one each, with the heads of each organisation, together with the Chairman of the Thoroughbred Breeders Association, serving in an ex-officio capacity.
an increase in the number of independent Directors (including the Chairman) from two to four.
the appointment of up to three Executive Directors.
The distinctive role of trainers, who make a heavy investment in training facilities and are major employers, is recognised by a new provision under which the National Trainers Federation will liaise formally with a BHB Director of their choice, to ensure that trainers’ views are properly understood and considered in Board discussions. The NTF will also be given seats on the Finance and Marketing Committees.
The revised BHB Memorandum and Articles of Association and Shareholders’ Agreement, reflecting the changes, will now be circulated to the four BHB shareholders for formal ratification as soon as possible so that the new constitution can take effect this summer.
Directors appointed by the shareholders who will not continue to serve in an ex-officio capacity will retire on the day the new constitution takes effect. The search for additional independent Directors has already begun. A decision will be taken shortly as to which Executive Directors, in addition to the Chief Executive, will join the Board.
BHB Chairman Peter Savill said today: “This restructuring is essential if BHB is to lead British Racing effectively and efficiently. BHB needs to be a dynamic, commercially-focused organisation, while at the same time continuing to be democratic, responsible and accountable to the racing industry. The Board is confident that the changes announced today will achieve this. These reforms now complete the process started at the beginning of my Chairmanship to convert BHB into a modern organisation driven by its executives rather than its Board, with the Board modelled on Plc lines rather than conventional sporting body lines where the Board is generally made up entirely of representatives from within the sport.
“Effective consultation and communication will continue to be key watchwords. In anticipation of BHB controlling the central funds, formal arrangements will be put in place to ensure that the industry is fully consulted on expenditure priorities.”
A fuller summary of the proposals is attached.
For further information, please contact BHB Communications Manager Alan Delmonte on 020 7343 3318.
SUMMARY OF BHB BOARD RESTRUCTURING PROPOSALS
1. The BHB Board to be reconstituted as follows:
An independent non-executive Chairman appointed by the Board
Four ex-officio directors representing the four Members (shareholders) of the Company (Senior Steward of the Jockey Club, Chairman of the RCA, President of the ROA and Chairman of the ICHL)
The Chairman of the TBA ex-officio
Three independent Directors appointed by the Board
Up to three executives appointed by the Board
In addition, the Chairman of the Race Planning Committee will be co-opted as a non-voting Director if not already on the Board in an executive capacity
The four ex-officio shareholder-appointed Directors will be permitted to nominate alternates for the first time.
All non ex-officio appointments will be for three years (renewable).
2. This compares with the original and current constitutions as follows:
(June 1993, May 1999, May 2002)
Independent Chairman (-,1,1)
Independent Director (-,1,4)
Jockey Club (4,3,1)
Executive (-,1*,up to 3)
(excludes co-opted, non-voting Directors)
* no appointment made
3. The Race Planning Committee to continue as a Standing Committee of the Board with its current constitution (Chairman, Jockey Club (2), RCA, ROA and TBA (1 each), NTF (1 plus 1 non-voting member), up to two Executives and up to three non-voting members).
4. The Finance Committee to cease to be a Standing Committee of the Board and to be replaced by an Executive Committee, to be chaired by the Finance Director and including (preferably executive) representatives of the four shareholders.
5. Two new Standing Committees of the Board to be established:
(a) an Audit Committee, which will be chaired by an Independent Director other than the Chairman and comprise Board Directors only; and
(b) a Nominations and Remuneration Committee, which will, inter alia, advise on the appointment of Independent Directors. This will be chaired by the Board Chairman and comprise Board Directors only.
6. A Marketing Committee to be established, chaired by the Marketing Director, who is currently being recruited, and including (preferably executive) representatives of the four shareholders.