Dutch firms may opt for single-tier boards

Dutch companies (NVs) will soon be able to choose between a single-tiered board or the current set up of management board and separate supervisory board, justice minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin says in an interview with Tuesday’s Financieele Dagblad.

Allowing Dutch NVs to have single boards will make the country more attractive to foreign firms, the minister told the paper. A draft bill will be sent out for consultation before the end of the year.
Currently only companies created from mergers with foreign firms have a single board, such as Reed Elsevier, Shell, Unilever and Fortis. KPN has also considered a single board set up, the FD says.
A single-tiered board ‘brings the supervisors closer to the operation,’ Hirsch Ballin told the paper. ‘Supervisors (non-executive directors) share expertise and insight on an equal footing with executive directors when it comes to major decisions on a company’s future,’ he said.

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