Special Report - Survey - Changes at the top

Liz Fisher looks at changes since last year's survey.

Most of the new 'matches' in this year's survey are due to changes in the constituents of the FTSE 100, or changes in finance director.

Some of the changes illustrate the role that coincidence plays in the results: Cable & Wireless, for instance, is a new entry in the FTSE 100 since last year and it recently appointed a new finance director, Charles Herlinger. He is an alumni of KPMG, which has audited the company for many years.

Various mergers within the FTSE 100 can also have an effect on the survey.

ITV is a new company formed by the merger of Carlton Communications and Granada and the company's finance director is Henry Staunton, former FD of Granada. He 'matches' with ITV's new joint auditor, PwC, although PwC did not audit Granada.

Friends Provident announced in February that it had switched auditors from PwC to KPMG, for corporate governance reasons.

The change followed a review by the company's audit committee and is still subject to shareholders' approval at the agm in May. David Newbigging, the company's chairman, said that the review was 'in accordance with current corporate governance best practice'.

The decision by Friends Provident takes one 'match' out of our survey, since its finance director Phillip Moore is a former Coopers & Lybrand consultant. It has also, however, created a new match as one of the company's non-executive directors, Alison Carnwath, is an alumnus of the new auditor, KPMG.

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