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I was surprised to read Jonathan Guthrie’s statement that “good governance . . . prescribes box ticking over the independence of non-executive directors and similar matters of little significance” (“ESG category errors need unbundling for ethical investors”, Opinion, April 5).

Especially when the FT’s own non-executive director (NED) diploma — quoting from Sir David Walker’s “Review of Corporate Governance in UK Banks and Other Financial Industry Entities” (2009) — emphasises to students the importance of having NEDs who exhibit “the quality of independence of mind and spirit, of character and judgment . . . to bring effective and constructive challenge to the board’s decision-taking process”.

Julia Smithers Excell
Cohort 46, FT NED Diploma
Guildford, Surrey, UK

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