The British Equestrian Federation’s member bodies today (26 October) voted unanimously, at an Extraordinary General Meeting, to approve new Articles of Association for the BEF, the key milestone in achieving compliance with UK Sport and Sport England’s A Code for Sports Governance. The Articles come into effect on 30 October, along with the appointment of board members.
Says Hugh Thomas, interim Chair of the BEF Council: “I am delighted that the new Articles, and the changes they allow for in the BEF’s structure, have been approved in a climate of collaboration and co-operation. The entire BEF – member bodies, board and executive team – worked together to achieve this, along with the other compliance requirements of our funders, with the common objective of a strong and effective Federation that operates in the interests of all its stakeholders, and of the horse.”
The new structure sees a change in the relationship between the BEF Council and the board, as required by the Code. A new board of 12 directors* will now be the ultimate decision making authority, made up of four independent non-executives including the Chair; four Council-elected directors; and four founder** member nominated directors. The Members’ Council, of 15 full and four associate members, remains and will be involved in consultation and constructive challenge. The Council will also adopt the annual accounts, appoint and fix the remuneration of the auditors and determine members’ annual subscriptions.
The new board will be chaired by an interim independent Chair, Ed Warner, who succeeds Joanne Shaw.
Ed is the former Chair of UK Athletics, a post he held for over a decade, and chaired the successful London campaign to host the 2017 IAAF World Athletics Championships. He remains Chair of World Para Athletics on behalf of the International Paralympic Committee. He was awarded the OBE for services to British Athletics in 2012. He is also Chair of the Palace for Life Foundation, the official charity of Crystal Palace Football Club.
A City financier, Ed is currently Chair of accountants Grant Thornton UK, and of derivatives exchange LMAX. He is a non-executive director of Clarksons, the world’s leading shipbroker. Previously, he was a leading investment strategist and held senior management positions in a number of investment banks and financial businesses.
Says Ed: “The new board and I will work with our members to achieve a secure and positive future for the BEF, where compliance with A Code for Sports Governance, across all its requirements, will form part of business as usual, not simply a box-ticking exercise. Our interest is in supporting the entire equestrian world with integrity and objectivity, from our multi-medal winning Equestrian Team GBR to a child having their first riding lesson; from team sponsors to fans; from volunteers to charitable donors.”