Lord Myners is currently reviewing the governance structure of the Co-operative Group. This is not the first review – Mutuo contributed to such a project in 2007. Of course the context was different from today, but many of the key issues around co-operative business governance remain the same.
Today, Mutuo is re-publishing its report for the 2007 Review, called ‘21st Century Pioneers.’ It was drafted by a range of experts in co-operative business structures, including Cliff Mills, Ian Snaith, Peter Hunt and a range of academics.
It included a number of recommendations for reform, some of which were implemented at the time, such as the reduction in Group Board size and the addition of new independent non-executives into subsidiary boards. Other proposals remain to be acted upon. Importantly, the report was based on a close collaboration with active members and other stakeholders, leading to what we think was a thoughtful and considered contribution to this debate.
We regret that Mutuo has not been asked to contribute to the deliberations of the Myners review team, which has followed a very different process from ours. We do not believe that it is possible to successfully review these matters without engaging with and openly consulting all key stakeholders in the current governance structure, including active members. Ultimately their support will be required to implement any change. As an advocate and international consultancy for all types of mutual business, Mutuo recognises the importance of a successful Co-operative Group to the standing of the wider mutual sector.
In the interests of ensuring a full debate around the crucial issues that will set the future structure of the Co-operative Group, we are therefore re-publishing our report today, and we would encourage an open engagement around many of the issues with all participants.
The Review is split into two PDF documents: