Nominations open for Co-op Group board members

A chance to sit on the board of the £10bn co-operative

The Co-op Group is seeking two member nominated directors (MNDs) for its board.

There are four MNDs on the board, with two new directors being elected each year at the annual general meeting. At the 2018 meeting, the board seats of Hazel Blears and Margaret Casely-Hayford are up for re-election. During 2017’s meeting, Paul Chandler was re-elected, while Gareth Thomas was newly appointed by members.

Directors sit on the main board and have the following responsibilities:

  • Determining a strategy for the Co-op, consistent with the Purpose and the Values and Principles and meeting the needs of its Members
  • Overseeing the business and performance of the Group under the strategy
  • Motivating and retaining an Executive team to deliver the strategy
  • Holding the Executive to account in the performance of its duties, taking into account the views of the council
  • Overseeing a risk and internal audit framework designed to provide adequate assurance as to the protection of the Group’s assets; the health, safety and welfare of customers, members and staff; compliance with all relevant laws and regulations and the maintenance of the reputation of the society.

The term of office is two years from the date of an election, but this is currently under review and may, subject to the approval of the Members’ Council and members, be increased to three years. On expiry of each term of office, reappointment will be subject to a contested election. Each MND can serve a maximum of three terms. MNDs are expected to commit 3-4 days per month towards the role and will receive £60,000 a year.

Once candidates have been assessed against the eligibility and membership criteria, which states they must have been a member before 5 January 2014 and accrued 1,000 trading points in the year to January 2018, their application will be considered by the MND Joint Selection and Approvals Committee, which comprises representatives from the Group Board and Members’ Council.

If a candidate is shortlisted, to meet regulatory requirements, they will be asked to provide further information to enable background screening checks to be undertaken before being approved as a candidate in the election. Any appointment is subject to approval by the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority (SRA). Shortlisted candidates will then be invited to a mutual Due Diligence day, for an interview.

Those selected will be announced in advance of the 2018 Annual General Meeting to approximately 2.2 million members who are eligible to vote. The results will be formally declared at the AGM on 19 May 2018, and successful MND candidates will begin their two-year term of office at the end of that meeting.

Adrienne Lowe, from the Members’ Council, who chairs the Member Nominated Director Joint Selection and Approvals Committee said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Co-op members to have their voice heard in the boardroom. Having our members on our Board is part of our co-op difference – it sets us apart from other investor-owned businesses. The MNDs ensure our co‑operative values and principles are at the forefront of our strategic thinking and decision making.”

• The deadline for nominations is midday on Thursday 21 December. To apply, visit:

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