16 directors on restructured board of which 5 are performer directors

Changes in the PPL Board structure were voted through at the company’s AGM which took place today at Kings Place, London.  These changes, increasing representation of performers on the board, follow a successful year for music licensing organisation PPL in 2012 which was also highlighted at the meeting.

The amendments increase the number of elected performer directors on the PPL Board from two to three, taking the total number of performer directors to five (with the other two being nominated by British Actors’ Equity and the Musicians’ Union respectively).  As with the other elected performer directors, the new performer director will be voted in by PPL’s performer members at the company’s Annual Performer Meeting in November.  As well as sitting on the main PPL Board, the new performer director will also sit on PPL’s dedicated Performer Board, increasing the performer director majority on that board.

“This proposal stems from a periodic review of the current PPL Board structure led by PPL’s management in conjunction with the PPL directors,” said Peter Leathem, CEO, PPL. “The board structure has worked well and has delivered considerable success for recording rightholders and performers alike.  However, we felt that the time was right to take the next step in what has been, over the past decade, an ongoing expansion of performer representation within PPL’s governance structure.”

As well as increasing the number of performer directors, the changes reduce the number of executive directors on the PPL Board from four to two.  This allows for an additional elected performer director without unduly increasing the size of the board.  It also reflects a trend emerging at EU policy level regarding collective rights management organisations having mostly non-executive boards.  To give effect to this, Tony Clark, Director of Licensing, PPL and Ben Lambert, Chief Financial Officer, PPL have resigned as statutory directors of PPL with immediate effect, although they will continue in their respective executive management roles.

The remaining nine seats on the PPL Board are unchanged.  These comprise eight non-executive record company directors (from both major and independent labels) and the Rt Hon. the Lord Smith of Finsbury.  With meetings also attended by representatives from AIM, BPI, FAC, MMF and MPG, the PPL Board benefits from a breadth and depth of experience unrivalled across the music industry.    
As part of the formal business proceedings at the AGM, a number of other resolutions were successfully passed.  These included the re-election of Peter Leathem, Michael Smith (Sony), Peter Stack (Union Square Music) and Lord Smith as well as Roger Armstrong (ACE); the renewal of the PPL’s Board’s authority to payments to other industry bodies (BPI, IFPI, Impala and UK Music); and the re-appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers as PPL’s auditors.

The guest speaker was journalist, television news presenter and author, Jeremy Vine.

In his Chairman’s address, Fran Nevrkla OBE, who stood down as CEO at the end of 2011, spoke about the successful management transition following Peter Leathem’s appointment as CEO on January 1 2012. He also urged governments to discharge their moral duties in regard to copyright and warned the UK Government not to overlook the importance of the creative industries to the economy as he urged, “Wake up, wake up before it truly is too late and before all the creative industries, not just the music business, become decimated like so many industries and services before us! This will cause the most immense damage to the British economy and UK Plc.”

In CEO Peter Leathem’s address he spoke of the importance of the board changes and their significance in PPL’s ever increasing remit within the evolving recorded music industry. He also spoke about the Copyright Hub, the company’s new Codes of Conduct, the increasing level of collaboration with PRS for Music, the growth in the company’s international collections as well as the ongoing development of technology and systems that play a critical role in the company’s business.

There were also presentations from Christine Geissmar, Operations Director and Ben Lambert, CFO. As announced in April, PPL grew its total licence fee income by 11% to £170.8million. The growing use of recordings on television, radio and online platforms as well as in public combined with the continued strength of UK recordings in international markets led to the collection of an additional £17.3m from 2011.

The key financial results for 2012 were:

  • Total PPL licence fee income grew to £170.8 million, an 11% increase from 2011.
  • This comprised:

           - Broadcasting and Online income growth of 5% to £69.4 million.
           - Public Performance income growth of 18% to £64.8 million.
           - International income growth of 13% to £36.6 million.
           - Distributable revenue grew to £146.6 million, up by 12% from 2011.
           - The company’s cost to income ratio fell to 14.4%, compared to 14.9% in 2011.

The PPL 2012 Annual Review was distributed at the AGM and this can be found on the company website – ppluk.com. It includes an analysis and breakdown of the company’s activities, including financial figures and the exclusive PPL People’s Charts for the year where Jessie J topped the PPL People’s Pop Chart with Domino, Vangelis was number one on the PPL People’s Classical Chart with Chariots of Fire. In addition the Annual Review includes a brief overview of PPL’s Company Strategy.