Britain: Soft Boards

In Britain, where a company's list of directors often reads like a tear sheet from Burke's Peerage, many a titled tycoon sits on more boards than he can count. Lord Boothby, 62, a longtime Tory backbencher who is one of this happy breed himself (he has "eight or nine" directorships), explained last week just what directors do in return for adding prestige to corporate letterheads. "No effort of any kind is called for," he told an audience of Yorkshire clubwomen. "You go to a meeting once a month in a car supplied by the company. You look both...

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