UKGI supported the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to bring the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) into government in July 2021, to protect and enhance effective provision of the UK’s nuclear deterrent. UKGI supported the original transaction and now performs a joint shareholder role with MoD.
Drawing on best practice, UKGI sought to recruit a new AWE Chair and Board to enable a successful integration into government and improve the decision-making and oversight at Board level in its new position as an arm’s length body. This role was previously carried out by the private sector shareholders under contract from MoD.
UKGI supported the recruitment process to shape the Board with the necessary mix of skills required of the Chair and NEDs to capture the areas of support the executive team would require. Throughout, there was an emphasis on diversity in Board and executive leadership. The new board has 36% women directors, including the CEO, and all forms of diversity are priorities in future Board recruitment and succession planning.
Alongside building a strong board, UKGI has developed a close and effective relationship with MoD on AWE, creating a joint shareholder team between the two organisations. This allows UKGI, for the future, to continue to support best shareholder practice within the MoD.