John Plender combines his role as a columnist at the Financial Times with the chairmanship of Quintain Estates and Development PLC, a FTSE 250 company specialising in property.
After obtaining his degree at Oxford University he joined Deloitte, Plender Griffiths in the City of London in 1967, qualifying as a chartered accountant in 1970. He then moved into journalism and became financial editor of The Economist in 1974. After a period working for the British Foreign Office, he took on a role in the early 1980s as a senior editorial writer and columnist at the Financial Times, while also presenting and producing television programs for the BBC and Channel Four.
In the late 1980s Plender helped to establish Pensions and Investment Research Consultants (Pirc), the UK shareholder activist and corporate governance consultancy, which he chaired from 1994 to 2003. He served on the UK Company Law Review Steering Group, which provided the basis for the British Government's 2006 Companies Act. He is also a member of the World Bank/OECD Private Sector Advisory Group on corporate governance and author of several books on economics, business and finance.