Fashion chain French Connection's chairman Stephen Marks is facing pressure to make comprehensive changes at the business by a shareholder advisory body, which has criticised the company's corporate governance policies.

The advisory body, Research Recommendations Electronic Voting, accuses Marks - French Connection's founder and 42 per cent shareholder - of writing his own pay cheques, setting his employment contract himself and taking control of the board's most important executive functions through a corporate governance body set up by the National Association of Pension Funds.

RREV wants the company's shareholders to discard the company's remuneration report and financial accounts, saying it is concerned about Marks's autonomy and the bonuses that his executive directors were given last year.

RREV also recommends a full-scale overhaul of the company's board of directors, which currently lacks independent directors as well as the standard sub-committees to oversee board happenings.

The Association of British Insurers, which represents the UK's largest shareholders, has also expressed concern over the company's board and has issued a 'red top' alert to its members, pointing out that the French Connection board contains only one non-executive director.