The "ideal" Non-Executive Director should be able to bring these qualities:

  • Strengthen the Management Team and The Balance Sheet (when they become a shareholder).
  • Be involved in the creation of the company's robust and defensible Business Plan, policies and strategy.
  • Possess substantial and successful business experience ideally in a similar business sector.
  • Possess vision and be able to apply creative thought to the business.
  • Review plans and budgets which will implement policy and strategy.
  • Be a confidential sounding board for the MD/CEO and keep the focus of the MD/CEO.
  • Provide an independent assessment of the management structure.
  • Objectively assess the company's overall performance.
  • Provide outside experience of the workings of other companies and industries.
  • Provide contacts with third parties such as financial sources, grant availability, potential clients etc.
  • Supports the MD, acting as a mentor and "Wise Owl" while remaining independent.
  • The presence of a Non-Executive Director with sufficient credibility will provide comfort to a company's suppliers, Bankers and funders.
  • Act as an effective referee on a Company's Board.
  • An NED brings specialist and invaluable knowledge at critical stages of a Company's growth through similar experience in other businesses.
  • Experience to determine appropriate remuneration levels for the Directors.
  • Beneficial sector contacts that have been acquired in previous businesses.
  • Possess sharp analytical skills.

The "ideal" Non-Executive Director should act as follows:

  • Be well prepared and well informed for each board meeting.
  • Attend board meetings regularly.
  • Devote time and effort to understand the company and its business.
  • Be prepared to travel and participate at events such as exhibitions outside the boardroom.
  • Make strong contributions to board meetings especially on the development of strategy and risk management.
  • Used their own knowledge and experience to question and review company strategy.
  • Effectively probe the information provided and the assumptions.
  • Be resolute in maintaining their views whilst constructively resisting pressure from others.
  • Effectively follow up areas of concern.
  • Have good relations with other members of the board and senior management.
  • Continually refresh their knowledge and skills on corporate governance, financial reporting, the industry and the market.
  • Communicate well internally and externally.
  • Be a Team Player who lets the Executive team get on with their jobs.
  • Be a good listener and a good communicator.
  • Listen constructively to their colleagues.
  • Be an Independent advisor who can challenge as well as support.

Read the survey: "Contributions Non Execs Make to Boards" 



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