IoD Buckinghamshire, Directors Briefing, Have you got what it takes to be a Non-Executive Director?

February 19, 2016

IoD Bucks & Milton Keynes Directors Briefing with David Doughty at Hartwell – “Have you got what it takes to be a Non-Executive Director?”

Location: Hartwell House Date: 25 February 2016 Time: 07:30 – 09:30

David Doughty non-executive director

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If you’ve ever wanted to find out more about the opportunities offered by taking up a Non-Executive Director position, as well as how to find one and whether you’d be suited to the role – now’s your chance!  David Doughty – a Chartered Director and CEO of Excellencia – will give you the highlights in a lively breakfast session at Hartwell House.

David has a wealth of experience from his current role as CEO of Excellencia

  • working with boards and their directors to help them to be more effective
  • to his time as Chief Executive of the Oxfordshire Economic Partnership.

This breakfast session is an opportunity to explore the realities of NED positions, deal with a few myths about the status of NEDs and see how you would respond to some typical scenarios, were you to be a NED on a company’s board. It will surely make for a fascinating start to the day!

This event qualifies for 1.5 CPD hours.

Location: Hartwell House     Date: 25 February 2016    Time: 07:30 – 09:30

Non-Executive Directors – ‘Guinea Pigs’ or highly trained professionals?

February 17, 2016

Guine Pig Director

Over 130 years ago, in the 1870s, company directors were not very highly regarded. In 1871 Temple Bar magazine refers to them as “Guinea pigs” – “the pleasant name for those gentlemen of more rank than means who have a guinea and a copious lunch when they attend board meetings”

This derogatory term for a board member persisted. In 1895 A J Wilson said “A man who lives by getting himself placed upon the Boards of a number of companies whose business he can have neither the time nor the qualifications to assist in directing, is a ‘guinea pig’.”

They even coined the verb ‘guinea-pigging’ to describe the practice of acting as director of a company for the sake of the guinea fees. It was said that a large number of the ‘bubble’ company boards of the 1928 boom were packed with ‘guinea-pig’ directors.

Fast forward to today – it is 22 years since the publication of the Cadbury report which established our current thinking regarding Corporate Governance and in that period we have made great strides in improving the way the boards of our listed companies are run in the UK.

The UK Corporate Governance Code, even though it only applies to listed companies, has been adopted by the boards of many large un-listed companies and is seen as a best practice guide to running a limited company.

One of the key principles of the Code is the importance of having Non-Executive board members and we have seen the rise in portfolio career directors, typically middle-aged men and women who have retired from their corporate careers and have taken up a number of Non-Executive board positions.

So, are these people “Guinea Pigs” or highly trained professionals?

Unfortunately, despite all the advances in Corporate Governance and the associated pre-eminence of the City of London as a global financial centre, the numbers of company directors who regard their role as a profession in its own right are few and far between.

It is 15 years since the Institute of Directors established its Chartered Director qualification and yet there are now just under 1,200 Chartered Directors sitting on boards out of a total of 5.6million directors registered at Companies House in 2014.

My own experience working with boards of all different shapes and sizes in the private, public and voluntary sectors would lead me to believe that the majority of company directors have no, or very little, training to equip themselves with the skills and knowledge necessary to undertake their roles effectively.

In terms of Non-Executive directors, we still seem to have a number of “Guinea pigs” – the titled, current or former politicians and the well-connected who occupy a string of boards without seemingly having the qualifications to do so.

It is a great thing that anyone with £17, an internet connection and 5 minutes to spare can form a limited company and become a company director – ease of creating a business entity is seen as a major competitive advantage when it comes to inward investment.

However, that does mean that we have a large number of company directors who are blissfully unaware of their duties, roles and responsibilities as set out in the 2006 Companies Act.

Being a company director requires much more than simply knowing the law, however. In the case of Non-Executives, the board’s ‘critical friends’, the skills needed are completely different from that of the executive director.

There seems to be a general disinclination for directors to get trained. Is this something to do with not wanting to be seen to not know everything? – or is there an assumption that if you have got so far in your career as to be appointed to a board then there is nothing more to learn?

Or, dare I say it? – is there a gender factor here? Are men less willing to admit that they need to learn what being a company director entails than women?

Certainly there is no shortage of training courses out there, from half day on-site training costing a few hundred pounds through to the 6 month Financial Times Non-Executive Director Diploma at £5,900 and the Institute of Directors Chartered Director MBA-level qualification at £12,500.

So the question is – if you are a company director are you a guinea pig or a highly trained professional?


IoD Young Business Forum (Bath/Bristol) – Thursday 20 March 2014

March 13, 2014
iod logoIoD Young Business Forum (Bath/Bristol)
Thursday 20 March 2014 from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM
at: Waterhouse, Waterhouse Lane, Monkton Combe, Bath BA2 7JB
YBF
The IoD Young Business Forum (YBF) has been created to reach out to ambitious directors and create a safe place for them to interact, learn and engage with peers and mentors.  The aim of the group is to help develop business leaders and provide them with support and guidance on their business challenges; whilst allowing relationships to be built and developed outside a purely commercial context.
 
Many business owners starting out in business, particularly those who have left behind a corporate career, can find their formative years in business a lonely and challenging experience stripped of the support and resources they may have taken for granted earlier in their careers.
This group aims to reach out to directors of businesses early in their entrepreneurial careers and create a safe place for them to interact, learn and engage with experienced business professionals from both the Institute of Directors (IoD) and other successful and established organisations.
 
The event is open to both members and non-members of the Institute of Directors.  The format of the event starts with open networking followed by a sit-down 2-course dinner; over which to discuss business issues and challenges with peers in a safe, confidential environment, share common experiences, information, and to seek and provide help and guidance.

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The evening will finish with a short talk by David Doughty, on strategies for young businesses to access professional input and strategic advice on business growth & strategy on a limited – or even without! – a budget.  David is Chief Executive of excellencia, the corporate governance experts, providing Board effectiveness and Leadership development services to organisations in the private, public and voluntary sectors.  He has extensive executive and non-executive experience in small and medium enterprises in both the private and public sectors and is also a consultant at Board level to multi-national organisations.
 
The Institute of Directors mentoring team will be on-hand to introduce the mentoring service and match potential interested parties with mentors. 
To book your place, please register here.

For further information please contact Roger Plahay on: 07771 772222 or roger.plahay@sandler.com


A head start for novices

May 28, 2013

New duties make the classroom a better place to learn than the boardroom

Hannah Prevett Sunday Times Published: 12 May 2013

Nick BaldwinChartered Director Nick Baldwin: ‘You’re responsible individually as a director’

The received wisdom is that new directors learn on the job. If they are not equipped with the necessary skills when they accept their first board appointment, they will need to be quick on the uptake.

Not any more: the tidal wave of new governance requirements means it is not good enough to acquire expertise over time. And, as a result, many prospective boardroom stars are seeking training to help them do the job they’re paid to do from day one.

When Alan Kay learnt he was to join the executive board of Costain in 2003, he immediately began considering how to prepare for his new role at the engineering and construction group.

“A lot of people haven’t really thought about how to prepare for a board role. [They think] it’s something that happens naturally: you get on the board and then you think, I’m going to learn on the job,” said Kay, who is Costain’s technical and operations director. “But once you’re appointed, becoming competent and learning as you go takes several months, which is not ideal.”

He researched training options for new board members and came across the Institute of Directors’ accredited programmes, including the certificate and diploma in company direction.

The IoD fills 6,000 places on such courses annually with representatives of both large and small organisations — not all of them young guns, as Roger Barker, head of corporate governance at the IoD, explained.

“The directors of large organisations were reluctant to undertake any form of formalised director training. These were typically seasoned former executives, with extensive experience of serving on boards as chief executives or chief financial officers. It has been difficult to persuade such individuals that director training is relevant to them,” said Barker.

“However, the purpose of director training is not to duplicate the operational knowledge and experience of this type of board member. Rather, it is to give directors a distinctive governance perspective on their boardroom role, which emphasises their unique responsibilities and accountability to shareholders and other relevant stakeholders.”

The importance of understanding legal duties cannot be overestimated — for directors of businesses of all sizes, said Peter Holmes, managing director of Anchor Magnets, a Sheffield manufacturer.

“You can see the people on a course who don’t understand their responsibilities,” said Holmes, who has completed the certificate, diploma and chartered director stages of the IoD training.

“When you do the director and the law module, their faces just drop because they didn’t actually realise their fiduciary duties towards the long-term wellbeing of the organisation.”

Barker’s point about training helping veteran members of staff to distinguish between their executive and non-executive responsibilities is an important one, said Kay. “One of the first things you appreciate when you go through board training is that as a director you have basically got two hats: in the main, you have an executive role and you have also got your role as a director of the business.

“Sometimes you’ve got to take off your executive hat and act as a director in the best interests of the company, as opposed to batting for your own score.”

Kay admitted that this transition from being a manager to having a dual role is the most difficult adjustment to make. “You are no longer responsible for just part of the business — you also have an overarching responsibility as a director of the business. Most people, unless they have been through the kind of training offered by the IoD, do not understand that.”

Nick Beech, head of the Centre for Director Education at Leeds Metropolitan University, said training helps directors to handle the often tricky dynamics of the boardroom.

“You’ve got people who are effectively god-like figures within the organisation and if nobody’s checking them, or if other board members don’t know what the procedures or protocols are supposed to be, it’s quite easy to undermine the board. And if you undermine the board, you undermine the company,” he said.

Training also presents opportunities for entrepreneurs whose businesses are struggling to grow beyond a certain point, said Beech. “We find that a lot of people who’ve started a business may find that their organisation has run beyond them.

“You’re doing £6m a year and you don’t know how to move it to £10m because you’re still a manager and haven’t made that mental change to understanding what a director should be doing.”

For larger organisations, the greatest value of boardroom education may come from training up those who have not yet reached director level, said Kay.

“My company is starting to focus on the next layer down. We have had a number of people go through this process now and we have got more in progress. It’s tomorrow’s board,” he said.

“You have to do the chartered director qualification once you’re on the board and you’ve got some experience, but the certificate and the diploma should be done beforehand. That is the right timing.”

Flying high without a corporate safety net

Nick Baldwin had a wealth of board experience when he embarked on a portfolio non-exec career, having been chief executive of the FTSE 100 company Powergen when it was sold to Eon.

Yet there was still a big adjustment to make when he realised he no longer had  the safety net of working for a large organisation.

“Being on the board of a FTSE company, you’ve got a company secretary, you’ve got lawyers, you’ve got finance directors — all of whom keep you decent, legal and honest, so you don’t tend to worry too much because someone’s going to tell you what to do,” said Baldwin, now chairman of the Office for Nuclear Regulation.

“What you find when you’re not surrounded by the corporate machine is you don’t know what you’re meant to do very well. You’re responsible individually as a director and you need to have a good understanding of what your role and legal responsibilities are.”

Baldwin said receiving advice on winding down a company had proved invaluable as he was on the board of the Forensic Science Service when it was closed after running up big losses. “It stood me in good stead when the advisers came in. Instead of them telling me everything that was going to happen, I knew just how to interrogate them,” he said.


How to become a Non-Executive Director – Bristol 19 March 2013

March 11, 2013

How to become a Non-Executive Director

Are you thinking of becoming a Non-Executive Director as part of a Portfolio Career or to develop your boardroom skills prior to taking up an executive director role?

Join us on Tuesday, March 19 2013 to find out how you can become a Non-Executive Director.

“Excellent course giving a clear picture of the role, the skills and characteristics required, the range of NED opportunities and the various routes to secure such positions. As a bonus you also meet interesting people and useful contacts. A good career investment.”

Mark Lambert, Non-Executive Director

The How to become a Non-Executive Director course helps you to plan and prepare for your first NED position. It instils a real sense of what is expected of NEDs, and how you can meet the challenge.

This one-day interactive course is aimed at aspiring NEDs and covers essential knowledge about roles, responsibilities, strategy and corporate governance that are key foundations for a Non-Executive board role. It also considers up to date thinking on corporate governance and the responsibilities of owners, the board and employees.

This is followed by practical sessions on identifying NED opportunities, the process of obtaining a first appointment and performing due diligence before any position is accepted. There is emphasis on the importance of presenting your experiences with clarity and relevance.

This course identifies the various ways and circumstances in which non-executive directors can make an effective contribution to a board’s work. It also examines methods for their selection and reviews their motivation, induction and reward.

Who should attend?
Individuals who are currently a non-executive director; those seeking appointment as a non-executive director and those looking to appoint a non-executive director.

What to expect?

  • Clarifies how and why non-executive directors can strengthen a board
  • Provides practical guidance on how best to secure an appointment as a non-executive director

Course objectives
Participation on this course will provide you with the knowledge to:

  • Clarify the board’s role, purpose and key tasks
  • Appreciate the contributions that non-executive directors can make to the board in different types of company and situations
  • Recognise the qualities and experience needed to fulfil a non-executive director appointment
  • Appreciate appropriate methods for finding, selecting, appointing and rewarding non-executive directors
  • Understand the preparation required to interview for or be interviewed for the post of non-executive director

Course Leader: David Doughty CDir FIoD

David Doughty - Chartered DirectorThe course is delivered by David Doughty, a Chartered Director and highly experienced Non-Executive, Chief Executive, Chair, Entrepreneur and Business Mentor. David has extensive executive and non-executive experience in small and medium enterprises in private and public sectors. He is also a board level consultant to multi-national organisations and a Chartered Director Ambassador for the Institute of Directors. See his LinkedIn profile here: (http://uk.linkedin.com/in/daviddoughty)

Key Details
Duration: 1 day
Location:

Institute of Directors Bristol
14 Orchard Street
Bristol BS1 5EH 

Price

£330.00 (ex VAT)

Payment with Booking Price
£300.00 (ex VAT)

Book Now
To see course dates and to book your place now follow this link:
Course Registration
The fee includes lunch, refreshments and a copy of the course handbook

Attendance counts as 6 CPD hours of structured learning



Finance for Non Finance Directors – Oxford 7 March 2013

February 17, 2013

Finance for Non-Finance DirectorsFinance for Non Finance Directors: Financial Business Management Tools and Financial Business Concepts for non-finance executive and non-executive directors

This course will provide essential knowledge of the key financial management issues and concepts needed by all Directors, Consultants or current or aspiring Non-Executive Directors in order to be effective members of the boards of private, public or not-for-profit organisations in today’s demanding financial environment.

The successful completion of this course will provide attendees with a sound financial understanding and the practical knowledge of how and when to apply those skills within their own businesses backed by a theoretical financial knowledge base

Who should attend?

Directors, Consultants or current or aspiring Non-Executive Directors needing to develop their financial understanding, skills and knowledge base within the areas of strategic financial management, corporate financial analysis, financial planning and business restructuring, to become more:

  • effective in Board financial discussions, business acquisitions and evaluations;
  • credible and comfortable with investors when discussing financial matters;
  • confident using financial terms and when explaining the financial implications of a chosen business strategy;
  • adept at discussing the financial implementation of management changes or consultant recommendations.

Course Content; this course will:

  • Explain how to read and understand the balance sheet and profit and loss account of any business, including amongst many others the use of EBITDA, Enterprise Value, Current Ratio, Liquidity Ratio, ROCE and NAV
  • Define and explain the key valuation techniques commonly used in valuing business acquisitions or disposals
  • Discuss and explain the use of the commonly accepted key ratios in the analysis of any set of accounts, with practical worked examples
  • Define and explain the main financial terms used in the discussion and analysis of financial statements in the evaluation of a potential business partner, acquisition or disposal
  • Explain the difference between statutory accounts and management accounts, and highlight the costs and benefits of producing those accounts
  • Clearly show the differences, in financial and business terms, between managing for profit and managing for cash and explain the main benefits and dangers of each approach by examining the implications of common practices within different sectors
  • Explain and discuss the benefits and dangers of high leverage versus low gearing and the consequential impact upon the financial performance of a business, providing insights into the key business drivers behind highly leveraged companies
  • Define and discuss the financial terms used by Banks, Venture Capitalists, Business Angels and other sources of finance.  This will encompass a consideration of the likely costs and benefits of the various capital sources.
  • Identify and explain the key factors involved in raising new Share Capital for SMEs and new companies
  • Discuss and explain Key Performance Indicators, including an introduction to the Balanced Scorecard, Activity Based Costing, ABC, and Zero Based Budgeting
  • Clearly identify and explain the key components of the Public Sector Budget, the budget deficit, the national debt and the overall state of the economy and its relationship to the Public Sector Budget.
  • Identify and discuss the key drivers behind the recent UK and Global banking crises
  • Give an overview and discussion of the fundamentals of the UK business taxation regime, through the interaction of corporation tax, income tax, national insurance and capital gains tax; including the primary grants and reliefs relevant to directors and likely to be considered at Board level

Course Objectives; this course will:

  • Enable you to communicate more effectively and easily with Finance Directors, other directors, accountants, advisors, consultants, bankers, venture capitalists, business angels and other providers of finance; through an in depth understanding of financial terminology and financial management and evaluation techniques
  • Allow you to read and instantly analyse and interpret any set of Financial Statements by using the techniques and knowledge gained on this course
  • Provide you with the knowledge and tools to assess the financial value and viability of a company or a project
  • Enable you to choose between the competing types of capital and operational funding, through a sound knowledge and understanding of their likely financial costs and benefits
  • Allow you to recognise and understand the underlying impact on any set of accounts of the generally accepted accounting principles
  • Enable you to identify and discuss the key financial issues facing most Boardrooms today
  • Provide you with the financial knowledge necessary to properly identify the roles and boundaries of financial professionals within an organisation
  • Enable you to apply accepted financial techniques and tools to any potential course of action including: capital investment; new products or projects; corporate acquisitions or disposals; or any form of business expansion
  • Provide the necessary contextual knowledge and understanding of the wider UK economic and commercial regime and its interaction with taxation, to enable a better contribution to key discussions and decision making amongst directors and within the Board
  • Support strategic decision making with sound financial understanding

Course Leader:

Philip Arnold FCA, FIC, CMC, BSc Hons, Chartered Director

Philip Arnold is the Senior Partner in Quantum Consulting Accountants and has been a Finance Director for several companies, including a Venture Capital backed start-up.  He is also an investor in a number of SMEs.

He holds the Institute of Directors’ Chartered Director qualification and is an FCA with over 18 years of Board level experience as a Finance Director and Chief Executive Officer, including 7 years with a PLC.

He has an entrepreneurial background combined with a solid blue chip experience base, having spent 13 years with blue chip organisations.  Philip has started companies, helped to raise £million plus Share Capital, and has also bought and sold businesses.. See his LinkedIn profile here: (http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/philip-arnold/20/981/b36)

Key Details

Duration: 1 day
Location:

Advanced Business Solutions
5G Milton Park
Abingdon, Oxon
OX14 4RY

Price
£350.00 (ex VAT)
Early Bird Discount Price
£315.00 (ex VAT)

Book Now
To see course dates and to book your place now follow this link:
Course Registration
The fee includes lunch, refreshments and a copy of the course handbook

Attendance counts as 6.5 verifiable CPD hours of structured learning which count towards the requirements of most business focussed institutes, including the Institute of Directors, the Institute of Consulting, the Chartered Management Institute, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and many others.  After successful completion of the course, you will receive an electronic Certificate confirming that you have successfully completed the course, detailing the outcomes and results.

Courses can be delivered ‘in-house’ to a group of Board Directors – to find out more contact courses@excellencia.co.uk or call 01865 350345

 


How to become a Non-Executive Director – Oxford 26 February 2013

February 17, 2013

How to become a Non-Executive Director

Find out how you can obtain a Non-Executive Director position by booking a place on this interactive 1-day course.

“As an introduction to the world of NED’s this course is well structured to give an honest and practical insight in to how to identify and prepare for a move in this direction. Money well spent!”

John Cooper, Vice President, North West Europe at Weber-Stephen Products LLC United Kingdom

The How to become a Non-Executive Director course helps you to plan and prepare for your first NED position. It instils a real sense of what is expected of NEDs, and how you can meet the challenge.

This one-day interactive course is aimed at aspiring NEDs and covers essential knowledge about roles, responsibilities, strategy and corporate governance that are key foundations for a Non-Executive board role. It also considers up to date thinking on corporate governance and the responsibilities of owners, the board and employees.

This is followed by practical sessions on identifying NED opportunities, the process of obtaining a first appointment and performing due diligence before any position is accepted. There is emphasis on the importance of presenting your experiences with clarity and relevance.

This course identifies the various ways and circumstances in which non-executive directors can make an effective contribution to a board’s work. It also examines methods for their selection and reviews their motivation, induction and reward.

Who should attend?
Individuals who are currently a non-executive director; those seeking appointment as a non-executive director and those looking to appoint a non-executive director.

What to expect?

  • Clarifies how and why non-executive directors can strengthen a board
  • Provides practical guidance on how best to secure an appointment as a non-executive director

Course objectives
Participation on this course will provide you with the knowledge to:

  • Clarify the board’s role, purpose and key tasks
  • Appreciate the contributions that non-executive directors can make to the board in different types of company and situations
  • Recognise the qualities and experience needed to fulfil a non-executive director appointment
  • Appreciate appropriate methods for finding, selecting, appointing and rewarding non-executive directors
  • Understand the preparation required to interview for or be interviewed for the post of non-executive director

Course Leader: David Doughty CDir FIoD

David Doughty - Chartered DirectorThe course is delivered by David Doughty, a Chartered Director and highly experienced Non-Executive, Chief Executive, Chair, Entrepreneur and Business Mentor. David has extensive executive and non-executive experience in small and medium enterprises in private and public sectors. He is also a board level consultant to multi-national organisations and a Chartered Director Ambassador for the Institute of Directors. See his LinkedIn profile here: (http://uk.linkedin.com/in/daviddoughty)

Key Details
Duration: 1 day
Location:

Advanced Business Solutions
5G Milton Park
Abingdon, Oxon
OX14 4RY 

Price

£330.00 (ex VAT)

Early Bird Discount Price
£300.00 (ex VAT)

Book Now
To see course dates and to book your place now follow this link:
Course Registration
The fee includes lunch, refreshments and a copy of the course handbook

Attendance counts as 6 CPD hours of structured learning



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