When a company partners with a PE provider, the historically-developed positions and interactions between company shareholders, board of directors and management are often significantly impacted. This is particularly in the case of the board chairman who has to integrate together and support a new board team as well as adapt in many cases to a significantly different dynamic of how a PE partner and board members engage with the executive team and the company board.
Board Excellence have developed a unique chairman mentoring programme which provides key support in the background to the chairman to help drive a highly effective performant board. While executive coaching is a very well established and respected practice for CEOs, the benefits of having a coach and mentor for a Chairman are increasingly recognised. The depth & quality of management information and the significantly enhanced level of engagement between the PE partner & board members provide challenges to even experienced chairmen from a PLC or large company background. In many cases particularly where the PE firm have a majority stake in a portfolio company, a chairman is often expected to embrace aspects of an executive chairman role.
One of the unique characteristics of many successful PE firms is to building a very strong triumvirate of the Chairman, CEO and PE partner working very closely together both at and in between board meetings. The chairman, whether the existing chairman or a new chairman brought in post-investment, also has a significant role in helping the CEO and executive team build a strong open dynamic partnership with the PE partner and supporting teams at the PE firm. Finally, the chairman needs to work with the PE firm to ensure that there is a strong appropriate mix of non-executive directors bringing specific value and expertise to the board table.
Board Excellence’s chairman mentor programme focuses in particular on the key areas of
- Partnership model between CEO/Executive team with PE partner board member, non-exec directors and PE supporting teams
- Board information model, Process & Procedures
- Quality of board supervision & decision-making
- Board’s approach to strategy
- Oversight of financial reporting & internal controls
- Risk management ( including cyber-security )
- Overall board effectiveness & performance