What makes an ideal non-Executive Director?

Whilst Executive Directors are often the spokespeople for their company - an assured public face that investors, consumers and employees are confident in, Non-Executive Directors (NEDs) might get forgotten about.


However, those who inhabit the role do provide expert knowledge, which means the hiring process behind the role shouldn’t be forgotten about.

Writing in the FT, Lindsey Cook, co-Founder of MoneyFightClub.com, says that “a good non-exec needs diplomatic skills. They need emotional intelligence — the ability to evaluate people’s characteristics and their agendas quickly and thoroughly. They should never appear to be domineering, especially when dealing with directors who are unused to being challenged. Equally, they should never forget that it is their job to hold the board to account.”

Diversity remains important

Ideally Non- Executive Directors should have a material relationship with the Board they want to work with, but this doesn’t indicate how diverse the talent pool should be for those taking the role.

As reported in the Financial Times, there has also been a push to get more women on to company boards over the past decade. A recent industry report reported that 34.7% of all non-executives in the top 150 companies were women compared to 16.7% in 2007.

For the first time, the average age of non-executives had broken through the 60-year threshold. There is also a large proportion of newcomers. Those who have never served on a board before make up 34% of newly-appointed directors.

This indicates that the makeup of non-Executives is slowly changing, which will result in a different demographic, offering different expertise and pushing Boards in new directions.

At NRG we have a fantastic track record securing Board roles for business across multiple sectors in the in the North East region. Our most recent appointment includes:

Karbon Homes – 2 x Non-Executive Directors
Port of Tyne – 3 x Non-Executive Directors
North East LEP – 4 x Board Members
North East Procurement – Chair
Northumbria Healthcare – 4 x Board Members
Age UK  – Chair

If you would like to discuss opportunities with the team please contact us

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