Last night I had the pleasure of attending and supporting the IFoA Non-Executive Director Group meeting. Yet again the network and contacts of this group were immediately evident through the quality of the panel. Fiona Matthews -Towers Watson was a fantastic chair, whilst alongside her we had insights from Clive Adamson – JP Morgan, Audrey McNair – Aberdeen Asset Management and Sandy Muirhead – Phoenix Equity Partners. We had an hour of their time and thoughts around how to become a good NED and how to get your first appointment.
After very kind words about HFG from both Pauline Armitage from the NED Group and then Fiona, the session launched into a broad range of topics and a lengthy debate around the aggressive nature of the word “challenge” as preferred by regulators compared to structured debate and thorough discussion as preferred by some Non-Execs. The group was asked to think about the importance of that first appointment, the range of interpersonal and commercial skills needed by a successful NED and crucially how to handle the NED nightmare of discovering a fundamental issue within their firm and how to react.
It was clear that using the network and preparing well in advance is how to begin a new career of portfolio roles including the importance of realising that it is exactly that. It’s not a wind down and way to reduce hours, it requires a huge legislative responsibility and it is critical that the future NED has done their due diligence well in advance of any possible appointment.
The evening concluded with a fantastic networking opportunity with a few glasses of wine enjoyed by a room of very prominent and successful actuaries.
Based on the success of this group there is no doubt that the next generation of Actuaries to take on the responsibilities of Non-Executive positions will be extremely well prepared and informed.
Director – HFG