Financial Services - NEDs ‘WISDOM AND WINE’
30 July 2020
The pressure placed on Financial Services’ Boards, by Regulators and Executive teams, to ‘respond’ during COVID-19, saw many Non-Executive Directors (NEDs) helping perform the most important job of all –safeguarding their people and customers.
With many NEDs playing a dual role of ‘challenger’ and ‘supporter’, the human response to the crisis has brought the Executive and NEDs closer together. However, some NEDs also noted that as the frequency of Board meetings increased, the formality and record keeping decreased, blurring the lines between NEDs and Executives as NEDs became more ‘hands-on’.
Coming out the crisis, NEDs felt that ‘coming down the mountain will be much harder than going up’ and decisions around re-opening offices will be difficult, managing the needs of the business, clients and staff wellbeing. Those who embraced technology, acted strategically and took advantage of market conditions, would be successful. Those that went backwards to the way ‘things were’, would struggle to be competitive.
Our colleagues in BDO LLP conducted two intimate NED roundtables with Financial Services’ clients and below gives some of the insights and lessons learnt from the COVID-19 NED journey.