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Mixing business with enjoyment in a NED role


An interview with trustee Stuart Lund, around how he combines his interests in his NED portfolio.


1) Being a non-exec can give you an opportunity to give back to your community and the organisations you are interested in: Is this the case for you and what do you enjoy the most?

I don’t really like the term “give back”. I see voluntary non-exec roles as a way of continuing to make a positive contribution.

I have a personal interest in sailing and so my efforts go towards supporting a charitable Sailability Centre in London as well as assisting my local sailing club through governance of our bar, functions and meetings venue business. Of these, the Sailability centre provides the most enjoyment as it is easy to identify the benefits provided to sailors of varying abilities who use our facilities and I am able to share my passion for recreational sailing.


2) Do you have any personal boundaries that you set to balance your support of these organisations or tips to help with this?

I try and limit the issues that require my personal involvement by ensuring that responsibilities are clearly defined and allocated amongst the board.

I try (sometimes unsuccessfully) to set clear time lines for my involvement so that I can manage my time between the various boards and have time for additional volunteering activities and my personal pursuits.


3) What is something you have learned in being a non-exec that you would not have expected?

I guess I have had an ongoing experience of non-executive roles over my career, so that now there are not too many surprises. What perhaps stands out is that the issues faced in voluntary non-executive board roles are equally as complex and demanding as those faced by paid directors in corporate roles and the standards that directors should apply are not different in either circumstance.


Related post: A short guide to the trustee role


Born and educated in Australia, Stuart Lund is a Chartered Accountant who has enjoyed an international career with KPMG, Shell and Anglo American. He is currently Chair of Trustees for Tideway Sailability and Board Chairman at London Corinthian Services Ltd, and provides probono business consultancy to Social Enterprises in Sub-Saharan Africa.


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