Expert interview with experienced NED David Gelber:
Whilst most of my NED positions are, and have been in the financial services area several have not been. What I have learnt from this diversity is first and foremost the absolute need for NEDs to understand the business of the company. It is of little or indeed negative value to distance oneself from this and concentrate on “corporate governance”. If you are unwilling or unable to develop such an in depth understanding do not serve as an NED.
For those NEDs from non-financial backgrounds who wish to serve with companies in that sector the most crucial skill these days is understanding the ever changing and ever more onerous and obtrusive regulatory regime. My advice to such candidates is simple: “Think twice before accepting the position”!
What I enjoy most from my NED roles is the ability to cross reference one’s experience in one company with issues arising in another. Whilst some problems/issues are unique to one company, it is surprising how many occur across one’s portfolio.
For those new to the NED role, we encourage you to visit the NED Accelerator course page. The NED Accelerator Programme is a dedicated training course to fast track your transition to non-executive directorship.