The Role of a Non-Executive Director

The need for a non-listed business (i.e. not compelled to do so by the Combined Code) to recruit a Non Executive Director is very dependent on the stage and size of the business. Thus the role may require all or a combination of the following:

  • To provide expertise to a business it otherwise may not be able to afford;
  • Assess management in relation to goals/strategy;
  • Ensure the financial information is accurate and robust controls are in place;
  • Provide a mechanism to ensure shareholder funds are used efficiently;
  • Help set strategy and focus management on delivering it;
  • Add credibility to a management team;
  • Act as a sounding board to the MD;
  • Act as a conduit between management and the investors;
  • Fill a skills gap on the board;
  • Provide constructive challenge and objective insight.

Therefore the core skills required for a Non-Executive Director are as follows:

  • Sound judgement and objectivity; An ability to influence through clear communication;
  • Strong interpersonal skills and an ability to manage conflict;
  • Integrity and independence of thought;
  • Commercial awareness and insight.