The essential dilemma facing new Non-Executive Directors is that they only spend a limited time with the company and yet they are, from day one, as accountable as anyone on the executive team should anything go amiss.
How can a new NED cope? The average NED may only spend 18 to 20 days per year working with the company, and if they are also Executive Directors on another board, the rules require that they must come from a non-competing business.Uncomfortably, they are both at arms length and exposed. The outside world has developed a perception that the NEDs can pick up nuances. And yet their very independence makes it hard to do so.
The rise of fierce local competition for multinationals in Asia is progressing at breakneck speed...