Becoming a non-executive director

Can you inform us a chunk about your career, and how to procure to where you are nowadays?

I m an accountant through career and I certified over 30 years ago. After college I did auditing as well as accounting Work in East Africa as well as after qualifying at Emile Woolf College in London in 1982, I worked in the UK with the then Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), first in agencies winding-up as well as later in organizations investigation.

In 1990, following the getting into pressure of the Financial Services Act, I joined what was thenthe Investment Management Regulatory Organisation Limited (a selfregulatory frame which changed into later absorbed into the Financial Services Authority), as well as labored first in investigations, and then in compliance. I had been involved in financial services law for over twenty years.

About 18 years ago, an opportunity came up in Uganda, wherein they were establishing a capital market, as well as I become appointed because the first CEO to spearhead the establishment of the Capital Markets Authority, the regulator of the stock trade, stockbrokers, fund managers, and so on. I did this activity for 16 years until I retired on the end of 2013. So truely, for a totally huge part of my career, I have been in financial services regulation. How did you turn out to be a non-govt director?

The interesting component approximately the procedure of becoming a non-govt director is that it’s also an trouble often examined in company governance. People frequently ask how one turns into either a non-executive director of a organization or a trustee on a scheme as well as, to be sincere, there’s no instantly solution. It may be very rare to look a non-government director position marketed for listed corporations or personal businesses, although I have seen one in the latest beyond for a UK no longer-for-income enterprise working in East Africa.

In my revel in, it is through contacts. I chair the board of Stanbic Banking Uganda Limited, the largest financial institution in Uganda as well as a subsidiary of Standard Bank of South Africa, and I joined as chair on the basis of suggestions.

I turned into honestly first approached through the Group when I was the CEO of the Capital Markets Authority, however we agreed at that time that there was a conflict of interest among being at the board of a listed organisation whilst additionally regulating financial offerings. When I retired from that function, I become appointed to the board of Stanbic Bank, as chair. That within reason unusual -generally one would grow to be a board member first before turning into the chair – but the financial institution board felt that I was capable, for which I changed into extremely thankful.

I also sit at the board of East African Breweries Limited, a subsidiary of Diageo %, for which once more I was approached right away after retiring from the Capital Markets Authority. The approach become additionally made on the idea of guidelines, I consider through my broader community of accountants who audit these organizations.

So essentially, people are approached. It’s additionally how I now look for board members to sign up for the forums on which I sit. If a board is calling mainly for an accountant, say, to help on the audit committee, thenthey’ll begin by means of speakme to CFOs of the larger groups and audit firms, specifically the Big Four, collecting guidelines as well as contacts.

I’m no longer saying that that is the suitable system. Indeed, it’s been criticised because many gifted as well as capable accountants may not have these contacts; might not go to the golfing membership or similar networking activities, normally social. This tradition in particular disadvantages female candidates. However, it does show the benefits of being energetic within the accountancy area, and becoming a famous call within the profession. I have no doubt that my involvement in IFAC and ACCA have been a massive advantage in my career. What do you enjoy maximum approximately the function of non-executive director?

Being on a first rate board, with a very good executive team, can be a completely satisfying revel in. You are operating with a collection of experts who’ve a diverse mixture of talents. On one of the forums I take a seat, I’m working as well as interacting with specialists in IT, banking, auditing and people who’re virtually walking companies. Onthe IFAC board I interacted with high-profile professionals from distinct elements of the sector. The same applies at the ACCA Council.

It is also a terrific opportunity for one to increase one s knowledge as well as network, as well as analyze some new matters! For instance, my best enjoy of breweries become from ingesting beer as a younger man as well as now I recognise the intricacies of the industry.

Search masses of senior level roles from everywhere in the international on ACCA Careers

The choice-making system at board conferences can also be tough, however profitable. The board makes vital and hard decisions and looking to attain a consensus as chairman is a skill in its very own proper. However, the debates and interplay with fellow board members are very rewarding.

It is simply a terrific honour as well as a privilege to serve on forums. You re gaining a lot, interacting with humans, studying, being exposed to exclusive places and so forth, but also it’s miles a completely large assignment, a massive dedication. What are a number of the challenges which you have faced?

There are plenty of challenges that forums and board members face, however permit me speak about some specially.

The first is law. As explained earlier, I’ve been in law for a long time, as well as it appears I can t run faraway from it! If you’re on a board of a completely closely regulated institution, say a financial institution, there are many demanding situations. First of all, you go through a totally thorough method of vetting. The board itself that is nominating you may must do tests round integrity, warfare of interest and so forth.

Inthe case of Stanbic Bank, the tests had been accomplished by the South African preserving organization and the South African Reserve Bank – the important bank. Both want to be snug with the person sitting on the board of a subsidiary of a South African corporation. Thenthe primary Bank of Uganda performed its own, match and proper, tests. As if that was now not sufficient, the Capital Markets Authority and the Stock Exchange also needed to be snug because Stanbic is a listed corporation. This process can take a long term.

Another project confronted through board individuals relates to conflict of interest. In Uganda, some of the appropriate board individuals are already involved with some other bank or some other economic organization, that is a warfare of hobby. That in itself creates a scarcity of candidates.

The 1/3 job is that of the time and resources that you’ll be wanting to commit in your obligation as a board member. In reality, one of the criteria that we study in the preliminary dialogue with potential board participants is whether or not they will be able to commit the time required for board matters, which include board committees. We need to recognize how many other forums they are on. Interestingly, capital markets company governance rules within the region restrict the wide variety of forums of listed groups you may sit down on. For instance, the current rules issued in Kenya restriction the number to 3.

There is also a venture of expectation. As a board member, you want to be nicely prepared for a mismatch of expectation among what you need to do on the board, as well as what you are anticipated to do. For example, you ought to now not go onto a board awaiting to combat a specific cause because after you sit down onthat board, your cause will become what’s inside the quality pastimes of the agency.

You need to also be clean on the issue of remuneration earlier than you take a seat on a board a few humans suppose that board membership is a way of incomes a residing, whilst in reality it’s far extra of an additional dedication as well as duty.

If you’re seeking out a non-government board function for the cash, my advice is that there are numerous less risky jobs that you may do for the equal remuneration! Being on a board contains loads of obligation and hazard, mainly in regulated entities. If you’re on the board of a bank, you could be held in my opinion liable for selections that you take if they bring about depositors dropping their money. Of path, there’s additionally the reputational threat. What does a non-govt director deliver to an company? What are the qualities that people search for?

It may be very essential for people who want to get at the non-executive ladder to recognize that for this position, the company is not seeking to hire an accountant or a CFO they may be seeking to lease a person who is going to assist to shape and guide the strategic path of the organisation

In my opinion, the number one query to remember of a capacity non-government director is that this: are they a person of integrity? The board is the face of the corporation, and the board contributors have duty for long-term strategy, the oversight of the business enterprise as well as the compliance of the organisation. The proper board member will ask tough questions at a strategic level.

And it’s far very, very essential for one to recognise that, because otherwise you may get at the board and totally frustrate the executives who are there to do their process.

It also facilitates when you have specialized competencies as well as talents that the employer is searching out, be they contacts and networks or experience in a particular region, as an instance finance or danger management. Sometimes a board desires to rebalance its gender or age profile. Do you have got any advice for ACCA members who would love to end up non-govt administrators?

If you need to become a non-government director, both in listed agencies or banks, or even a now not-for-income or trustee, you have to find a manner of having your self recognised professionally. Idon’t mean which you necessarily want to sign up for a social club, however you must do matters that will make human beings aware of your life as well as of your capabilities. There are a whole lot of humans available who are very skilled but are not widely recognized.

I commenced by means of sitting on not-for-income forums which include IFAC as well as Junior Achievement, that’s within the training quarter. Participation in networking occasions, panels, expert organizations or discussion companies is also an awesome manner to begin forming networks, and therefore is writing or commentating for the media – possibly a newspaper, TV or radio station or a professional magazine. All the aforementioned will help to raise your profile.

Essentially, youdon’t need to promote it yourself, however if you are contributing for your profession and collaborating in meetings and dialogue organizations, you can seize the attention of those who are looking for board contributors. This article is a part of ACCA’s NED and trustee recommendation series

ACCA accountants have a key position to play as NEDs as well as trustees throughout all sectors – public, private and voluntary – as they are able to make a contribution extremely to ensuring viability and appropriate stewardship of assets. The ACCA Professional Insights group has evolved this collection of articles to help ACCA participants turn out to be NEDs or trustees in what can be a difficult technique. So whether you are a senior manager looking to in addition your career or are thinking about giving something lower back, our series of articles will provide you with the advice you need to help you find your toes .

If you found this text thrilling please read some of the others in our collection: Cyber Security for Non-Executives The six conversations each board need to be having Ethical necessities for Non-govt administrators and trustees Who can be a NED or Trustee? Financial Reporting as well as Auditing for NEDs What are board committees and their capabilities?

Or watch the motion pictures in our series: How to grow to be an NED via Japheth Katto How to end up an NED by using Paul Tsang Board diversity in Norway by means of Turid Solvang

If you are interested by locating an NED or trustee position why now not start by using searching ACCA Careers Job Board for applicable positions.