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The changing challenges of being a non-executive director

What a time to be a non-executive director. The global financial turmoil still threatens to engulf us and the unrest in the Middle East has changed our views regarding certain markets. The changing investment paradigm led by the yield curve and commodity prices provides an executive in any business with a significant challenge. Of course any challenge for an executive director is an even greater challenge for a non-executive director.

When I started in business there were a few non-executive directors about.  They turned up at board meetings and considered their fees and lunch.  They were mostly not truly independent and had often been appointed by senior executives to add gravitas to a board without upsetting the applecart.

Life is now different.  The obligations and expectations on non-executive directors have increased significantly.  In the financial services sector they are seeking to implement rules that individually and collectively require non-executive directors to possess the following skills: