How to Get the Directors You Need

Carter Burgess, head of our Board Recruiting Practice, is featured this month in Bank Director’s new governance issue. This issue explores whether good corporate governance benefits the bottom line, how to challenge the CEO, and whether it’s a good idea for boards to set a mandatory retirement age.

Since its inception in 1991, Bank Director has been a leading information resource for senior officers and directors of financial institutions. Chairmen, CEOs, CFOs, presidents, and directors of banks and financial institutions turn to Bank Director to keep pace with the ever-changing landscape of the financial services industry.

Speaking with author Adam O’Daniel for his piece, “How to Get the Directors You Need”, Burgess explains how important director relevance is for a bank’s business. O’Daniel writes:

Carter Burgess, head of the board recruiting practice at RSR Partners in New York, says one weakness that still persists on boards is a lack of relevance for the bank’s business. For example, a bank may experience growth in a new industry category or geography while missing directors with knowledge and experience in that area. He says many regional or community banks often successfully identify such weaknesses, but lack the network to address the need.

For example, Burgess recently helped a Fortune 300 financial institution in the Midwest recruit a new board member. The company wanted to pursue growth in Asia and wanted specific expertise on its board. Burgess was able to find a retiring American executive with decades of experience in Hong Kong with roots in the Midwest. That wouldn’t have been possible had the board recruited through its own contacts.

“There’s nothing wrong with leveraging your own network,” Burgess says. “But the risk is that everyone will look the same.”

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