Board Alchemy

How do you choose a board reviewer?

Board review

How do you choose a board reviewer?

There are a fair number of board reviewers around for you to chose from, each with their own approach and working style.  So, when engaging a board reviewer, what are the five most important things you should bear in mind?

1.  Track record

Without doubt, track record and experience will be an important consideration in selecting a reviewer, particularly now that you need to publish the name of your board reviewer in your annual report.  But look beyond the firm and ask what experience the individuals actually undertaking the work have - does each individual on the review team bring relevant experience and a broad perspective? 

2.  References

References will give you a good idea of what a board reviewer was like to work with and what insights they’ve delivered.  But don't be surprised if your're directed towards a happy client and you’ll get good feedback.  Take wider soundings and speak to your network, board members and company secretaries at other organisations, to get their views too.

3.  What you see

Make sure you meet a short list of reviewers rather than make a decision based on written submissions alone.  Experience and capability are important, but chemistry is also a key element - so make sure the reviewer you choose has an ethos that fits yours.  They should also have done their homework, be well prepared and be able to answer the difficult questions you put to them. 

4.  Clear objectives

Be clear what you want out of the review.  If all you want is a hygiene check, then that’s fine of course.  But if you’re tackling a challenging issue – succession, for example – make use of the board review to deliver specific insights that help you tackle the challenge you are grappling with.  What are your reviewer’s capabilities to help you with this? 

5.  And finally…

Yes, invariably fees come into the equation too!  A board review isn’t a standardised ‘product’ and each reviewer will bring something different.  Find out what you’ll get and what you’ll pay for it, and that will help you find the right reviewer for you.


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How do you choose a board reviewer?