KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 15 — The corporate board committees and chairmen should undertake a regular performance evaluation to determine their effectiveness, a corporate governance expert said.
Shai Ganu, managing director; rewards business leader — Asia Pacific of Willis Towers Watson, said the regular performance evaluation is preferably done annually to allow the board to take a critical look at the company’s performance.
Non-executive directors’ focus on diversity must entailed gender, age, board tenure, culture, international experience, industry, functional experience, as well as skills and experience.
Shai noted that gender diversity on the board is crucial as both men and women have very different ways of approaching problems and different ways of coming up with solutions.
“It does ends up happening one being acknowledged of having women on the board if you speak to any progressive chair (as) women tend be more measured or to consider more perspectives before making a decision.
“This might sound stereotypical, given a group of all men, they are less likely to consider all other factors before making a decision,” he pointed out.
He said a board with a diversified age profile makes greater performance.
“One of the reasons calling out for age diversity having a multi-generational, multi-age profile directors gives you multiple perspectives,” said Shai, adding that most directors in Malaysia, particularly in small and mid-cap companies have a typical background such as legal, accountancy or business.
“Majority of the directors have these skills but Tan Sri Zarinah Anwar (Institute of Corporate Directors of Malaysia (ICDM) chairman) mentioned yesterday that some of the missing skills are cybersecurity, human capital, public relations.
“Public relations are an understated skills. Numerous corporate scandals could have been avoided if the board has public relations skills. What not to say sometimes is equally important with what to say,” he pointed out.
The two-day International Directors Summit 2019, which ended today, was organised by the ICDM.
This article appeared in Bernama on October 15, 2019.