Board of Directors and Advisory Boards

Choosing board members is a great opportunity for companies to increase the level of knowledge and wisdom available to a subsidiary by taking advantage of available local talent. Good outside directors often see things the CEO or Country Manager misses, will ask the hard questions and push for alternative scenarios. This will allow the company to better navigate the American markets and also benefits the parent by transferring the knowledge gained here to international counterparts. Additional directors also provide the parent company additional insight into the day-to-day operations of the subsidiary - having only one conduit, the local CEO is not always sufficient.

It’s worth considering to add to the CEO, the representative(s) of the parent company one director with industry expertise in the US and one with strong functional expertise in the area which is critical to the subsidiary. Another, often unmentioned benefit of an experienced outside director is his/her role as confidant and sounding board to the local CEO - it is lonely at the top and even the CEO needs someone to confide in and, occasionally, vent frustrations.

Careful board selection always has a great, immediate Return-on-Investment, reduces risk, increases transparency and quickly leads to higher shareholder value.

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