Thought Leadership

Newly Reported Directorships Study – Q1 2014

By The Directors’ Institute™

This snapshot is an initial bellwether representing all new directorships reported in Q1 2014.  The Directors’ Institute releases a quarterly study on all newly appointed directors YTD, as well as an annual summary at the end of Q4.  We analyze every SEC filing that reports director appointments and departures, and capture all the information available about the individuals involved, their backgrounds, and the companies they serve. This initial snapshot report covers the first quarter filings of 2014, and provides an initial glimpse at the full annual report to be released by The Directors’ Institute at the beginning of 2015.

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Board Triggers – Product Guide

By The Directors’ Institute™

The Board Triggers product creates and distributes customized notifications for each individual member of anything from a director departure or an open director searches which could signal board membership opportunities specific to their skillsets.

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Board Network Map – Product Guide

By The Directors’ Institute™

The Board Network Map is a tool to help senior executives identify their board-level connections. Expanding beyond your LinkedIn networks and drawing from multiple databases of over 50,000 current directors, the tool helps identify the key contacts that can help you become more visible for board opportunities.

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The First 500 Reported Directorships of 2014

By The Directors’ Institute™

This snapshot is an initial bellwether representing the first 500 new directorships reported in 2014, in anticipation of The Directors’ Institute Q1 study on all newly reported directors. The Directors’ Institute releases a quarterly study on all newly appointed directors YTD, as well as an annual summary at the end of Q4.  We analyze every SEC filing that reports director appointments and departures, and capture all the information available about the individuals involved, their backgrounds, and the companies they serve. This initial snapshot report covers the first 500 filings of 2014, and provides an initial glimpse at the full quarterly report to be released by The Directors’ Institute at the end of Q1 2014.

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Boards and Directors – A Brief History

By Ken Schwenke
President and CEO of The Directors’ Institute™

Boards in the sense we know today, especially in the for profit space, are a relatively recent development.  However, the precursors for the boards of today date back to the earliest of times, when people would gather together and delegate authority to small groups of elders, deacons, tribal leaders, or others to take actions for the collective good.  In American history, many of the earliest settlements in Virginia and Massachusetts also laid groundwork for governance, as they were established by private companies who then had to manage their “investments” on the American continent, as communication with home countries was difficult if not virtually impossible. Governance also has developed differently based on the legal system in place; in England and in the UK, for example, the evolution of common law – with courts, one could argue, established to protect the Englishmen from their king.  In France, where civil law evolved, the courts were there to enforce the edict of the state.  Even to this day, shareholder rights and the roles of boards have evolved differently based on the starting points of history and law, with substantial differences on constituency, the focus the board (or in the case of many German companies, the boards), the mix of “insider” vs. “independent” directors, and the basic models of governance in use.

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A Board Road Map™ : The Realities of Becoming a Director

By Ken Schwenke
President and CEO of The Directors’ Institute™

The American public boardroom today appears older, more entrenched, and offers fewer apparent opportunities for public board service than most any time in the recent past. This is driven heavily by simple numbers – there are now only around 5000 public companies, down from nearly 8000 only 15 years ago. Another factor is that the average age of an American public company director is now 63 years old – an average age which has been steadily increasing. In addition, board seat turnover has been extremely low. According to one published 2012-2013 public company governance survey, nearly 60% of boards indicated they did not replace a single director in the last year.

Unlike in the public realm, opportunities for board service in other places – especially in the charitable world – are now numerous. The number of charitable organizations has blossomed in the last decade.  Likewise, private company opportunities are also greater than in the past. However, many of the board-level roles for today’s private companies may be filled by private equity firm members of firms invested in them or by family members, as many of the 5.7 million private companies have family roots.   But for now – as the interest of most people I talk with is in becoming a public company director – let’s focus on the public company realm, as many of the lessons and needed tasks will be the same regardless of where one wants to serve.

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