Board & CEO Services

Korn Ferry’s UK Board Practice has been providing trusted counsel to CEOs, Chairs and NEDs across the world’s largest corporations since 2010.

We are the largest team of Board practitioners within Korn Ferry outside of North America. In addition to conducting around 150 – 160 Board appointments in the FTSE each year, we act as a hub to support colleagues and clients alike across Europe, the Middle East and Asia. We have advised on over 1,000 assignments in the UK alone. 

UK Corporate Governance has long been regarded as the “gold standard”. However, the UK regulatory environment has become more complex than ever before, impacting the non-executive role on listed boards; in particular, the role of Chairs. Consequently, boards have increasingly sought executive search firms to help advise on the Chair recruitment market. Our strong expertise in this field led to us conducting almost 20% of Chair searches in 2019,  reflecting strong client confidence in our capabilities and our talent pool.

Our candidate pool also reflects our commitment to boardroom diversity. As accredited by the Hampton-Alexander review, the UK Board Practice has helped many dozens of women onto FTSE Boards since the original Davis report was published in 2013. There is still more work to be done. We were also early supporters of the Parker Review, established to bring greater diversity to UK Boardrooms.

We are proud of the significant progress that the team at the UK Board Practice has been able to accomplish, and we will continue in our efforts to help our clients navigate through the ever-changing challenges boards face in the future.

Please get in touch should you wish to hear more.

Board search

We work with clients to search, assess and appoint Non-Executive Directors that fit the strategic, governance and cultural requirements of the board of a company, be that a Plc or a private enterprise.

Our process takes a whole person view to non-executive appointments, delving into four dimensions of talent: 1) Defining competencies and experiences (i.e. what the individual has achieved and the knowledge he/she has developed); 2) Focusing on critical traits and drivers (i.e. the personality and the behaviours that determine who the person is).

At the outset of the search process we work closely with clients to identify/refine the characteristics sought in new NEDs across each of these four elements of leadership. We then use this as a basis to evaluate candidates through comprehensive interviews and rigorous referencing.

Board effectiveness

Board effectiveness reviews provide an opportunity for board members (under the leadership of their Chair) to stand back and, in a confidential and unthreatening setting, reflect objectively on their expectations, their contributions, and their impact. Our Korn Ferry Board Effectiveness Methodology and approach allows boards to create the space to talk openly about issues and concerns and to suggest ways of improving how the board operates.

Korn Ferry focuses on the following areas of analysis to accelerate the effectiveness of boards:

  • Corporate governance compliance
  • Strategic alignment – between the board and the executive leadership
  • Composition and structure
  • Team dynamics and quality of board leadership
  • Director effectiveness
  • Delivery of mandate
  • Secretariat support and training
  • Committees

Board succession planning

Good board succession planning contributes to the long-term success of a company. When conducted through a rigorous, well-thought through, transparent process, board succession planning can ensure a continuous source of suitable individuals, who are ready to take over when current directors leave the board. Importantly, board succession will also achieve continuity to deliver strategic plans by aligning the company’s business planning with board resources.

Korn Ferry delivers robust succession planning advisory across a range of clients from pre-IPO Boards to listed multinational corporations, to help our clients meet future challenges without disruption. This includes:

  • Strategic analysis: At the beginning of the process we will discuss client strategy, challenges and opportunities. This will allow us to trace the competencies needed on the Board.
  • Gap analysis: We will compare current board competencies against required skillsets to highlight potential Gaps
  • Peer group benchmarking: If required, we will benchmark identified skillsets against clients’ selected peer group
  • Profile identification: We then identify ideal profiles of future Non-Executive Directors to fill competency gaps.
  • Search process: The search process will start to identify candidates that match the required competencies and experiences

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