WASHINGTON, Sept. 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Highlighting their continued commitment to providing unique resources and leading strategies to facilitate effective board oversight, corporate responsibility and performance, the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) today unveiled its latest Blue Ribbon Commission report focused on The Effective Lead Director. The findings of the commission provide expert analysis on how board structure and independent leadership can contribute to strong shareholder value.
"For more than two decades, NACD has issued Blue Ribbon Commission reports to set the standard for responsible corporate governance and promote exemplary board performance, and this latest report is no exception," said Ken Daly, president and CEO of NACD. "We're not debating what type of leadership structure the board has chosen, but we're focused on enhancing the effectiveness of the lead director role. The seasoned and experienced members that comprised this year's Blue Ribbon Commission provide key insights and expert views on the role and the strategic use of the lead director position."
The report was developed by an experienced group of more than 20 corporate directors and corporate governance thought leaders co-chaired by Barbara Hackman Franklin, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce, current director for Aetna, American Funds and the Dow Chemical Company, and chairman of the board for NACD, and Irv Hockaday, lead director for Estee Lauder and director for Ford Motor Company and Crown Media Holdings.
Sixty-five percent of boards currently have lead directors and 88 percent of those boards claim lead directors enhance the boardroom's effectiveness to a great extent, according to NACD's most recent Public Company Governance Survey. With lead directors playing such a high-profile role, boards can use this report to maximize the value of the lead director position as well as improve upon their own governance structures.
This latest BRC report on the lead director will help board members better understand the role of lead directors by examining:
- The current expectations of a lead director: What fundamental duties does the lead director perform?
- Selecting, evaluating and compensating the lead director: What particular attributes should a lead director possess? How should the lead director be elected and evaluated? Is a certain term desirable?
- Key relationships and communication: How should the role of the lead director relate to the chairman/CEO, fellow directors and various committees, including the nominating/governance committee? Does the lead director have a particular role in advising the chairman/CEO? What about communications with shareholders and other stakeholders?
- Enhancing the role: In the future, what new duties might be appropriate -- and under what circumstances might they apply? How can the lead director be most effective?
Attendees at the 2011 NACD Board Leadership Conference, taking place October 2-4 in Washington, DC, will learn firsthand from the commissioners. A plenary session will discuss the recommendations of the commission's report to help attendees enhance communication and performance with their boards and companies. Several other sessions throughout the conference will also offer insights on board composition, leadership and other issues related to the role of the lead director and other board members.
To obtain a copy of The Report of the NACD Blue Ribbon Commission on the Effective Lead Director, please visit www.NACDonline.org/LeadDirector, call 202-775-0509 or email publications@NACDonline.org.
The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) is the only membership organization delivering the information and insights that corporate board members need to confidently confront complex business challenges and enhance shareowner value. With more than 11,000 members, NACD advances exemplary board leadership. NACD is focused on creating more effective and efficient boards through director-led education and peer forums to share ideas and leading practices based on more than 30 years of primary research. Fostering collaboration among directors and governance stakeholders, NACD is shaping the future of board leadership. To learn more about NACD, visit NACDonline.org. To join, please contact Kelly Dodd at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-380-1891.
SOURCE National Association of Corporate Directors