Assessment of directors must focus on values, integrity and diversity – panelists

This was proffered at the 8th edition of the CalBank and United Kingdom-Ghana Chamber of Commerce (UKGCC) leadership conversation series on the topic ‘Good Corporate Governance’ in Accra.
Panellists for the leadership conversation series

A panel of experts has suggested that appointing directors of organisations must be done with a focus on values, integrity and diversity so as to have the right people fit into the vision and mission of the company.

This was proffered at the 8th edition of the CalBank and United Kingdom-Ghana Chamber of Commerce (UKGCC) leadership conversation series on the topic ‘Good Corporate Governance’ in Accra.

According to HR-Business Professional and Executive Coach, Reggie Mark-Hansen, processes that executives of companies undergo before their appointment must be applied to the selection of directors who chair boards.

“Let us build the right culture within the boardroom by focusing on the values; just as we do assessment when we are bringing in senior executives, why don’t we do the same? Psychometric, psychological – let us define the kind of behaviour aligned to values of the organisation before bringing in people,” he advised.

In his submission, he talked about the issue of appointing directors based on their familiarity with the work due to positions they have held before – stating one cannot serve on a board on that basis but will require a character that fits into the current state of the organisation.

Founder-Corporate Law Institute, Felix Ntrakwah, also indicated that directors must see diversity as a strong tool they must possess to be able to fit into any position granted them, stating: “You are appointed the director of an insurance company and you are not an insurer; when you go onto the board it is your duty to pick up from the industry, you need to understand the business on whose board you serve”.

He added that agreeing to serve on a board is a risk that has been taken, therefore directors must ensure they protect the organisation’s assets as well see to its success as the law expects them to do to avoid penalties.

Chief Risk Officer for CalBank, Barbara Banson, also stated that selection of directors in the banking sector follows laid-down rules by its regulator, the Bank of Ghana (BoG). She said directors in banks go through rigorous assessment by the regulator itself.

“So it is not just about the qualifications they have, it is about the integrity; they get the police to do background checks as to whether there is some bad press about some of the selected directors,” she said.

She advised that ensuring compliance with the regulators set down rules will enable companies, especially banks, to come out with exceptional directors.

While making a call on organisations she said: “Other organisations should look at what some of these regulators are doing; it doesn’t mean you copy exactly but there are certain key ones that they can pick and use, and I am sure they will be able to get the right choice of directors”.

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