Covid-19 has thrust the effectiveness of boards and directors to the forefront. As businesses embark on the rebuilding journey, boards must relook at their readiness and agility to respond effectively to the changes in the business landscape. What are the lessons learnt from this crisis, particularly regarding business resilience and the effectiveness of its crisis and risk management responses?
A good response is deeply rooted in a well-functioning board that has the ability to carefully balance between providing support to the management and challenging them to ensure the best decisions are made.
The current situation has shed light on the importance of a diverse board. A group with a wide breadth of experience, industry and functional expertise of different ages, genders and backgrounds can bring a much broader perspectives and insights when addressing challenges and concerns.
This crisis presents an opportunity for boards to seize the moment and step up their game to provide the crucial guidance for critical thinking and fundamental rebooting of strategies under the toughest circumstances. As such, a board assessment can shed light on the soundness and robustness on the functions of the boards and their oversight duties.
The ICDM Board Effectiveness Assessment (BEA) has been developed based on the Board & Directors Effectiveness Evaluation (BDEE) framework of 8 key parameters, but with a special focus on assessment of the board’s competency in their heightened responsibilities in overseeing the crisis-related issues.
For the post pandemic era, boards have to develop resilient leadership for recovery. Therefore, the BEA will address the immediate challenges facing boards in their capacity to respond to crisis scenarios.
Our experienced facilitators have conducted board evaluation for listed companies of various sizes in Malaysia and globally across a broad range of industries. Other regional facilitators with industry-speciﬁc experience are available upon request.
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Wee Hock Kee (Wee) is a Faculty Member and Fellow of ICDM. He specialises on subjects relating to corporate governance, risk management and internal control for PLCs. He has facilitated a series of courses under ICDM public and bespoke programmes.
He was the past President of IIA Malaysia and Asian Confederation of Institute of Internal Auditors, former board member of IIA Global, member of ACCA Malaysia’s Advisory and past Chairman of the Internal Audit Working Group of MIA. He won the prestigious Malaysian Internal Auditor of the Year Award for 2001, was a speaker and chaired numerous international, regional and national conferences organised by professional bodies throughout the span of his career in internal audit. Wee was the Chairman of the 2011 IIA International Conference in KL. He has worked in a number of multinational companies as Chief Audit Executive. His last position was with AstraZeneca (UK) as the Regional Audit Director of Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa.
Wee has extensive experience in conducting board evaluations for major companies with market capitalization ranging from RM500 million to RM30 billion, covering a wide range of industries including insurance, plantation, manufacturing and shipping. He has been a regular speaker at numerous international, regional and national conferences, speaking on Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC). He was previously engaged by BURSA from 2013 to 2016 to conduct awareness and education for Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC), Audit Committee (AC) and board members on risk management and internal control assurance framework and was involved in the NIEW women directors’ training programme from 2013-2014. He was a Research Fellow in HELP University ELM Faculty.
Wee has sat on a number of public listed companies. In his capacity as a board member of these PLCs, he also chaired the Audit and Risk Management Board Committees.
Wee is as a board member and Audit and Risk Management Chair of MIMOS Berhad and chairs the Audit Committee of Pertubuhan Keselamatan Sosial (Perkeso). He was recently appointed as a Member of the Licensing and Air Traffic Rights Committee of the Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM). MAVCOM is the national aviation regulatory body under the Malaysian Aviation Commission Act 2015 to regulate economic and commercial matters relating to civil aviation.
Stephen Langton leads the ﬁrm’s Board & CEO Advisory Partners in Asia Paciﬁc. With more than 20 years of international experience at the highest levels in this ﬁeld, he has designed and delivered unique programs for the boards and CEOs of many world-leading corporations across all industries, including board and CEO succession planning, development, review and advisory services. Stephen is based in Singapore.
Stephen joined Russell Reynolds Associates from Leadership & Succession Advisory, a boutique CEO and board advisory ﬁrm he founded in Australia. Prior to establishing independent practice, he was a global partner at Deloitte based in the UK, where he led the ﬁrm’s collective leadership consulting offerings worldwide. Previously, Stephen was the Global Managing Partner of the Leadership Advisory and CEO Succession arm at another leading executive search ﬁrm in London, following his role as Regional Managing Partner for Leadership Consulting in Asia Paciﬁc. Earlier in his career, Stephen served as an ofﬁcer and pilot for 10 years in the British and Australian militaries.
Stephen holds an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management in Sydney. Stephen has been a frequent contributor to the World Economic Forum, where he has also taught at their Global Fellows leadership program and served as adjunct faculty in Leadership at a number of leading business schools. He also co-authored the book Redeﬁning Leadership, which explores western leadership experience in Asian markets.
Vincent has over 40 years of knowledge, exposure and experience in auditing, financial & business management, consulting and training. His experiences cover numerous business segments, ranging from auditing and consultancy to the technology, manufacturing and retail sectors, working for international organisations, listed companies and local multinationals.
He has also worked and lived in several countries including the United Kingdom, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Cambodia, providing him with deep understanding of the various cultural environments and business regimes, dealing with all levels from corporate leadership to the shop-floor.
Vincent is qualified as a chartered accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales and was made a Fellow (FCA) in 1977. He joined the PA Consulting Group (a UK-based international management consultancy), initially located in Singapore for 6 years and later back in London. He was responsible for PA’s financial, HR and administrative management of the Asian and later, the UK group whilst gaining experience as a management consultant. Vincent was subsequently promoted as commercial director of PA Technology (which provides technology consultancy) in Cambridge, England handling financial management, commercial negotiations and intellectual properties rights, in addition to managing the state-of-the-art laboratory.
In 1994, he was headhunted and appointed Chief Financial Officer of FACB Berhad, a main board public-listed conglomerate based in Kuala Lumpur. In 1996, he was appointed general manager of corporate services for Royal Selangor Group, the world’s largest manufacturer and retailer of pewter with subsidiaries worldwide and was subsequently promoted to group general manager with top and bottom-line responsibilities.
He left in 2000 to start his own business and management consultancy practice, providing consulting services to clients in Malaysia, Hong Kong and Indonesia. Vincent is also a certified professional trainer and conducts training on financial and strategic management topics for his clients. He is a member of and faculty facilitator for the Institute of Corporate Directors of Malaysia (ICDM), conducting training for directors and assisting the Institute to assess board and director effectiveness, particularly for those from public-listed companies.
In 2010, he was appointed as an Independent Non-Executive Director in a public-listed technology company and subsequently made Chairman in March 2015. He is also Chairman of the Nomination and Remuneration Committees and member of the Audit Committee.
Shai is the Managing Director, Global Leader – Executive Compensation & Governance of Willis Towers Watson. In his new global executive compensation leadership role since January 2020, he has been tasked with heading up a team of 400-plus consultants spread across operations on six continents and is a renowned expert and thought leader on issues related to executive compensation, board effectiveness and human-capital governance.
His expertise is in the diagnosis, design and implementation of human capital solutions; notably board and executive reward frameworks, long and short-term incentive plans (equity and cash based), sales force effectiveness, organisational development, career architecture, change management, and culture transformation – in other words, attraction-motivation-retention-productivity strategies. He is passionate about enhancing corporate governance in Asia, helping companies make informed people decisions based on sound analytics, and building and growing teams in new markets.
Shai also serves on the Compensation Committee of a leading FMCG company in ASEAN, on the HR and Finance committees of not-for-profit organisations in Singapore and as a NED of a listed company in Singapore.
As an ICDM Faculty, Shai has conducted the “The Role of the Nomination and Remuneration Committee in Human Capital Management” programme and spoken at ICDM’s signature PowerTalk Series. Shai was also a speaker at ICDM’s inaugural International Directors Summit as well as a lead facilitator for ICDM’s board evaluation.
Erik P.M. Vermeulen is a Senior Legal Counsel at Signify (f.k.a Phillips Lighting), an Innovation Advisor at a law firm in the Hague and a board/advisory member of several organisations, including a healthcare provider in The Netherlands and several startups. He is also a Professor of Business and Financial Law at Tilburg University and teaches international business law regularly at universities in Europe, the United States, Colombia and Japan. He has appeared at numerous conferences as a featured or keynote speaker. Erik is also a co-owner of a Michelin star restaurant.
Erik can best be described as an innovator and has a blog where he shares insights and ideas about how the digital world is changing the way we live, work and learn. He has a particular interest in how artificial intelligence, sensors, data analytics and blockchain are amplifying and accelerating each other, thereby creating new opportunities across all areas of the economy and society.
Erik’s thought-provoking and innovative views on business, leadership, governance, regulation and education have attracted international attention. He regularly serves as an expert advisor to international organisations, such as the European Commission, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the United Nations, the World Bank, and national and local governments around the world.
As an ICDM Faculty Member, Erik has conducted leadership talks at Bursa Malaysia Thought Leadership Series organised by ICDM, as well as at ICDM’s signature PowerTalk series in 2019. In the second half of 2019, he conducted the “Digital Upskilling for Boards”, “Why Governance Matters for Startups”, “Stakeholder Voice in the Boardroom” plus a few bespoke talks for our government and corporate clients. Erik was also one of the keynote speakers at ICDM’s inaugural International Directors Summit (IDS) last year and in 2020, his series of webinars on the subject matter of Leadership and Stakeholder Engagement were very well received.
Azman is an International Coach Federation (ICF) certified coach. He is credentialed at coach mastery level (CMC). He established icoachKL as a private coaching practice focusing on C-Suite executive coaching to CEOs as well as aspiring young leaders moving up the corporate ladder. Azman has conducted board evaluation on GLCs for ICDM, among others.
As a coach, Azman is able to leverage his past CEO experiences as well as C-suite engagement at senior executive and board level to help facilitate career growth for individuals and business growth & transformation for corporations.
Prior to establishing icoachKL, Azman served as Senior Partner in the KL office of Korn Ferry International. He advised local corporates and multinationals on C-Suite executive & board placement as well as leadership succession & development. His experience extends to facilitating business & strategic direction for companies going through change, utilising his coaching experience and business development expertise.
Prior to Korn Ferry, Azman served in the UEM Group Malaysia for close to 20 years. In his time with UEM, he rose to assume various senior roles among others, Group Director of Business Development, CEO Rocpoint South Africa, UEM Foundation & MAVTRAC. His experience extends to board level where he currently serves on the board of Takaful Keluarga Malaysia Berhad, formerly Costain Group Plc UK as well as the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technologies (MiGHT).
Azman holds a BSc from the University of Malaya, an MSc from Strathclyde University, UK as well as an MBA from the Australian National University. He is an alumni member of the Harvard Senior Management Development Program as well as Institute of Corporate Directors Malaysia.
Cheryl has more than 20 years of experience covering financial, operational and internal audits as well as governance, controls and risk assessments for clients across a broad range of industries. Specifically, she has been involved in numerous process improvements, and controls transformation projects. An active media contributor and with a number of published papers, Cheryl is a familiar face in numerous panels, seminars, workshops and talks on good governance, and sustainability among others.
She has served large companies in a broad range of industry sectors including infrastructure, healthcare, construction, property development, asset management and consumer business. She also led and managed various engagements in Internal audit, Corporate Governance, Board effectiveness and succession, Operational audits, IPOs, Due Diligence, Enterprise risk management, SOX 404 implementation, Business process review, controls transformation and review of policies.
Cheryl is currently the lead facilitator for an ongoing board evaluation project for one of ICDM’s corporate client.
She holds a Bachelor in Mathematics and is a member of the Malaysia Institute of Certified Public Accountants (MICPA) and Malaysia Institute of Accountants (MIA).
Michele is a forward-looking leader and her leadership priority has been about nurturing a pipeline of high-performing talent for the corporate world and beyond. She brings with her a wide spectrum of leadership and advisory experience, most recently on corporate governance-related matters, which includes board and director effectiveness, competency development needs, remuneration and succession planning, legal and compliance, and corporate performance.
Prior to ICDM, Michele was Group Head, Corporate Secretarial and General Counsel for five years with IHH Healthcare Berhad, one of the largest listed healthcare providers globally. She oversaw legal, corporate secretarial and governance functions across several jurisdictions such as Singapore, Turkey, India, Asia Pacific, North Asia and the CEEMENA region while keeping watch on local matters.
Michele was instrumental in ensuring the successful execution and completion of IHH Healthcare Berhad’s mergers and acquisitions, takeovers, joint ventures, corporate schemes, and operational matters. In addition, she was a member of a subsidiary board, as well as the Chief Sustainability Officer leading the sustainability reporting and practices for the Group.
Preceding her roles in IHH, Michele spent six years from 2006 to 2012 at Malaysia’s national car manufacturer Proton Holdings Bhd where she held various positions in the Group Legal division, including Chief Legal Counsel. She also sat on the boards of several Proton Holdings Berhad’s local and foreign subsidiaries and associated companies, serving as a member of the Group Management Committee, Management Audit Committee, Group Risk Management Committee, and various project steering committees and task forces.
Upon leaving legal practice at Shook Lin & Bok where she specialised in the areas of banking, commercial/corporate, land and tort, Michele joined Pengurusan Danaharta Nasional Bhd in 1998 until 2005 culminating in her role as Assistant General Manager in its Legal Affairs and Risk Division. Here she oversaw negotiations in project conception, acquisitions of syndicated/bilateral domestic and foreign loans, club deals, share sale agreements, and risk participation agreements. Michele holds a LLB Hons degree from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, UK (1991) and is a Barrister-at-Law at Middle Temple, London, England. She has been an advocate and solicitor of the High Court of Malaya since October 1993. She completed the Senior Management Development Programme of Harvard Business School in 2009, Professionalism in Directorship Programme by Malaysian Alliance of Corporate Directors and is a Licensed Company Secretary.
Anne Abraham currently serves as an Independent Non-Executive Director on the Boards of Media Prima Berhad and Metrod Holdings Berhad. She is also Chair for the Board of Media Prima Digital Sdn. Bhd., the digital subsidiary board of Media Prima Berhad and an Independent Non-Executive Director of the NSTP Berhad, also a Media Prima Berhad subsidiary.
Anne plays a key role as Executive Co-Founder of the Malaysian Chapter of the 30% Club, a global business campaign lobbying to increase women representation on the boards of Malaysian PLCs. The campaign has taken off and is now receiving greater support from corporate chairs and board directors of PLCs, since it was launched by in May 2015.
In a non-business capacity, Anne is a Board Member of Protect & Save the Children, a non-governmental organisation that focuses on Child Protection from sexual abuse and exploitation. In 2019, she was also appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Tun Fatimah Hashim Women in Leadership UKM.
Her current role is as Chair of LeadWomen Sdn Bhd, an MSC status consultancy company which she founded in late 2011. LeadWomen focuses on developing and advancing women leaders in line with the Malaysian Government’s aspirational target of 30% women on boards (www.lead-women.com). Anne is recognised as a thought leader in diversity and inclusion both locally and regionally. She is a frequent guest speaker, facilitator and moderator in women leadership conferences, workshops, and summits.
Throughout her career, Anne has garnered over 20 years of corporate experience in several leadership positions in the fields of sales, marketing, alliances, and operations in global technology companies. Prior to setting up LeadWomen, she was the Country Manager of SAP Malaysia and was then appointed the Managing Director of Cisco Malaysia, two of the largest global technology companies in their own specialisation.
Anne holds a B.A. in Mathematics from Essex University, UK and obtained her Higher National Diploma of Computer Studies from Plymouth Polytechnic, UK.