Comp and skills of the 7 most promising finance jobs

Comp and skills of the 7 most promising finance jobs

When it comes to careers, “finance” is a sweeping term.

So before you hit Wall Street, you’ll need to figure out which role is right for you.

LinkedIn broke down the top finance jobs of 2017, based on high median salaries, job openings, year-over-year-growth, and potential for promotion.

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Comparison of Ideas and Actions for the Corporation and its Board , the Entrepreneur and his Company

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Here are LinkedIn’s top seven picks:

1. Financial analyst

Median base salary: $62,000

Job openings: 1,700+

Top skills: Financial analysis, financial reporting, accounting, Microsoft Excel, financial modeling

2. Underwriting manager

Median base salary: $102,000

Job openings: 100+

Top skills: Underwriting, general insurance, commercial insurance, property and casual insurance, liability

3. Quantitative analyst

Median base salary: $105,000

Job openings: 200+

Top skills: Quantitative finance, derivatives, visual basic for applications, quantitative analytics, Matlab

4. Scrum master

Median base salary: $100,000

Job openings: 500+

Top skills: Scrum, Agile methodologies, Agile project management, software development, requirements analysis

5. Data analyst

Median base salary: $63,000

Job openings: 1,000+

Top skills: SQL, SAS, statistics, databases, Microsoft Excel, data mining

6. Product manager

Median base salary: $99,000

Job openings: 500+

Top skills: Product management, product marketing, product development, competitive analysis, product launch

7. Credit analyst

Median base salary: $52,500

Job openings: 400+

Top skills: Financial analysis, credit risk, credit, banking, loans

http://www.businessinsider.com/best-finance-jobs-of-2017-2017-2

Swiss unstable about corporate tax reforms

Swiss unstable about corporate tax reforms

Bern must rethink rules after 60% dismiss proposal to cut overall rates in referendum

Switzerland a more UN-stable and less competitive country … a growing mood against establishment and global corporations special tax regime …no more discretionary and advantageous rules. Www.maltaway.com for a very stable country and a fully OECD and EU compliant jurisdiction

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Switzerland’s attempts to overhaul its corporate tax regime have suffered a setback after voters decisively rejected reforms to bring the country’s practices in line with international standards. The government had hoped to secure approval for changes that would keep corporate tax rates globally competitive while abolishing special treatment for many multinational companies. In a referendum on Sunday, however, the plan was rejected by 59.1 per cent of voters — a much larger margin of defeat than opinion polls had suggested. Bern and the Swiss cantons must now rethink the proposals in the face of threats that important trading partners could take retaliatory action. The defeat is a blow for the business lobby in Switzerland, which fears damaging uncertainty over future corporate tax bills. The defeat meant Switzerland would no longer fulfil its promises to abolish special privileges by 2019, said Ueli Maurer, finance minister. He feared companies would quit Switzerland, or no longer move to the country as a result of the uncertainty created by Sunday’s vote. Read more Luxembourg expects more companies to leave over tax scrutiny Finance minister expects some international groups to follow lead set by McDonald’s Switzerland faced increasing international tax competition — including possibly from the UK, “so we don’t have much room for manoeuvre,” Mr Maurer warned. Given the scale of the government’s defeat, he expected it would take at least a year to draw up a revised reform package — with legislative approval following afterwards. The result had created “great insecurity”, according to Swissmem, the Swiss industry association. A revised reform package was “urgently needed” to preserve the country’s competitiveness. Ahead of the vote, Switzerland was warned that failure to dismantle practices considered harmful by other countries could result in an international backlash. “Switzerland’s partners expect that it will implement its commitments in a reasonable timeframe,” Pascal Saint-Amans, head of tax at the Paris-based OECD, said. The unexpectedly clear No vote suggested that the global anti-establishment mood had reached Switzerland. The reforms had been backed overwhelmingly by the two chambers of the Swiss parliament as well as the government, with opposition largely from leftwing parties. Since the second world war, multinational companies have helped the small Alpine economy become one of the world’s most successful economies. Under the reform plans, the country’s 26 cantons would have continued to compete to offer companies the most favourable tax rates, but multinationals would have paid the same rates as other businesses. To avoid imposing much larger bills on multinationals, the cantons announced plans to slash corporate tax rates for other companies, while the federal government in Bern said it would help fill shortfalls in tax revenues. The canton of Geneva, for example, planned to cut its general corporate tax rate from about 24 per cent to 13.5 per cent. Opponents led by the Swiss Social Democratic party argued, however, that the new system would have been too generous to business and led to large gaps in cantons’ budgets, which in turn would have hit public services. Further alienating voters was a complex system of internationally acceptable tax reliefs that would have been available under the new system, for instance for research and development or income from patents and on shareholders’ equity. Critics argued they would have simply boosted the income of tax advisers, lawyers and shareholders. Opponents also argue the reforms could be modified relatively easily — a point disputed by supporters, who said that the package took years of careful negotiation between the cantons and federal government. What happens next is unclear. The cantons could still push ahead with corporate tax changes that bring them into line with international standards — but without help from the federal government. Jan Schüpbach, economist at Credit Suisse, said: “Switzerland has promised to abolish the special status [of many multinationals], so we think retaliation is unlikely in the short term, if the government comes up soon with a Plan B.” “What actually happens will depend on whether there is international pressure on companies, and the cantons feel obliged to offer them a tax regime which is internationally acceptable. But the leeway for cantons to lower taxes is now less because they won’t get the extra federal funding.” Supporters of the reforms have argued that by securing Switzerland’s competitiveness, they would boost jobs and investment. Critics, however, have said that multinationals like Switzerland because of other factors — including its high quality transport infrastructure and skilled workforce.

https://www.ft.com/content/92a6ec56-f113-11e6-95ee-f14e55513608

Professional services, are Clients Loyal to Your Firm, or the People in It?

Professional services, Are Clients Loyal to Your Firm, or the People in It?

MALTAWAY BOARD GOVERNANCE AND NON EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR (NED)

Furthermore having a NED with international experience in the BOARD, reinforce widely the diversity, independence and compliance requirements for a better Corporate Governance, Leadership and Business results

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Employee turnover can be a big challenge for companies. But it creates a unique problem for professional services firms, which have to worry about employees taking clients with them if they leave.

Because of the client-facing and customized nature of service work, such as in law or consulting, clients can become loyal to individual employees rather than firms. This impacts firms of all sizes, and it can be quite costly. For example, when bond manager Bill Gross left Pacific Investment Management Co (Pimco) in 2014 to join rival firm Janus Capital, his clients quickly withdrew over $23.5 billion from Pimco funds. The industry was then thrown into intense competition to win over these clients over, with a number of them choosing to follow Gross. Small business owners and entrepreneurs also focus on increasing their client retention rates should their employees leave. However, due to data limitations, large-scale empirical research on this subject has been lacking.

I decided to look at the issue in the context of the federal lobbying industry. In a forthcoming study in the Strategic Management Journal, I empirically investigated when clients follow federal lobbyists who switch firms. The Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 (LDA) and Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 (HLOGA) mandate that lobbying firms file reports for every client they actively lobbied for on a biannual (LDA) or quarterly (HLOGA) basis. These reports include the lobbyists registered to each client, the dollar amount of lobbying revenue earned from that client, and the specific issues lobbied for on their behalf. This data let me link individual lobbyists to their clients over time and observe when clients followed lobbyists who switched firms. My final sample consisted of over 1,800 lobbyists who switched firms between 1998 and 2014. I analyzed the decisions of approximately 18,000 clients (to stay with their current firm or follow their lobbyist).

There were a few significant findings. First, the duration of a client’s relationship, with both the lobbyist and the lobbying firm, influenced where client loyalty resided. I found evidence that, on average, the probability that a client follows an employee who switches firms increases by nearly 2% for each six-month period that the client works with the lobbyist, but decreases by approximately 1% for each six-month period that the client enlists the services of the lobbying firm. This means that a client who hires a lobbying firm and works with a specific lobbyist from day one will be more likely to follow the lobbyist to another firm than a similar client whose relationship with the firm preceded the relationship with the lobbyist. The relative magnitude of these effects is not small: On average, the probability that a client follows a lobbyist doubles after the lobbyist serves the client for 3.5 years.

The way that a client relationship is structured is also important. Clients served by teams are much less likely to follow an employee who quits than those who work with single individuals. To put that in perspective, on average, the probability that a client follows a lobbyist decreases by approximately 2.5% with each additional team member who works directly with the client. In fact, using teams even helps firms retain clients who have an extensive history of working with one lobbyist. The vast majority of clients in my sample worked with teams.

The characteristics of team members matter as well. When clients work with teams of specialists, they are more likely to stay loyal to the firm than when they work with teams of generalists. By specialists, I mean employees who focus on a single area; in the context of lobbying, specialists are those who lobby primarily on a single issue, be it defense, education, energy, or any other of the 79 defined issue topics. Generalists tend to lobby across the board on a variety of issues. My analysis suggests that although teams are helpful for guarding against client loss, they’re more effective when the team comprises specialists rather than generalists. I reason that more specialization and division of labor within teams makes it harder for any individual lobbyist to replicate the services that the team can provide.

That said, one risk of using teams to manage clients is that team members may collectively leave to join a competitor or start their own firm. About 19% of lobbyists quit with a coworker, a phenomenon we call “co-mobility.” When this happens, the likelihood that a client follows skyrockets — but only if team members had jointly served the client prior to exit. In other words, if two employees quit together but a client has only worked with one of them, the client is not more likely to follow. This highlights the precarious position that managers are in when it comes to maintaining client relationships. Because professional service firms are increasingly serving clients with collaborative teams, firms should try to find ways to reduce the incentive for whole teams to quit.

My study focused on lobbyists, but these effects should generalize to other professional services firms, which share a number of characteristics with lobbying firms. Outside of the professional services industry the results are less clear, but we could imagine similar patterns for customer-facing positions in settings outside of professional services. That said, some important questions remain. For example, do firms benefit from hiring employees who bring clients from their old firms? The answer may seem to be yes, but recruiting these employees could result in a winner’s curse where hiring firms overestimate the value these employee will create and systematically overpay them. Another area worth investigating is how and when firms use nonsolicitation clauses to legally prevent employees from taking clients when they leave. Ultimately, however, clients may move as they please, so my findings provide initial evidence that can help managers identify which clients are most at risk of defecting as well as some advice on how to structure relationships to keep their loyalty.
https://hbr.org/2017/01/research-are-clients-loyal-to-your-firm-or-the-people-in-it

 

Boards Must ensuring companies change quickly enough to face competition and not just risk protective

Boards Must ensuring companies change quickly enough to face competition and not just risk protective

When you have a Board role, remember this post and keep your focus straight on the shareholders’ interest … MALTAWAY BOARD GOVERNANCE AND NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR (NED)

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Boards of directors play two roles. They must protect value by helping companies avoid unnecessary risks, and they must build value by ensuring that companies change quickly enough to address emerging competitive threats, evolving customer preferences, and disruptive technologies.

With technology and business model cycles becoming shorter and companies facing unrelenting pressure to innovate or suffer the consequences, more and more boards need to focus on the second of these roles. To do so, they must be willing to challenge executive teams and stress-test their strategies to ensure they go far enough and fast enough. For boards used to preserving the status quo, this shift can be uncomfortable. Here are four ways boards can become better challengers and champions of change.

Confront Unwelcome News and Trends

Changing strategy is extremely difficult, especially for successful businesses. In the early 1990s Blockbuster commissioned a study on the future of video-on-demand technologies and how they would impact traditional video rentals. The report concluded that expanded cable offerings and broadband internet would begin to impact video rentals around 2000, and would grow rapidly thereafter. The good news was that Blockbuster had a good 10 years to prepare for the new environment. But the shift never happened: Management ignored the study’s findings and continued with the same strategy, supported by the board. In September 2010 Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy protection. In this case, value protection was not enough. The company had clear advance notice that seismic change was coming.

The board’s role was to acknowledge the warning signs and challenge management’s lack of action — even if it meant contention and dispute in the boardroom.

Make Sure You Have Challengers in Your Midst

Boards will be far more effective in their challenger role if they offer seats to individuals with professional experiences and viewpoints that are very different from those of the executive team. Directors can learn to be more direct with management, but it’s hard to fake contrarianism when everyone is of the same mind. When a board resembles the CEO in mindset and outlook, it’s a recipe for a gatekeeper board, not a challenger board. But when boards mix it up by bringing in members with different perspectives, they can effect powerful strategic changes, something I have seen many times in my work with corporate boards.

Often, these “challengers” will be tech-savvy young executives from digitally disruptive companies who can press their fellow directors and senior management about potential blind spots related to digital disruption. But disruption is not always about technology. For example, one highly successful, privately-held producer of canned foods actively sought a board member who could challenge management to think differently but who would still fit with the company’s family-oriented governance culture. The successful candidate was the CEO of a well-known, family-owned California wine business that catered to consumers who would not dream of buying canned food. The board member helped the company “think outside the can” to identify new product forms that would broaden their customer base and appeal to health-conscious consumers.

In another instance, a leading chain of retail pharmacies appointed as vice chair someone with a background in health care manufacturing and pharmacy benefit management. The new board member helped management better understand the efficiency advantages of mail-order pharmacies, which rely on automation. As a result, the company added low-cost automated pharmacy services to its existing retail outlets, giving it a competitive advantage over traditional retail pharmacies.

Stay Fresh with Term Limits and Checks and Balances

Beyond accessing the right expertise, boards can maintain a challenger perspective by ensuring they don’t become complacent and drift toward an approver role. One of the most effective ways to do this is to establish mandatory term limits as a part of the board’s bylaws. Term limits can help boards maintain a level of independence between the outside directors and executive leadership.

Moreover, if the CEO and chair roles are separated, the chair can take more active responsibility for ensuring that alternative views and perspectives are brought before the board. Separating the roles is a common practice in Europe, and it’s becoming more so in the United States. Another option is to appoint an independent lead director, a less drastic change that can have a similar effect. In fact, the New York Stock Exchange essentially requires listed companies with nonindependent chairs to appoint one of their independent directors as lead director. The lead position, among other duties, is responsible for scheduling and helming board meetings that take place without management. Today the majority of S&P companies with combined CEO and chair roles have chosen to counterbalance this arrangement by appointing an independent lead director.

Turn Courage and Candor into Core Competencies

Having directors with valuable insights is worthless if they do not feel comfortable sharing their perspectives and debating issues with management. A recent study by Women Corporate Directors and Bright Enterprises found that more than three-quarters (77%) of director respondents believed that their boards would make better decisions if they were more open to debate, and 94% said that criticism can help bring about change when it is used properly.

Nevertheless, board members are often hesitant to offer criticism, especially to CEOs. The same survey found that only about half (53%) of respondents felt that the CEOs of their companies take criticism well. This is not surprising. As a board member it is much easier to empathize with a CEO under pressure than with an abstract group of shareholders. One way to address this issue is to offer board members training in giving and receiving constructive criticism. Board members need to understand that failing to confront difficult issues will not help the CEO. If a CEO’s first indication that the board is dissatisfied is hearing they are searching for his or her replacement, then the board is not fulfilling its responsibilities.

Challenger boards are those with the strength to put the hard questions to management and to poke holes in suboptimal strategies. They bring a diversity of perspective that can help management understand the company’s vulnerabilities and how to overcome them. For companies struggling to exist in a world where disruption is rapidly becoming a business constant, challenger boards may well be one of their most important survival tools.

https://hbr.org/2017/01/boards-must-be-more-combative

Executives and Salespeople Are Misaligned and the Effects Are Costly

When you have a Board role, remember this post and keep your focus straight on the shareholders’ interest … MALTAWAY BOARD GOVERNANCE AND NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR (NED)

U.S. companies spend over $900 billion on their sales forces, which is three times more than they spend on all ad media. Sales is, by far, the most expensive part of strategy execution for most firms. Yet, on average, companies deliver only 50% to 60% of the financial performance that their strategies and sales forecasts have promised. And more than half of executives (56%) say that their biggest challenge is ensuring that their daily decisions about strategy and resource allocation are in alignment with their companies’ strategies. That’s a lot of wasted money and effort.

So what’s the problem?

According to an assessment of over 700 sales professionals and senior executives conducted by GrowthPlay — a sales-focused consulting firm where one of us is Managing Director — the problem stems from gaps between the perceptions, attitudes, and information flows between executives and sales reps.

The assessment asked respondents — executives, middle managers, and sale reps from companies of all sizes in a variety of industries such as consumer goods, telecommunications, manufacturing, wholesaling, and travel/hospitality — to answer a series of questions about how well their companies’ strategic directions inform six critical elements of their sales approaches: their target customers, the sales tasks generated by those customers’ buying journeys, the type of sales people best suited to perform those tasks, how the firm organizes its sales and other go-to-market efforts, and the cross-functional interactions required to sell and deliver value to customers.

The results show that executives feel that they have a high level of understanding of their companies’ strategic priorities, while sales reps — who aren’t typically in the planning meetings, on the conference calls, or roaming the halls with the people crafting strategy — said they did not.

There are other gaps, too. For example, leaders sees deficiencies in most categories related to core sales tasks and sales personnel. The only category in which executives rate more positively than salespeople is compensation, which isn’t surprising since executives determines pay policies!

 

From these results, a broad story emerges: Senior leaders have a better relative understanding of the company’s direction than sale reps, but are concerned that they don’t have the right sales processes and people.

For their part, salespeople are confident in their abilities to execute, but admit they have little understanding of the strategic direction, and its implications for their behavior, at their respective companies.

To add to that, the groups are far apart on basic elements such as recruiting, hiring, training, and role alignment. You can see why a simple statement —“I’m from Corporate and I’m here to help you”— is one of the oldest jokes in many firms.

If and when leaders want to make changes, misalignment sets up a costly and frustrating cycle.

The sales force gets better and better at things that leaders and customers value less and less while remaining unclear about performance expectations.

Companies fail to get the most out of the $12 billion a year they spend on sales enablement tools and the billions more on CRM technology.

And hiring the right candidates also becomes a problem, especially as new buying processes, driven by online technologies, reshape selling tasks. If information isn’t flowing between senior execs and front-line customer-contact people, leaderswon’t be able to keep up with the new skills and sales tasks they should be hiring for.

If any or all of these steps are taken without improving the sales team’s understanding of the company’s business objectives, the result is a “competency trap”: the salesforce gets better at their routines, but these same routines keep the firm, and its top team, from gaining experience with procedures more relevant to changing market conditions.

In order to achieve alignment, companies need to break these routines and treat causes, not symptoms. This is often difficult because multiple stakeholders across functions must invest in a new approach while still meeting their own obligations to keep the current business running. But good planning and proper leadership support can help.

Consider a large home energy provider in a mature, commoditized market where deregulation is driving down revenue and profit. To spur growth, the company committed to a strategy of diversifying their product offering. This meant transforming a salesforce, which had been conditioned to sell on price, to sell value-added services.

Here is what the leadership team did:

They linked strategy to behaviors. Beginning with conversations with frontline salespeople and managers, they asked, “Are the salespeople having a conversation that helps customers see the value of these services?” In the cases where reps weren’t, the team identified the selling behaviors that needed to be abandoned and then established a new sales process and set of sales tasks that needed to be clarified and executed.

They changed their approach to training. They also committed to an intensive effort that spread the learning out over a series of weeks, allowing the incumbent salespeople to apply behaviors gradually rather than trying to learn the entire process at once.  The process was tweaked for the new hires and incorporated into their on-boarding. This is aligned with what research tells us about the importance of deliberate practice in training for results. Acquiring new behavioral skills (versus concepts) requires repetition; people must try a new behavior multiple times before it becomes practiced enough to be comfortable and effective.

Simultaneously, sales managers went through a series of development sessions to develop their coaching skills. The goal was to focus performance conversations on how sales people were serving their customers and the value-selling process inherent in the strategy.

They revamped their compensation and performance evaluations. Commissions were adjusted to reflect the importance of the value-added services, and additional incentives were added to reward those sales reps that exhibited the behaviors required to execute the strategy, not only the revenue outcomes. Further, adherence to the sales process was added to the salesperson’s evaluation scorecard and, perhaps most important, reviews were now taken seriously — by managers and individual reps — as a strategy execution and development tool, not only a compensation discussion.

They changed their hiring/recruiting efforts. The biggest personnel shift related to front-line sales managers.  The company began evaluating potential managers based on their ability to coach and reinforce the process, not simply on their performance as a salesperson.

Sales performance and competitive positioning have improved significantly for this company. Its leadership articulated the firm’s strategy in a clear and consistent manner and analyzed the gap between the current sales tasks and those required to meet the new strategic objectives. And while their approach involved elements of training, compensation, performance reviews, and hiring practices, it was the sequence in which they addressed those areas that drove alignment.

https://hbr.org/2017/01/executives-and-salespeople-are-misaligned-and-the-effects-are-costly

Firms Give More Stock Options When They’re Committing Fraud

Firms Give More Stock Options When They’re Committing Fraud

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When you have a Board role, remember this study and keep your focus straight on the shareholders interest …MALTAWAY BOARD GOVERNANCE AND NON EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR (NED)

 

Whistleblowers can play in a big role in uncovering financial misconduct. For example, look at Sherron Watkins, formerly of Enron, and Cynthia Cooper, formerly of WorldCom. Both women helped uncover massive frauds inside their organizations that ultimately cost investors billions of dollars.

Research suggests that employees are often in a position to discover and expose wrongdoing in organizations. This may be why the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act encourages employee whistleblowing: Section 922 of the Act promises to protect whistleblowers from retaliation and offers monetary awards for disclosure, which range from 10% to 30% of monetary damages collected from the company. Since this program was established, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has granted more than $111 million in awards to 34 whistleblowers, with the largest award of $30 million granted in September 2014.

While protection and rewards may encourage more employees to come forward, firms may be able to counter these incentives by making it beneficial for employees to keep quiet. In a study recently published in The Journal of Accounting and Economics, we examined whether firms use financial incentives to discourage whistleblowing. Although there are many kinds of financial incentives, we focused on stock option grants to rank-and-file employees, as this data are more readily available. Further, since the value of stock options is directly tied to the value of the firm’s stock, and because whistleblowing allegations result in an immediate decline in the firm’s stock price, employees stand to lose financially when they blow the whistle. In addition, employee stock options typically have vesting terms that require employees to wait a few years before they can exercise their options, which may act as a disincentive to blowing the whistle before they’re able to exercise their options.

Using a Stanford Law School database, we identified a sample of 663 firms that were alleged to have engaged in financial misreporting and were subject to class action shareholder litigation in U.S. federal court from 1996–2011. We examined the number of stock options granted to rank-and-file employees during the period of alleged misreporting, and we found that these firms granted more stock options during the misreporting period than did a benchmark sample of 663 similar firms that were not being investigated for financial misreporting. Option grants by these misreporting firms varied over time. Specifically, misreporting firms granted 14% more stock options to rank-and-file employees when they were allegedly misreporting their financials, but the number of options they granted decreased by 32% after they appeared to stop misreporting. These findings suggest that these firms granted additional stock options strategically during periods of alleged misreporting.

We also found that these efforts are effective. Misreporting firms that granted more stock options to rank-and-file employees were less likely to be exposed by a whistleblower. Approximately 10% of the firms in our sample were subject to a whistleblowing allegation. Firms that avoided a whistleblower granted 78% more stock options than these firms did not.

Because our sample consists only of misconduct that was discovered, our findings can’t speak to firms that engaged in financial misconduct without getting caught. In addition, our evidence is circumstantial, in that we cannot directly observe the underlying motivation for employers’ stock option grants or employees’ whistleblowing decisions. Nevertheless, while Dodd-Frank encourages employee whistleblowing by offering financial incentives of up to 30% of recovered damages and penalties, our findings suggest that firms may offer their own financial incentives to discourage whistleblowing.

Although we examine stock options grants as the primary mechanism for employers to discourage whistleblowing, there are others tactics firms can use as well. In fact, recent media reports indicate that the SEC is investigating other ways in which firms subvert whistleblowing, including having employees sign confidentiality agreements and creating severance contracts that prevent employees from contacting regulators or benefiting from government investigations. As legislators evaluate the efficacy of whistleblowing regulations, they should remember that the firms they are trying to regulate are not silent bystanders — companies can take action to discourage employees from speaking up.

https://hbr.org/2017/01/research-firms-give-more-stock-options-when-theyre-committing-fraud

Tips from headhunters to Board Members

Tips from three leading headhunters

Directors must ask the right questions and support — and challenge — chief executives

MALTAWAY BOARD GOVERNANCE AND NON EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR (NED)

Even here in Malta this issue arises with relevant importance and validity , partly because the high number of foreign companies present in Malta, in order to be compliant with international standards for tax purposes (see the case of dummy company and tax inversion) , must have a board of directors with directors and NON EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR , residents in Malta, supporting and providing clear and convincing evidence that the foreign company is effectively managed from Malta.

Furthermore having a NED with international experience in the BOARD, reinforce widely the diversity, independence and compliance requirements for a better Corporate Governance, Leadership and Business results

30+ years Board, Governance, Investment’s  experience and practice for YOUR BOARD needs and solutions

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Virginia Bottomley
Chairman, Odgers Berndtson’s Board & Chief Executive Practice

The former Conservative cabinet minister turned City headhunter joined Odgers in 2000 and has battled to change attitudes towards women in senior roles. Key appointments by her team have included Carolyn Fairbairn as the first female director-general of business lobby group the CBI, Susan Kilsby as chair of pharmaceutical company Shire and Inga Beale as chief executive of Lloyd’s of London, the insurance market.

Ms Bottomley was born in Scotland and educated at the University of Essex and the London School of Economics.

What is your best advice for someone seeking a board position?
Excel in a particular area, whether that is leadership, finance, managing large profit and loss accounts or international exposure.

What makes a successful chief executive or board member?
Courage, tenacity and values. Listening is also an essential and underrated quality. Being in the right stage of one’s career in the right place and at the right time means that luck inevitably plays a role. But truly talented individuals with distinct experience and perspectives will always be singled out.

Excel in a particular area, whether leadership, finance, managing a large P&L or international exposure

Virginia Bottomley

Why has progress in increasing diversity on boards been so slow?
Only five years ago, barely 10 per cent of FTSE 100 board directors were female, so, while it may feel slow, there has been progress. But more work is needed. It is increasingly important to identify those less obvious aspects of diversity, such as diversity of thought, perspective and experience.

There is growing concern about executive pay. Are you concerned that chief executives are paid too much?
Some executives are paid too much relative to performance and the value they end up delivering. Equally, chief executives who create long-term, sustainable shareholder value are worth every penny. We are encouraged to see shareholder initiatives that keep the spotlight on this critical issue, such as the report by the Investment Association earlier this year, which noted growing investor and company concern about the level and complexity of executive pay.

To what extent are headhunters responsible for creating a market struggling to keep a lid on executive pay and to create more diversity?
We put forward the best possible candidates for each and every role based on a large number of considerations, of which remuneration should be only one.

Ultimately, pay is for boards to decide. We act as an independent third party, so play a part in encouraging boards to consider the widest pool of talent.

Raj Tulsiani
Chief Executive, Green Park Interim & Executive Search

Raj Tulsiani has pressed for greater ethnic diversity on City boards, most recently contributing to a review by Sir John Parker, chairman of mining company Anglo American, which recommends that boards appoint at least one non-white director to every FTSE 100 company by 2021.

An adviser to the Metropolitan Police and the Prime Minister’s Implementation Office on diversity, Mr Tulsiani also won the mandate to refresh the board at Transport for London. Before co-founding Green Park, Mr Tulsiani, who is of Indian and French descent, was a manager at Michael Page, the staffing agency.

What is your best advice for someone seeking a board position?
You have to have some of the skills and background, which you can often gain by joining voluntary or third-sector boards and learning the language. People can become pigeonholed as a good hospital non-executive director or school governor, but the difference with company boards is not as big as you think.

Also, understand the rationale behind each appointment. People might think the process of appointing non-executive directors is a meritocracy and that they can turn up and be the best candidate. But there are a lot of opaque and unwritten rules. Ask questions, test the waters and bring something authentic to the table.

What makes a successful chief executive or board member?
Realistic optimism, a strong way of communicating risk, being able to increase organisational trust and being able to see order in anarchy.

Understand the rationale behind each appointment. There are a lot of opaque and unwritten rules

Raj Tulsiani

Why has progress in increasing diversity on boards been slow?
People do not want greater diversity on boards. They quite often want people who are the same but “different” — they want skin-deep diversity. For example, you include women but they all come from upper middle-class backgrounds.

Also, progress has been slow because the headhunters who execute the majority of board appointments have very little credibility with diverse communities, partially because they have no experience of them and they do not understand the differences between mindsets and cultures.

Most search firms have been trying to boost their diversity credentials through marketing and so forth in the past few years. But you do not build insight, resonance and trust through expensive coffee mornings or posts on a website.

What role do headhunters play in increasing diversity and to what extent are they responsible for the lack of it?
Headhunters often decrease diversity, so they are as responsible as the clients. Executive search is also an institutionally prejudiced industry sector, which gives bad or “safe” advice based on “expert testimony” without data or real insight.

It is impossible to have more diverse boards without more diverse supply chains. Look at what percentage of ethnic minorities on the boards of the UK’s biggest listed companies are British passport holders or how many women on boards went to the same six elite universities.

Are chief executives and board members paid too much?
No, they deserve the money they earn and more — but only if they drive performance and inclusive cultures.

Jan Hall
Chairman and chief executive of Heidrick & Struggles/JCA’s UK Chief Executive & Board Practice

Jan Hall sold JCA, the headhunting business she co-founded in 2005, to Chicago-based Heidrick & Struggles in August. Heidrick promptly added JCA to its name, underscoring her power within the City.

Ms Hall’s placements include Marc Bolland, whose tumultuous time as chief executive of Marks and Spencer came to an end in April, and Carolyn McCall, chief executive at easyJet. Before founding JCA, she was a senior partner at Spencer Stuart, another executive search firm.

Try to understand the business in the round — the entire company. And make sure people know you are there

Jan Hall

What is your key tip for securing a board-level appointment?
Understand the business in the round — get to grips with the entire company. Make sure people know you are there.

What makes a successful chief executive or board member?
The ability to ask really good questions in a constructive manner. To challenge executives in difficult times and to support them at others.

What role do headhunters play in increasing diversity and to what extent are they responsible for the lack of it?
The argument has been won that diversity is a good thing. The real issue is getting diversity coming up through businesses. We need the skill sets in the candidate pool to be there. But if boards are focused on looking for diversity, they are more likely to find it.

Are chief executives and board members paid too much?
In a global marketplace there is a real problem with levels of remuneration. In the US people are paid much better so we have to compete with them.

Thx to FT, see the article here