Independents: how useful are they?

Over the last few months The NED has been involved in a number of discussions that have questioned the value of independents on boards. At the same time the age-old debate of who is, and is not, actually independent seems to have returned.
For example, speakers at a recent Irish fund event said it’s possible to have too many independents on boards. Their lack of inside knowledge can slow decision-making and they often need to rely on outside advice, it was said.

Martin Vogel, CEO of MDO Management Company and Partner of the Director’s Office, suggested that if the majority of the board is independent it often means that it can take too long for any decision to be made. And independents will frequently need to seek out outside advice before coming to any conclusion.

To read more on this see the November issue of The NED.