Future Boardroom Competencies | September 23, 2021

Staying relevant and future focused is a key requirement as we develop through our NED careers. Board debate is changing with topics like ESG to cyber security on the tip of tongues. But what is really changing? What does the perfect board CV look like of the future and how should we be thinking of building our competencies to stay on the front foot

For our first WACL NED session after the summer break, we will put our questions around Future Boardroom Competencies to our two phenomenal guest speakers – Helle Bank Jørgensen CEO, Competent Boards and Sue OBrien OBE Executive Chairman at Ridgeway Partners. (also Biog below).

Speaker biogs

Helle Bank Jørgensen CEO, Competent Boards, & Author

Helle Bank Jorgensen is the CEO of Competent Boards, which offers the global online ESG Competent Boards Certificate and Designation Program with a faculty of over 100 renowned international board members, executives and experts.

She has a 30-year track record in turning Environment, Social, Governance (ESG), Climate and Sustainability risks into innovative and profitable business opportunities. She has worked with many global Fortune 500 board members and executives, as well as smaller companies and investors.

Besides being a board member, she serves on:

World Economic Forum (WEF) Expert Network for Corporate Governance, Leadership, and Emerging Multinationals
His Royal Highness Prince of Wales A4S (Accounting for Sustainability) Global Expert Panel;
The Non-financial Digitisation Working Group of the Impact Management Project (IMP);
The Reuters Panel of Expert Judges for the Responsible Business Awards;
Canadian Climate Governance Experts – a Commonwealth Climate & Law Initiative.
She has served as the Chair of the European Sustainability Reporting Association (ESRA), the Global Compact Network Canada, Datamaran, and as a member of the Sustainability Advisory Panel of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), and at the Sustainability Policy Group of the Institute of European Accountants (FEE).

Helle was the creator of the world’s first Green Account based on lifecycle assessment and the world’s first Integrated Report, the first integrated responsible supply chain management system, and was the principal organizer for the CEO/Investor-network for Business Ethics and Non-Financial Reporting. She led the improvement of investor communication for global companies and has worked on Natural Capital Accounting for IFC/World Bank.In 2020 she was awarded the Global Impact Award and named one of “5 people in ESG to look out for”. She is a regular keynote speaker and author of many thought-leading articles and books.

She is a business lawyer and state-authorized public accountant (CPA) by training and holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration and Auditing. She is a former PwC audit and advisory partner in Denmark and the US leading Sustainability & Climate Practices

Sue OBrien OBE, Executive Chairman at Ridgeway

Sue has worked with boards for over 30 years. Either while serving as an executive or non executive, or more in line with the work of Ridgeway, advising CEOs on the pressure points of people risk and talent innovation. As a key relationship builder, her network of clients spans the boardrooms of the UK and a global network of candidates and clients. Understanding the complexity and challenge of navigating CEO change is her key skill.

After an early commercial career in retail and the leisure industry she led a reverse IPO as Chief Executive Officer of a listed search firm which she grew for seven years. Joining Ridgeway in 2015, she has led the partner team in both an MBO and subsequent sale to global CEO advisory firm, Teneo, in 2020.

In addition to her Executive Chair role at Ridgeway, Sue is non executive director of The Pipeline, was a founder member of The Women’s Business Council and is a trustee and Chair of the Nominations Committee for KidsOut children’s charity. Sue also serves as a member of the global talent advisory business in Teneo.

In January 2014, she was awarded an OBE for services to business and charity, and for promoting equality in the workplace.

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