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November/December 2017— Vol. XXXVIII      No. 227

PASSING THE BOARD CHAIR BATON by Karen Bohn and Sandra Davis
Succession planning for board leaders remains weak and inconsistent.

While chief executive succession planning has developed into an art over the years, the relative newness of the independent board chair in the U.S. means preparation for this vital leadership role remains weak. How does the board effectively identify, train, assess and onboard its next board chair?

HOW PROXY ADVSIORS VIEW YOUR BOARD by Gary Larkin
These advisors are very influential with your shareholders. What do they think of you?

Corporate boards realize that shareholders are watching them more closely today, and giving their performance tougher grades. However, much of what shareholders learn about your board comes to them through the major proxy advisors, such as ISS and Glass-Lewis. What do these top influencers look for when making their board and governance advisories?

BEST PRACTICES FOR ONBOARDING NEW DIRECTORS by Alisa Cohn
Some director orientation begins long before a new member is chosen.

Orientation for new board members has long consisted of giving them forms to fill out, a pile of material to read, and wishing them luck. Now, as boards refresh themselves to perform what is an increasingly demanding job, a more thoughtful, effective onboarding process is needed.

DIGITAL GOVERNANCE: THE PRICE OF CONVENIENCE by Dottie Schindlinger
E-mail and board portals make modern governance practical—but also vulnerable.

They are the digital tools that make director’s lives easier and improve governance—email, smart phones, tablets, and board portals. Yet if boards use these modern aids unwisely, they bring real dangers of information theft and loss, security breaches, and legal discovery. The New York Stock Exchange and Diligent surveyed board members to learn how well they manage today’s data devices, and what they can do better.

BEING A WOMAN ON THE BOARD by Suzanne Hopgood
First-person stories from a boardroom pioneer.

While there has been much discussion on the value of board gender diversity, we hear little on what it is like for the women who are blazing these boardroom trails. Suzanne Hopgood can enlighten you. A seasoned chief executive and financial expert, she has been “the only woman on the board” at many companies over the years, and offers first-hand wisdom on how many boards make the role unwelcoming.

CONVERSATIONS: ADAM EPSTEIN Board and governance issues for the 90 percent.

Most corporate governance research and discussion focuses on Fortune 500 companies. Much of this intelligence is irrelevant to smaller companies, who are wrestling with very different board and governance issues.
   Adam Epstein aims to change that. Epstein, who works with pre-IPO and smaller cap companies through his Third Creek Advisors firm, has become an evangelist for mid-cap governance. His book The Perfect Corporate Board was published by McGraw-Hill several years ago, and in the summer of 2017 was still the number one corporate governance seller on Amazon.

IN REVIEW  Index to actions, regulations and surveys.

SPOKEN & WRITTEN  Excerpts of articles and speeches.

DIRECTORS' REGISTER  Recent board elections.

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