Trustee executive selection and board effectiveness review

13 Dec 2021

Improved governance and support for a complex scheme

This was a wide-ranging executive support and Trustee governance project for a complex multi-employer scheme, where the Trustee and the board had experienced challenging situations in recent years. It was time to move forward. The client formed a Working Group to liaise with us.

The client split the project into two separate tenders: a selection process to appoint a new Trustee Executive and Secretariat Service; a review of Trustee board and committee governance arrangements including board effectiveness. We later also advised on implementation of governance changes.

The Trustee Executive service selection work involved use of our extensive IP in this area and work to ensure that earlier difficult issues on conflicts management would not recur, with clear roles, protocols and behaviours. The new provider was in role for when the governance and board review got underway.

The wider governance and board effectiveness review was also very sensitive work involving a range of differing views, understanding and behaviours. There was a need to update and clarify roles, and to improve relationships, decision-making and ways of working. Some strong areas of governance needed replicating elsewhere in the structure, in updated committee arrangements and refreshing of skills.

One of the powerful ways we helped the trustees reach conclusions on these findings and recommendations was to plan and facilitate phased workshops with the trustee board, encouraging open discussion where all voices could be heard, to agree what was important, and land some next steps and actions.

Outcomes of this work included board compositional change and a code of conduct, with clearer role profiles and an improved training plan. The skills and search process for the next Chair and a committee co-optee were agreed. A revised trustee remuneration policy was researched and implemented.

The committee structure was updated and a framework of responsibilities, delegations and reporting was drawn up, with revised terms of reference flowing from it, to enable nimbler decision making.