The Special Needs of Financial Services Boards

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Barry Rafe (L) and Ian Laughlin (R)

The Actuaries Institute has published this latest Dialogue, and the second in its series on corporate governance.

Barry Rafe, former President of the Actuaries Institute and expert on governance, and Ian Laughlin, an experienced financial services chair and director and a former APRA Deputy Chair, argue that financial services organisations have unique features that impact on the desired composition of their boards.

The pressure to make short term profits traded off against the long-term financial commitments that are made to the community has important implications for the capabilities of the board and its directors.

The paper is intended to be a reference tool for Chairs of boards and nomination and remuneration committees of large financial services companies and to help in annual board assessments.

It includes a Financial Services Board Assessment Aid intended to enable a stronger, broader and more effective skills matrix for director appointment and board assessment.

Strong boards do not appear overnight; rather they evolve. The Aid can help the long-term planning required.

The Dialogue is a series of papers written by actuaries and published by the Actuaries Institute. The papers aim to stimulate discussion on important emerging issues. The opinions expressed in this paper are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of either the Institute of Actuaries of Australia (the ‘Institute’), its members, directors, officers, employees, agents, or that of the employers of the author