What do corporate boards plan to prioritize in 2018?
With NACD Director of Research Friso van der Oord
NACD Northern California Chapter Directors
Adam J. Epstein, Dr. Cheemin Bo-Linn, and Vivek Mehra
The spotlight on private company governance has never been brighter as high-profile start-ups and their investors and directors have been thrust into the national conversation around workplace culture, board oversight, and business practices. The morning was split into two sessions where we heard from Adam J. Epstein on the lessons learned from the financial crisis through today, and smarter growth in the boardroom. Then, Friso van der Oord led a panel discussion on how directors, investors, and executives can align on board composition, skills, and processes to help early-stage companies better prepare for the long term.
Smarter Growth Starts in the Boardroom: Lessons Learned from the Financial Crisis Through Today
Led by Adam Epstein
See presentation slides under the Event Summary drop-down below.
Private Company Governance: Elevating Private Company Board Performance in the Age of Disruption
Panel Discussion Led by Friso van der Oord
Panelists: Cheemin Bo-Linn and Vivek Mehra
NACD has surveyed its members over the past two decades on both core governance practices and emerging issues. Members use the survey results to compare and contrast their current approaches, identify improvement opportunities, and help inform their priorities. Friso offered a brief summary of results from the 2017–2018 Private Company Governance Survey regarding top business trends:
A general theme of disruption and change—with disruption ranked as one of the top trends with the greatest impact on business
Concerns about industry upheaval, business model disruption, cybersecurity, and uncertain global economic and geopolitical conditions
Trends on talent scarcity due to record low unemployment and growing immigration restrictions—in particular, the paucity of talent in the highly specialized technical STEM domains and its impact on business in the Silicon Valley as well as other markets
Through the survey, directors indicated that the most important area of improvement over the next 12 months is strengthening the board’s understanding of risks and opportunities affecting company performance.
Baker Botts LLP 1001 Page Mill Road, Building One, Suite 200 Palo Alto, CA 94304
The Baker Botts office is located on the second floor.
Guests can park on the ground level in front of the building or in the lower level parking garage. The parking garage gates will be unlocked during the event with elevator access to the second floor (easily accessible for those who need it). There will be directional signs that say “Baker Botts Event 2nd Floor” around the building.
The registration table will be in the lobby where guests will check in.
As NACD Director of Research, Friso is responsible for all NACD content development. He is an experienced governance advisor and business line manager who has worked over the past 15 years with Fortune 500 and global executives on major risk, compliance, and integrity challenges, including serving in leadership roles at CEB and LRN. He holds an MA in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University’s SAIS Program.
Adam is a former institutional investor and the author of The Perfect Corporate Board—the #1 ranked corporate governance book on Amazon in June 2017. He writes the Entrepreneurial Governance column in Directorship magazine, is a key contributor to Nasdaq’s small-cap platform Amplify, and is a teacher/mentor at the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center. Adam advises the boards of pre-IPO and small-cap companies through his firm, Third Creek Advisors, LLC.
Dr. Cheemin Bo-Linn has served on seven boards of start-up, private, and public companies in Canada, the United States, and Europe. Currently, she is CEO and president of Peritus Partners Inc., an analytics platform and business IT consultancy recognized for increasing company valuation leading to next-level growth or liquidity (M&A or IPO). Bo-Linn was recruited as vice president of IBM and has held C-suite roles at various private companies. She was recognized as one of the top 2018 Directors to Watch and inducted into the Hall of Fame for Women in Technology. Bo-Linn is also a visiting professor of digital tech and marketing in the joint Columbia University, London School of Business, and Hong Kong University EMBA/MBA program.
Vivek Mehra is partner emeritus at August Capital, a technology-focused venture capital firm based in Menlo Park. He has served on the boards of more than 20 startup, private, and public companies. He also previously founded Cobalt Networks, which he took public before it was acquired by Sun Microsystems for $2 billion. Mehra is an active advisor, board member, and investor in technology companies. He currently is on the boards of RetailNext, Celect, and UpGuard.