Nestor Advisors is a pioneer in offering bespoke board review services that “hold a mirror” to the board’s profile and effectiveness. Our aim is to maximise the value that boards can add, while meeting the requirements of governance codes and other compliance norms.
Our senior advisors have the track record, skills and experience necessary to successfully facilitate board reviews.
We have developed a toolkit that ensures that evaluations result in value-adding recommendations focused on the specific needs of an organisation’s board.
We have also developed, BoardMirror®, an online tool that guarantees a cost-efficient and user-friendly self-evaluation process for boards and committees.
Nestor Advisors offers a comprehensive three-year board effectiveness package: "The Long View on Boards".
Nestor Advisors’ extensive knowledge of governance informs our approach to board evaluations; it makes them unique in their depth, specificity and forward-looking perspective. Board effectiveness requires continuous effort over time and boards should take stock of how they have implemented recommendations from previous reviews and step up improvements regularly.
In keeping with this long view, Nestor Advisors offers a three-year board effectiveness package that efficiently combines two annual board self-evaluations with one in-depth, externally-facilitated board review over a three-year cycle. This package allows companies to meet best practice expectations in a simple and cost-effective manner.
In facilitating board evaluations, we aim to maximise the value created by boards for their organisations.
Six principles underpin our work:
- Forward-looking: Our perspective is always forward-looking, considering how the board can build on its strengths and address its future governance challenges.
- Board self-reflection: We “hold a mirror” to the board regarding its own operations, strengths and areas for improvement. Findings are ideally discussed in a board workshop that we facilitate.
- Relevance: While we have developed a vast “library” of questions, our questionnaires are always bespoke. They are designed on the basis of client consultations and reflect the client’s special governance characteristics and desired scope.
- Actionability: Our recommendations are actionable, practical and prioritised. They are also always the product of iterations with the board’s leadership.
- Efficiency: Efficiency is a core design element of our board evaluation approach. Our tools and processes aim to use as little director time as possible, while ensuring tangible results from the review.
- Confidentiality: Our board evaluations are conducted according to strict Chatham House rules. We do not disclose to anyone the source of the views expressed in questionnaire responses or interviews. There are strict firewalls between our aggregating team and the client’s officers.
- Board Self-Evaluation: We offer a self-evaluation of the board’s effectiveness across all key areas within the evaluation scope, based on directors’ feedback. Structured feedback is provided via bespoke questionnaires, using our secure web-based survey tool, BoardMirror®. The client receives a report on the effectiveness of the board and each of its committees, based upon consolidated responses and anonymised comments to identify strengths, areas for improvement, divergence, and recommendations.
- Facilitated Board Evaluation: This adds a layer of analysis to the bespoke questionnaires used in the Board Self-Evaluation to probe all areas within the evaluation scope. The main additional inputs include a review of board documentation and packs, face-to-face interviews and board/committee meeting observation. Along with questionnaire results, these inputs result in an in-depth analysis of the board’s effectiveness, encompassing board competences, functioning, structure and support as well as behavioural/cultural traits. The report identifies strengths and weaknesses and makes appropriate recommendations. We expect a discussion of our key findings and recommendations by the board in a workshop setting, which we could facilitate. We also make ourselves available to help with relevant disclosures and the development of an action plan, as needed.
Our three-year board effectiveness package allows boards to fully adhere to standards set by an individual country’s corporate governance code.
The package includes:
- two annual board self-evaluations; and
- one facilitated board evaluation
These board evaluations can be made in any sequence the client deems convenient over the course of three years.
This allows for:
- A longer-term perspective: A three-year perspective allows for a long view on board effectiveness. The board is able to track progress of its effectiveness over time in different areas such as composition, director skills and behaviours, workload and functioning, committee structure, leadership and support. Directors are able to monitor the implementation of agreed recommendations on a rolling basis over a three-year cycle. Taking a long view, they become >comfortable with the process.
- A lighter process: We remove the administrative burden from chairs and company secretaries of preparing internal questionnaires, collating and analysing results, and developing reports, whilst at the same time ensuring that they remain in control.
- Simplified contracting and lower cost: There is only one contract over three years and we are also able to deliver the three-year package at a lower cost relative to standalone services.
Experience and clients
Our clients are sector-leading companies and organisations that value our thoughtful approach, independence and pragmatism. We work across multiple industries including banking, insurance, telecoms, technology, oil and gas, mining, power and utilities, construction, media, and consumer goods. This includes FTSE 100, large listed multi-national, family-controlled, private equity-controlled, state-controlled and subsidiary companies. We have also conducted board evaluations for significant non-profits, membership organisations, foundations, housing associations, government agencies and public sector organisations. Please see our case studies below for some examples of our work.
For more information on our board review services, please click here.