Board Interviews - Richard Green, NED, Chair and Advisory Board Member
Vanessa Moon Director at Executive Search firm Moon Consulting in conversation with Richard Green, NED of Northern Venture Capitalists, Qannas Investments & Hydrogen Group PLC, Chair of Technology Venture Partners and Advisory Board Member of North East Finance.
Richard is a senior private equity professional with board level leadership experience in both executive and non-executive roles, bringing over 25 years' experience as a NED, spanning a wealth of sectors including healthcare, technology, media, engineering and manufacturing. He is also a past Chairman of the British Venture Capital Association.
Amongst Richard's current responsibilities, he acts as Chairman of Technology Venture Partners who, as their name suggests, provide venture capital to innovative, high-growth technology companies. The TVP team has extensive experience of partnering with experienced technology entrepreneurs, helping turn their visions into real businesses of significant value.
Board members face many trials and tribulations and we were interested to hear some examples from Richard. He says, "As a NED, you're not in the business day in, day out and so you need to build a strong relationship with the executive management team - in particular, the Chief Exec and Finance Director. The success of a good Chair is the relationship with the CEO so this aspect as well as mutual trust is so important". Richard said you should be prepared to turn down opportunities if you lack confidence in the SMT. Richard said consider aligning a specific strategic task against each board member and tune it to their skill set, it is a Chair's role to help identify and develop those skills.
Appreciating the value of Richard's time, it would be remiss of us not to request some words of wisdom. "To any aspiring Chairman, you must take control of the board agenda" Richard explains. Obviously there are set areas to review, such as the Finance or Sales Directors reports, but he suggests making the agenda much more dynamic, such as looking at new areas of business or particular aspects where the board can strategize and make decisions about the future. So the document becomes a dynamic document rather than a static series of headings, and again he suggest having a statement of what is being asked against each header. You could have a different topic at every board meeting, and even rotate the reporting, that way each board member gets to contribute. Areas could be new product development or competitor analysis, topics that are forward focused and interactive.
Richard also believes senior management should be invited to board meetings from time to time in order to present their department. "This provides the board with an honest interpretation of goings on at shop floor level, whether positive or negative," says Richard. "It also provides the board with a strong indication as to whether there are any future board members within the senior management team."
"My final piece of advice is around the physicality of Board table dynamics i.e. where everyone positions themselves", Richard suggests looking at seating dynamics as well as body language, obvious areas but ones where you can pick up a lot of information and then the Chair can quickly react where appropriate.
Vanessa said "it is clear that Richard brings a wealth of Advisory, Exec and Non Exec experience, what struck me most was how he leads with clear direction, is very future focused, and he clearly likes to stretch his fellow board members and observe how they interact".
Moon Consulting work closely with VC and Private Equity backed businesses, often managing full Board building processes. We build long-term relationships with businesses to secure high-performance candidates by identifying needs, finding the right talent and integrating leaders into organisations. Moon Consulting has extensive expertise and knowledge of the market, with a proven and impressive track record of delivery even in niche markets.
© Moon Consulting 2017
Proven & Trusted Advisors in Senior & Board Level Appointments. We build long-term relationships with businesses to secure high-performance candidates by identifying needs, finding the right talent and integrating leaders into organisations. Moon Consulting has extensive expertise and knowledge of the market, with a proven and impressive track record of delivery even in niche markets.