Our small, highly experienced team operates with a rather different approach from many other Board evaluation providers.
‘Marshalls plc had, for a number of years, completed board evaluations via a process managed by the Chair and the Company Secretary. Whilst this was generally regarded as both effective and of value, we decided that it would be appropriate to conduct the 2016 evaluation through an external evaluator. We tendered the process, and selected Equity Communications based on their overall proposition which combined flexibility and a good understanding of our requirements with a pragmatic approach to pricing.
‘The evaluation was conducted within the agreed timescale and in accordance with our brief. The interviewers were engaging and professional, and the resulting report succinct and on point, with helpful suggestions and no surprises. We were generally happy that the work done by Equity Communications met our requirements and will enable us to report in accordance with best practice.’
Cathy Baxandall, Group Company Secretary and General Counsel, Marshalls plc.
Why are we different?
- We are truly independent. Since we offer no additional services, such as head-hunting or recruitment, we are never distracted by these opportunities for further service provision. If we say that we feel your Board team needs adjusting or strengthening, you can be quite sure we really mean it, we can back it up – and have no additional sales agenda of our own.
- Our service is bespoke. Unlike some providers, we do not run Board evaluations via software programmes. None of the data or commentary that we provide for you is a software generated, pre-prepared ‘script’. We analyse all the data – your scores and your comments – personally. At least two team members participate in this process. All your data is shared within this small team and at each stage, we discuss the findings and our recommendations in depth. We do this to ensure that we have a really in-depth understanding of the dynamics of your Board. It also enables us to suggest practical operational or behavioural adjustments to you, which we have verified between ourselves before presenting them to you.
- Our client list demonstrates how broad our experience is. However, we are especially adept at working with Boards which are anticipating, are undergoing, or have recently undergone, periods of significant change. All Boards are, to some extent in a perpetual state of flux. Our ability to work sensitively and intuitively with Boards has been very valuable to many of our clients.
- We become, for the time we are working with your Board, an extension of your ‘team’. That is not to say that we become inured to any issues that need to be dealt with. But we do spend considerable time getting to know your Board (and sometimes other management groups). We create a Board evaluation framework that is different for each client and if you work with us, yours will be specific to your company and your needs.
- We represent excellent value for money. As we have no extensive suite of additional services, our focus enables us to deliver outstanding and personally crafted evaluations for less cost than many other providers.
- With our extensive experience, we can be trusted as a ‘safe pair of hands’. The breadth of our client range also enables us to draw on this extensive corporate experience to help you. We know a lot about what makes Boards tick. And we never shy away from delivering messages that may be difficult to hear, although we will also always approach sensitive issues with absolute tact and offer practical solutions. We are good at gaining Board trust. This makes us very good at getting the most out of the evaluation for you.
‘Our Board team is small, and at the time of the questionnaire-based evaluation conducted by EquityCommunications Ltd, we had seen considerable changes in membership, both Executive and Non-Executive. The whole process was expertly guided by EquityCommunications. The project was therefore less onerous than might otherwise be the case. The final report was not just a “tick-box” product that fulfilled our regulatory duties – it genuinely captured a very accurate picture of how we operated and performed, as a board, as well as suggesting ways in which we might make some changes to ensure we continued to perform at our best.’ Ian Houghton, Company Secretary, WH Smith PLC