Private Company Director

Interview with Charles Conn


News and Articles

Private equity boards enable directors to hone their skills without the publicity and liability that can be associated with public boards. 
The SEC’s climate proposal affects private equity firms, whether they trade on U.S. stock exchanges or not.
Boards and CEOs are most effective when they allow themselves to be open to ideas and vulnerable enough to have their own missteps corrected.
Complicating factors include inflation, interest rates and midterm election fallout.
Three questions family enterprises should ask when putting a governance model in place.
The SEC’s Hester Peirce addresses issues with the commission’s recent proposals.
In board meetings, be aware of who is responsible for what.
Honoring the dedication of talent is key to retention success.
Support the board by providing feedback and sharpening your listening skills.
The proper agenda is a must, but so is self-evaluation and diversity.

WP Engine Announces New Board and Executive Appointments

Submitted by RChakler on Mon, 11/23/2015 - 15:24

WP Engine, which powers amazing digital experiences for websites and applications built on WordPress, today announced new appointments to its Board of Directors and enhancements to its executive team, according to a Business Wire press release.

The Board of Directors elected both Rick Crandall, Chairman of the Enterprise Software CEO Roundtable and Founding Partner of Arbor Partners, a tech-focused venture capital firm along with Mariano Dima, Global Chief Marketing Officer of HomeAway, Inc.

Ipswitch Adds Patrick MeLampy to the Board as an Independent Director

Submitted by RChakler on Mon, 11/23/2015 - 15:20

Ipswitch announced the appointment of Patrick MeLampy, a serial entrepreneur and CTO who co-founded Acme Packet (acquired by Oracle for $2.1B) and 128 Technology, to its board of directors, according to a Business Wire press release.

MeLampy will serve as an independent director, joining Ipswitch Founder and Chairman Roger Greene, Chief Executive Officer Joe Krivickas, and fellow independent director, Bob Steinkrauss, on the Ipswitch board of directors.

November 2015

Submitted by pcd@dmin on Thu, 11/12/2015 - 17:14

Onboarding the new director, lessons for private companies from public company governance, and private company governance appointments and news.

12 Rules for Family Business Failure

[Editor's note: the following excerpt appears in the Private Company Director October 2015 issue.]

Lansing Crane was a keynote speaker at the Private Company Governance Summit 2015 and spoke about governance issues for companies and their boards. Some of his key talking points were using the board as strategic advisors, using the board's advice on personnel decisions, the board's role in culture change and avoiding common mistakes. 

During his speech he also took the time to outline some rules for family business failure. They included:

Onboarding the New Director

Is there a such thing as a “feeling out” process for new directors? There was a time in years past where a new director wouldn’t say much during his first couple of board meetings. In fact, there was an old rule of thumb that said a new director should take about a year to get accustomed to a board, its members and how the company runs.

In today’s business world, private companies do not have the luxury of waiting that long. It is imperative that the new director be brought up to speed on all aspects of the company before the first board meeting. Three directors—Janet Morrison Clarke, Bernard H. Tenenbaum, and Ed Smith—shared their best practices for new director orientation at the Private Company Governance Summit 2015, in a discussion moderated by Ray Judge of Diligent Corporation.

These directors focused on vital issues such as addressing the role of the board chair, lead director, the CEO and key managers in onboarding the new director, what types of documents and training materials are needed and what can reasonably be expected of new directors.

Three Lessons for Private Companies from Public Company Governance

Closely held companies may not be able to afford to accept the mom-and-pop style governance that has long separated public and private concerns. Increasingly, private company executives are embracing the more structured governance processes used by their public counterparts.

There’s a challenge for closely held companies: strengthening governance without compromising the flexibility that many see as their primary advantage in the marketplace. While most public companies have clear rules and strict procedures to ensure everything from regulatory compliance to risk assessment, private companies may be wary of becoming too bureaucratic or beholden to process.

Based on our research with both public and private companies, Deloitte has identified three key areas in which private companies can emulate public company governance in developing their oversight.

Directors Record