Home  |  About Us   |   Be Our Speaker  |  Terms & Conditions  |  Connect With Us
Executive Education
Clariden Leadership Institute
Building and Sustaining an Effective Board (SG)
Seamus Gillen
Value Alpha Limited
Seamus Gillen, Value Alpha Limited


  • A practiced governance adviser with more than 30 years of experience. Former Policy Director at the UK Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA), where he authored ICSA’s 2010 guidance on 'Boardroom Behaviours', and led the working group to produce the FRC’s 2011 ‘Guidance on Boardroom Effectiveness’
  • Produced and implemented a Code of Practice for Independent External Board Evaluations, and has written numerous articles and speaks at conferences
  • Lecturing for the Institute of Directors on directors' duties and also advising on matters relating to reputation and reputational risks, where he works closely with the research and academic body Reputation Institute
  • He has trained directors in the UAE, US, India, Singapore, Malaysia, South Africa and the Baltic States, as well as in the UK where his clients include Standard Chartered Bank, AXA, GSK, Unilever, Hays, Marks & Spencer, ICICI Bank, BAT, Wipro, Microsoft, Lord Mayor and City of London Corporation and many more


Seamus is a practiced governance adviser with more than 30 years of executive management experience gained in senior roles.


Seamus was formerly Policy Director at the UK Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA), where he authored ICSA’s 2010 guidance on 'Boardroom Behaviours', and led the working group which produced the FRC’s 2011 ‘Guidance on Boardroom Effectiveness’. He also led the working group which produced ‘Enhancing Stewardship Dialogue’, a guide to improving communications between companies and institutional investors, and was responsible for the Financial Times/ICSA Boardroom Bellwether, the ICSA Excellence in Governance Awards, and for a range of initiatives relating to the NHS and not-for-profit sectors.


He oversaw the production of ICSA’s technical output, including its best practice Guidance Notes on boards and directors, relating to areas such as ‘Director induction’, ‘Joining the right board’, ‘Non-executive director appointments’, ‘Matters reserved for the board’, ‘Committee terms of reference’, and ‘Care, skill and diligence’.


Seamus has been at the forefront of thinking and practice on governance issues, in the UK and internationally. He has trained directors in the UAE, US, India, Malaysia, South Africa and the Baltic States, as well as in the UK. He has been involved in the production of a Code of Practice for Independent External Board Evaluations, and written numerous articles and speaks at conferences.


Previously, Seamus was the Group Company Secretary and Director of Regulation at Anglian Water (later AWG) plc, advising the board on regulatory, governance, environmental, operational and corporate issues; and Head of Public Policy and Regulation at O2 plc, where he had a similar role. He was originally a Senior Policy Adviser in Whitehall, and was Private Secretary to John Gummer MP, Secretary of State for the Environment, and John Prescott MP, Deputy Prime Minister. He has also served as an Adviser to the French Government.



"Thank you for opening the door of corporate governance, as well as passing over so much knowledge of directors’ duties and liabilities. I would not hesitate to recommend this course to my colleagues."


"I have just completed a four-day Director Development Programme. The programme was extremely interactive with some lively debate, and further highlighted the need for strong Corporate Governance being driven by the Board across the whole organisation. Thanks to Seamus Gillen, of Value Alpha, and all the other participants, for a great few days."

Program Summary


At this interactive and comprehensive two-day executive program, you will obtain a clear view and evaluation of the crucial competencies of developing an effective board that will help you steer your organization towards the intended strategic direction. This program will enlighten the board of directors with a clearer role and purpose in delivering optimal business benefit, reinventing the board structures, harnessing the full capability to deliver high-quality business decisions and safeguarding your organization against potential risks to stay in the forefront in this competitive business.


In addition, you will learn the key relationship between business strategy and risk management that is crucial for your organization to transform to a contemporary board. At the end of this two-day program, you will master the techniques to form an effective team of board members as well as conduct an objective and effective board evaluation to ensure the optimal performance.


Programs, dates and locations are subject to change. In accordance with Clariden Global policy, we do not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, age, national or disability in admission to our programs.



Since the economy was hit by the recession in 2008, the focus on the board directors and its roles and effectiveness in executing business responsibilities has been heightened. The definition of board effectiveness has shifted dramatically, and board of directors is now expected to oversee personal risks and liability instead of just the accountability of the business. The effectiveness of the board plays an undeniably crucial role in the success of any business’ sustainability. Many organizations have hit rock bottom when the board is not performing effectively and strategically. HPE, for instance, suffered from a painful negative $1.5 billion loss this year, jumping from negative $75 million in 2016 when the board of directors was unable to deliver a sustained and competitive performance in the hardware and software business.


To assist organizations to build an effective board, Clariden Global is launching the latest program on Building and Sustaining an Effective Board, led by Seamus Gillen who is a seasoned governance adviser with more than 30 years of experience and former Policy Director at the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA). You will be able to discuss in details with Seamus on how to unlock the key to developing board effectiveness and learn viable long-term strategies to steer your organization into a more strategic position.


By attending this program, you will learn how to redefine the roles and purpose of the board of directors in delivering an optimal business value. In addition, you will also able to acquire valuable tips to reinvent your board structures to harness the full capability in delivering high-quality business decisions, to safeguard your organization against potential risks to stay at the forefront of the competitive edge. In addition, you will master the key relationship between strategy and risk management that is crucial turnaround for the organization from a transition from a contemporary board.


At the end of the 2-day program, you will leave with the techniques in forming an effective team of board members as well as conducting an objective and effective board evaluation to ensure optimal performance.

What You Can Expect


  • REDEFINE the roles and purpose of board of directors in delivering optimal business values
  • DELIVER high-quality business decisions by developing an effective board structure
  • MASTER the key relationship between business strategy and risk management to outperform your peers financially
  • DEVELOP a robust management grid and mitigate risks or business threats to control future processes
  • DISCOVER key techniques of how to form a team of effective board members and select a dynamic team member
  • SUSTAIN board effectiveness and optimal performance through conducting effective board evaluation

Who Will Benefit Most


This highly interactive program is designed for Members of the Board, Chairmen, Non-Executive Directors, Executive Directors, Managing Directors, C-level Executives, Secretaries, Finance, Legal and Compliance Committees of the Board as well as Advisors who work closely with committees from any organization’s Board of Directors, and those who participate in corporate governance, financial and risk management oversight and strategy formulation in the company.

Program Outline




Session 1: Boards as a central feature of best practice governance

  • The purpose of a board
  • The purpose of an organization
  • The business case for corporate governance
  • The board’s role in delivering business benefit


Session 2: The board’s principal role of making high-quality decisions 

  • What high-quality decision-making looks like
  • The three main forms of decision-making delegation 
    o The role of committees 
    o Delegating to the management team 
    o Subsidiaries and Special Purpose Vehicles


Case Study 1 – The Demise of Kodak (Technology) and Blackberry (Telecoms)


Session 3: Improving the quality of decision-making

  • Board support structures
  • MI – Management Intel and Market Intel
  • Quality of board information
  • Lag and lead KPIs
  • Optimizing decision making – avoiding the mistakes


Session 4: ‘Companies don’t fail, boards do’

  • Board roles and relationships
  • Tone from the top
  • Culture, values and behaviours
  • Ethical leadership





Session 1: Understanding the relationship between strategy and risk

  • Sharpening your organizations’ prospects for success by linking business strategy to key drivers of risk management
  • Understanding the risk tolerance and risk appetite conundrum
  • Execution and key performance indicators / key risk indicators
  • Optimizing strategic delivery and achieving strategic success


Session 2: Dealing with the practicalities of risk 

  • Developing a more robust management grid to control future processes
  • Diagnosing your organization’s risk culture
  • Forecasting potential red flags
  • How do we confront the challenge of the ‘unknown unknowns’?
  • Catching the “Black Swan” Before it Takes Flight
  • Staying ahead of the game: the emergence of new risks and the importance of horizon scanning
  • Why risk is as much about the positives, and seizing opportunity


Session 3: Director Effectiveness as a key feature of board effectiveness

  • Director selection
  • Director competencies – getting the best team into place
  • Director attributes – knowledge, skills, experience, independence and diversity
  • Director induction, development and succession planning
  • Identifying danger signals
  • Director remuneration rules and disclosure
  • Staying current and vital


Session 4: Strategies for improving board effectiveness 

  • What a good board doesn’t look like!
  • Board performance
  • Board dilemmas
  • Board behaviours
  • Board evaluation as an assurance mechanism
  • The twelve steps to a performing board
  • Building high-performance organizations


Case Study 2 – How RBS became the world’s biggest failed bank (Financial Services)

CFOs Leadership :
Experience Clariden
Discover how our leadership program has shaped the perspectives of CFOs across Asia
Venue: Shangri-La Hotel Singapore
Date: 2 - 3 Oct 2017
Faculty: Seamus Gillen
Early Bird 1: S$3,395 (by 7 August 2017)
Early Bird 2: S$3,595 (by 4 September 2017)
Regular Fee: S$3,695
Group Discount: 2nd participant get 10%, or register 3 participants and 4th participant get a complimentary seat
(1 discount scheme applies)
Note: GST is applicable to participants from Singapore registered companies.
Contact: karen.nguyen@claridenglobal.org
More Programs
M&A for Board of Directors (CND)
- Thomas Kessler
Financial Modelling for Financial Analysis, Forecasting and Budgeting in Excel (Switzerland)
- Alan Brooke
FATCA and CRS Compliance and Reporting (UK)
- Eugene O'Connell
Developing Influential Presentation and Public Speaking for Directors and Senior Management (HK)
- Deborah Torres Patel
Advanced Predictive Analytics (Sydney)
- Richard Boire
View All Programs >
Home | About Us | Be Our Speaker | Press Release | Terms & Conditions | Connect With Us
Copyright © 2011 Clariden Global, all rights reserved.