Finding outside directors for privately owned family businesses

Create a well-rounded board that can support current and future strategies

One of the board's roles in a family enterprise is to develop and monitor the organization's progress in achieving its strategy. To do this, it is imperative that the board of directors include the mix of skills, experience and backgrounds necessary to guide the company through change and create paths to growth.

Many family enterprises start out with family members filling all seats on the board. But as complexity and growth opportunities increase it become important to find board members from outside the family. These independent directors can bring new and diverse insights that support current and future strategies.

Best practices on evaluating your board’s composition and recruiting outside board members

  1. Assess your current board composition to gain a clear understanding of current board competencies and skills.
  2. Consider your ideal board composition to support the company’s current and future strategies.
  3. Determine your recruitment priorities by identifying any gaps and opportunities, with the goal of supporting the company’s strategy and potential transitions.
  4. Fill key spots with independent directors that meet those needs.

How PwC can help

PwC helps private family-owned enterprises to identify candidates that match their director criteria to reach their recruiting goals and priorities.

Every board is unique, but many have similar needs with regard to the qualities of a successful board member. Generally speaking, strong boards are marked by diversity — including experience, background, age, gender, ethnicity and style. Boards should consider these different attributes to help define the ideal board member and select the best match.

How we've helped others

Finding new board talent

Our team worked with a private family business to identify outside board members to serve on their company’s board of directors. We helped the company assess their current board composition, identify the skills needed on the board, create director profiles for new board seats and develop a process for recruiting new members to fill identified gaps.

Conducting your director search

PwC's Director Database was built specifically for family enterprises. The database holds a large pool of top-notch individuals culled from our vast network of executives and advisors who are interested in serving on boards.

Our clients receive a slate of highly qualified candidates from PwC's Director Database to take through their own interview and selection process, until the ideal director has been identified.

How it works:

  1. The board provides PwC with a candidate profile by describing optimal director attributes
  2. PwC searches for candidates that match the board’s specifications using PwC’s Director Database
  3. PwC provides a slate of candidates that meet the board’s specifications
  4. The board decides which candidates it will interview and selects the best fit

Contact us

Jonathan  Flack

Jonathan Flack

US Family Enterprises Leader, PwC US

Belinda Sneddon

Belinda Sneddon

Managing Director, US Family Enterprise Advisory Services, PwC US

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