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THE OFFICIAL CONSULTANCY SPECIALISTS
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Better Boards offers you a unique combination of practical, hands-on experience and know-how, cutting-edge research and innovative consultancy, enabling you to get the very best from your executive and governing boards and their leadership teams. 

What makes us different?

  • We are independent.
  • Our approach is evidence based and grounded in research as well as experience.
  • Our programmes are an integral part of the value creation process.
  • We provide executives with a unique, supportive development opportunity.
  • We focus on concrete action planning and do not leave executives wondering what they shall do with the results.
  • Our processes and the access to an on-line tool allow a speedy execution and delivery.

CEOs, directors, other board members, senior managers and investors benefit from the services Better Boards offers.

Benefits for individual participants

Better Boards gives individuals insights into their personal and professional development and helps to bring out the best in themselves:

  • You will understand the variables that make a board / leadership group more effective.
  • You will strengthen your position on the board and within the organisation, by both understanding how others see you in your role and by embracing the variables that really matter.
  • You will learn how to align how you view yourself with how others see you.
  • You will gain a better understanding of your strengths and weaknesses and how these relate to your work on the board and in leadership committees.
  • You will learn how to accelerate your personal development at the top of an organisation in a goal-oriented manner.

Benefits for the Organisation

Organisations also enjoy a myriad of benefits by working with us because Better Boards:

  • Provides better understanding of the variables that make executive, governing and supervisory boards and their leadership teams more effective. Leaders and managers therefore know where to start to improve performance and create even better value.
  • Shows whether leadership committees have the right combination of talents, expertise and personalities and where committees can benefit from additional expertise by recruiting new members and/or delegating responsibilities.
  • Exposes strengths and weaknesses in boards and leadership committees and reduces the risk of conflict, and unsuitable appointments and task delegation.
  • Establishes a feedback culture within the leadership committees, based on which leadership committees and their members can cooperate constructively, develop continuously and create superior value.
  • Helps to establish more effective work processes at top decision-making levels within organisations.
  • Reduces the risk of losing top-talent and expertise undermining value creation.
  • Reduces dependence on external consultants, because stronger boards and committees are able to resolve their own issues.

Benefits for Private Equity Investors

The Better Boards partners have a wide range of experience in the private equity sector. They have worked as C-Level managers, operating partners, board advisors and consultants. They have worked with companies owned by private equity investors and in private equity companies. Better Boards processes are custom-made to the specific requirements of the private equity industry.

 

By working with Better Boards, private equity companies:

  • Improve their position vis-à-vis their own investors (Limited Partners).
  • Reduce risk.
  • Are able to pay back loans acquired for transactions faster due to faster yield generation.
  • Set themselves apart from their competitors and position themselves as true partners of the management of their portfolio companies.
  • Bring about an improved starting position for the next fundraising event.
  • Strengthen their position as reputable partners for senior investment managers.

Better Boards also offers its services to the supervisory board committees of portfolio companies and offers specialised training for investment managers. The training units provide the necessary expertise required for managing the executive board committees effectively, improving performance and implementing the value creation plan quickly, sustainably and seamlessly.

Distinctive expertise in board and senior management development

The partners at Better Boards understand how organisations work from the top down. They know how to get the very best out of boards, senior management and their leadership teams and increase the value of any organisation.

Dr. Sabine Dembkowski

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Dr. Sabine Dembkowski is a trusted board advisor. She works for and with listed companies (FTSE 100, FTSE250, FTSE350, DAX, MDAX), global organisations, Private Equity and leading Professional Service firms and the German Mittelstand.

Sabine and her Better Boards team have conducted extensive research into what makes boards more effective. Better Boards is credited to having identified the seven hallmarks of effective boards and for having developed a practical and innovative solution for taking board audits and development to the next level. The results of her board effectiveness research are published in the US, the UK and across Europe and peer-reviewed.

After studying business management in Cologne and completing a Ph.D. in Bristol (UK), Sabine worked as a management consultant in various leadership positions for A.T. Kearney and Monitor Company in London.

Driven by a passion to get down to the nuts and bolts and create real, long-lasting change in organisations, she combined her experience as a strategy consultant with the latest insights into human performance, psychology, management, and neuroscience and set up two successful businesses: The Coaching Centre and Better Boards.

Her articles appeared in publications such as Harvard Business Manager, The Corporate Board, Real Deal, Accountancy Futures, The International Journal of Mentoring & Coaching, and Business Coaching Worldwide.  In addition to her research into board effectiveness, she published articles about leadership and executive coaching. Sabine has also co-authored various handbooks and standard reference works relating to these topics.

Sabine has been trained as an executive coach in the USA, the UK, and Germany. She is certified to carry out a wide range of psychometric tests and a member of the Executive Coach Team at the London Business School and European Corporate Governance Institute. Sabine lives in London.

Jun Tanaka is a trusted Board Advisor based in Japan.

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He leverages his brand strategy, financial modeling, and HR expertise, honed across ten industries, to assist boards and top executive teams in the value creation process.

During his 27 years of professional service, he has held CFO roles at four companies, namely Japanese (BPO), Interbrand Japan (Strategic Consultancy), Ferrari Japan (Luxury Auto) and Chinese (Telecom) companies.  His other stewardship includes CSO, CAO, CEO and Board positions for the past ten years, with specialties in Corporate Planning, Strategic Alliance, M&A/PMI, Financial Accounting, FP&A, Legal Compliance, IT, HR, Audit, Tax Strategy and Brand Development.

Jun has started his career at Mitsui Banking Corporation where he earned various awards for his sales results.  At Coca-Cola (Japan) Company, he recorded highest local case sales increase in Dispenser Market partnering with Sales Planning Directors of 7 bottling companies activating in total, 300 Sales Consultants.

At Baltimore Technologies he led major PMI project and arranged four strategic alliances.  In 2001, he made his career shift to general management roles and ever since chairs strategy and board meetings.

Jun also has about ten years of post-Certification experience as J-Sox Consultant and IFRS Specialist.  In 2010 he earned his Executive MBA at London Business School, majoring in Private Equity and Strategy.

In 2012 he founded the Chief Branding Officer (CBO) Network and just recently launched Branding Committee at American Chamber of Commerce Japan (ACCJ).  He frequently delivers lectures on Branding and Governance to MBA classes at HULT and Kyoto University.

Jun lives with his family in Tokyo, Japan.

HAWKAMAH

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Hawkamah Institute for Corporate Governance is a world-class corporate governance institute working with the governments and companies of the Middle East and North Africa region to build sound organizations, strong banking and financial sector, and good governance culture.

Hawkamah provides director development training program to board members and company secretaries, conducts corporate governance assessments of public and private sector companies and their boards, produces the landmark Hawkamah-S&P Middle East and North Africa Environment Social and Governance (ESG) Index for listed companies, and organizes conferences and forums and produces publications and research designed to upgrade corporate governance practices and frameworks in the region.

Board Advisor, Board Development, Private Equity, Value Creation

The advisors of Better Boards are nationally and internationally recognised experts in their fields. They help us to improve the services we offer and ensure that these are tailor-made to the ever-changing needs of our clients.

Andrew Boyes-Varley is a senior consultant and board advisor.

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He leverages his broad strategy expertise and his talent selection and development capability, honed across multiple geographies and industries, to assist boards and top executive teams in the value creation process.

Andrew has over 25 years experience in professional services to blue-chip organisations across numerous sectors, including financial services, private equity, telecommunications, aerospace, natural resources, FMCG, and utilities.

His experience has been gained in leadership roles at top-tier professional service firms, including Bain & Company, Egon Zehnder International, NM Rothschild & Sons and KPMG, across multiple continents: Europe, Australia, and Africa.

At Egon Zehnder International Andrew led numerous board search and audit/review engagements. He further developed his competence in auditing/reviewing and developing boards from the methodological approach applied by Egon Zehnder International by working with clients in different continents.  Based on his first-hand experiences of conducting board reviews using other methodologies he is an advocate of the evidence-based and peer-reviewed Better Boards approach.

Andrew commenced his professional life as a Chartered Accountant (CA(SA)), before that he was awarded a substantive commission as a Mounted Infantry Platoon Commander.  He is an alumnus of INSEAD and the University of Cape Town.  Also, to his work with Better Boards, he is the Managing Director of New Dawn Associates (UK) Limited.

Andrew lives with his family in Stratford-Upon-Avon.

Dagmar Kent Kershaw is a senior consultant and board advisor.

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She brings many years of partner-level experience in financial markets, investment management and business development, having invested into and provided capital for over 500 businesses in the UK, Europe, Asia and the US. She is currently active as a non-executive director in the financial sector.

Dagmar has over 25 years experience in engaging with boards and management teams, providing financing solutions for growth and working with management and stakeholders through workout and turnaround situations. She has been an active member of investment committees in two prestigious FTSE-listed fund managers and led large investment teams in multiple jurisdictions.

She is currently Chief Operating Officer at The Colony HQ, a business members club in the heart of the Northern Powerhouse in England’s north west. Here she is involved with businesses of all sizes, from start-up to long-established, and is focused on enabling businesses to operate more efficiently and cost-effectively, creating synergies and business relationships.

Dagmar started her career in banking, followed by 10 years with M&G Investment Management where she built and managed ground-breaking new debt businesses. She then became a partner at ICG Plc, a FTSE-listed alternative investment manager, where her teams managed €9 billion in AUM. She is an economics and economic history graduate of York University.

Professor Dr. Colin Coulson-Thomas

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Professor Dr. Colin Coulson-Thomas is a professor of Human Resources and Organisational Behaviour and one of the leading executive consultants in the UK. He is a respected authority on the development of executive boards and advises leading personalities in British industry.

Professor Coulson-Thomas has been a CEO in businesses that have set new standards in their industries. He has worked with multiple supervisory boards and advisory committees in the public and private sectors. He has helped numerous companies to improve the effectiveness of their boards and senior management and boost business performance. He is a regular speaker at corporate events and international conferences.

Professor Coulson-Thomas leads the highly regarded Winning Business Research Programme in the UK. He has used this programme to research decision-making and governance processes and practices in over one hundred companies. He has overseen various change management and transformation projects. He has been conducting studies on topics relating to management boards and management approaches and practices for over four decades. The findings of his research and his work with companies and executive boards are published in an impressive portfolio of books, reports and articles.

Professor Coulson-Thomas studied at the London School of Economics (Trevennon Exhibitioner), the London Business School, and the EAESP – Fundacao Getulio Vargas (a fellowship programme supported by the Brazilian government). He also studied at the Universities of Aston, Chicago (Deans List) and Southern California (Graduate School Distinction).

Professor Dr. Oliver Gottschalg

Professor Dr. Oliver Gottschalg is a member of the HEC School of Management, Paris (France). He is an academic dean for the TRIUM Global Executive MBA Programme, leads the HEC Private Equity Observatory. He also gives lectures on private equity, management buyouts, business strategies, and entrepreneurship.

After completing his degree in industrial engineering at the University of Karlsruhe and an MBA at Georgia State University, Professor Gottschalg completed a Master of Science and a doctorate at INSEAD.

Professor Gottschalg’s current research focuses on strategic logic and the factors affecting the success of private equity investments. His research findings are published in leading professional journals and other publications. His expertise is often cited in European economic media channels.

Professor Gottschalg’s book on “Private Equity Mathematics” is one of the best-selling books from Private Equity International Media.

Professor Gottschalg is a regular speaker at academic conferences and private equity symposia. He provides consultancy services to leading private equity investors. He has also advised political decision-makers in Germany and other European countries on issues relating to the regulation of the private equity industry. His company PERACS is the leading provider of standardised, independent PE track record analysis and validation services. Currently, PERACS advises approximately 20% of private equity fund managers worldwide on their fundraising activities.

FOR BOARDS THAT WANT TO ACHIEVE MORE…

We apply our research based insights of the ‘Seven Pillars’ of effective boards which proved to generate measurable
business results, are peer reviewed and published in the US, UK and Germany.