Corporate Directors Confront The Impacts Of Economic And Geopolitical Risks On Strategy

Economic disruptions.

Posted by Heidi Schwartz

The need for corporate directors to think like emerging market investors was a key message at the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD)‘s recent NACD Directorship 2020 forum. During the event, more than 100 corporate directors convened to hear experts in the fields of economics and geopolitics discuss current and emerging trends.

Douglas Rediker, a visiting fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and executive chair of International Capital Strategies LLC, addressed the impacts on the business environment of domestic and international monetary policies and economic shifts. Dan A. Alamariu, executive director and head of U.S. Country Risk for UBS, spoke about the effects of evolving geopolitical disruption on corporate strategy and the continued risk of cybersecurity attacks from overseas actors. Rediker and Alamariu were joined by board leaders and subject-matter experts from Broadridge, KPMG, Marsh & McLennan Cos., and PwC to explore the boardroom implications of these disruptive forces.

“Directors need to be prepared to operate in an increasingly complex and dynamic environment,” said Charles H. Noski, director of Avon Products, Microsoft, and the Priceline Group. “As the Report of the NACD Blue Ribbon Commission on Strategy Development advises, boards must rethink their approach to strategy oversight and engage with management more frequently on strategy development and course correction.”

Shareowner activism, emerging technologies and regulatory activity, coupled with a rapidly changing global environment, will create an even more challenging role for directors over the next decade. NACD Directorship 2020 identifies global forces that are expected to influence corporate strategy over the long term and enables directors to draw on the components of effective board leadership to help their management teams not only to anticipate the associated risks but also to capitalize on the opportunities these disruptive forces can offer.

“Brands can be irretrievably tarnished overnight,” said Michael T. Marquardt, CEO of Global Kompass Strategies and a director of both the American Cancer Society South Atlantic Division and Commonwealth Trust Co. “NACD Directorship 2020 helps directors see beyond the horizon to anticipate and prepare for market shifts that may dramatically impact the strategies of their organizations.”

The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) is the advocate for the profession of directorship and is focused on advancing exemplary board leadership. NACD delivers insights and resources that more than 15,000 corporate director members rely on to make sound strategic decisions and confidently confront complex business challenges. NACD provides world-class director education programs, national peer-exchange forums, and proprietary research to promote director professionalism, ultimately enhancing the economic sustainability of the enterprise and bolstering stakeholder confidence.