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The 2017 Non-Executive Directors' Association Debate

Sunday 22 July 2018

The 2017 Non-Executive Directors' Association Debate

Date: 20 September 2017

Venue: Smith & Williamson, 25 Moorgate, London, EC2R 6AY

Boards of directors and individual directors at all levels of corporate activity are increasingly in the spotlight in terms of how they operate and how they perform. Shareholders, as well as broader stakeholder groups, have expectations that may exceed those of the board itself. Board performance evaluation is a discipline that a broader range and size of company is adopting however the basis and standard of the evaluation process itself often lacks rigor and direction.

Invitation to attend

On Wednesday 20 September 2017, the Non-Executive Directors’ Association (‘NEDA’) and Smith & Williamson are hosting a formal debate that will question whether board performance evaluation lacks real purpose and conviction with directors too often ending up patting themselves on the back rather than putting the boardroom under the microscope.

This is an interactive session and we encourage YOU to attend and to get involved in the debate.

The Debate motion will be:

" This house believes that board performance evaluation is failing to improve effectiveness in the boardroom "

Creating the Boardroom dynamic

The Debate Chairman will be Barry Gamble who has previously chaired a number of NED debates, and in adopting the debate format to explore this very topical issue we are recognising there is a parallel between a debate and a boardroom. In each situation, there must be respect for the opposing view, but also an atmosphere of constructive challenge after careful listening. A good decision will hopefully result through the examination of alternative approaches. 


The formal debate style really has its place particularly when tackling difficult and contentious topics. The debaters will be speaking without ‘PowerPoint’, presentations or props and relying on words alone to persuade and win over the floor. We may never know their true personal positions but we hope that through theirs and your energetic participation there will have been a tangible contribution to thought leadership on this important topic. 

The Debaters

Proposing the motion is:

  • Sharon Constancon, CEO, Governance specialists, Genius Methods; seconded by
  • Guy Wilson, Independent NED Fresnillo plc.

Opposing the motion is:

  • Barbara Moorhouse, NED, Balfour Beatty plc, Microgen plc and Idox plc; seconded by
  • Ian Davies, NED, Harvey Nash plc and BMT Group. Visiting fellow Cranfield University


25 Moorgate


17.15 - 17.45 Registration

17.50 (Prompt) The Debate

19.00 Networking, drinks and canapes

Rules of the House-The 2017 Non-Executive Directors Debate

  • An indicative vote will be taken prior to the debate
  • The time allotted to each speaker will be strictly observed
  • The Chairman will signal the end of the allotted time for each speaker
  • No points of information or order from the floor will be taken during a speaker’s time
  • Contributions from the floor will be restricted to two minutes and
  • “advertising” will meet with disapproval from the Chairman
  • The Chairman will decide who to call from the floor
  • All electronic devices to be switched off during the debate
  • A final vote will be taken after the debate.
  • The Chairman’s word is final.

The event is free and places are on a first come first serve basis.

Book your place today by contacting:

The autumn programme of NED events will kick-off with a formal debate on the key issue of how boards measure their own effectiveness – how can a good board performance evaluation make a difference?