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The 2018 Non-Executive Directors' Association Debate

Thursday 25 April 2019

The 2018 Non-Executive Directors' Association Debate

Date: 16 October 2018

Venue: Smith & Williamson, 25 Moorgate, London

“The company’s non-executive directors failed to scrutinise or challenge reckless executives”…this is one of the  key findings set out In the report on Carillion published in May 2018 by the Work and Pensions & BEIS Committee.  

 Invitation to attend the Debate

On Tuesday 16 October 2018, the Non-Executive Directors’ Association (‘NEDA’) and Smith & Williamson are hosting the annual NED Debate which this year will question whether NEDs are doing enough in the current climate to positively challenge and engage with the executive team.

The Debate motion will be:

This house believes that NEDs are failing to hold the executive to account.  

 Creating the Boardroom dynamic

The Debate Chairman will be Barry Gamble who has previously chaired a number of NED debates. In adopting the debate format to explore this very topical issue we are recognising there may be a close 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. 

 The Debaters

The Debate teams have been hand-picked to provide a range of views and perspectives.

Proposing the motion is:

  • Peter Williams, Chairman plc, SID Rightmove plc NED U and I Group plc; seconded by
  • Jacqui Ferguson, NED Tesco Bank, NED Wood Group, NED Croda International plc, UK NED Awards 2018 "One to Watch" Winner

Opposing the motion is:

  • Terri Duhon, NED Rathbone Brothers plc, NED Morgan Stanley, Associate Fellow Said Business School, University of Oxford; seconded by
  • Gary Browning, Chairman EtonBridge Partners Ltd & Corndel Ltd, NED CloudCall plc

No one should assume that the debater's personal views either do or do not coincide with the side of the motion for which they are arguing.

The Debate will be a lively, interactive session with an indicative vote on the Motion at each end of the formal debating process and in the past votes have moved and been swayed by both the debaters and participants from the Floor - we therefore encourage YOU to attend and toget involvedand make a difference from the Floor.


25 Moorgate


16:00 - 16:30 - Arrivals & Registration
16:30 - 18:00 - The Debate
18:00 onwards - Drinks & Networking

Book your place today by e-mailing:

2017 Debate Feedback:

“I really liked the format and the way it was facilitated and set up”....

“Excellent job and the format allowed more easily for contrasting points of view. The participants did a very good job - nice balance of views and styles”...

“I thought the debate itself was great with some very interesting leaders and proposals with great chairing by Barry”,,,

“9/10... Don’t ask me what would get a 10/10, but you have to leave something to go for next time!”

“10/10 for a debate rather than a speech. Excellent choice of panel of speakers and inclusion of the floor”... “Very well chaired by Barry Gamble. Brave speakers”...

“This was a very good event, the speakers/debaters were excellent and the location very good”...

“I enjoyed the evening and learnt a good deal. Nothing but good things to say about it!”...

“A very good debate, superbly hosted by Barry !... I just disagreed with the result!”...

*Please note that your name and organisation details will be passed to Smith & Williamson in order to process your registration for this event.*

The 2018 Non-Executive Directors' Association Debate will take place on Tuesday 16th October 2018, with the motion 'This house belives that NEDs are failing to hold the executive to account.' The debate will be chaired by Barry Gamble.