Mon 10 Jul 2017
News - Directors under 45
Directors under 45

Are you looking for your first mandate and you don't know which steps you should follow? what is important in Luxembourg?

Read the following testimonials, you may get inspired!

Christophe Arnould
To get a chance to be appointed as a Board member for the first mandate would take a certain time. It would last few months maybe more than a year, especially if you’re targeting a regulated entity.
Even if standards of governance may be usually replicated within different type of companies across different economy sectors, to rely on your expertise from your professional background remains key to be attractive for your first mandate: bring added values to the Board with your expertise.
Personal network is of course a booster. To primarily focus on new projects and businesses might be the strategy : to occupy the ground, to plan regular meeting with prospects, to be available for them, to help them factually on their projects for today or maybe tomorrow. All projects won’t be translated into reality: but few will. You must be ready there for those ones. Your time is your best investment for the future.

Franck Willaime
I was quite fortunate because in 2009, I was appointed member of the board of a CSSF regulated investment fund. At that time, I was the Management Director of a software company dedicated to delivering high value add technology platforms to the Asset Management & investment banking communities, and one client asked me to come and sit on the board, to add complementary skills to the existing board composed primarily of portfolio managers and traders. After the 2008 financial crises, a number of investment funds started considering diversifying their board composition, adding complementarity to the board members skillsets and avoiding or reducing conflict of interests at the board level. I had several requests from clients to join their boards.
In 2013, I decided to become a professional director. I completed the INSEAD and ILA certifications. Since then, I concentrated in developing my mandate portfolio. I do so in the investment fund and corporate industry through primarily my network, Banks, 3rd party Management Companies, or technology companies, that I know from my former world in the FinTech industry.
Luxembourg is pushing to diversify its economy and is becoming a central European hub for technology companies. This new trend could therefore represent an opportunity for new directors with the right skills.
In my opinion, the key steps to follow are these:
  • make your network aware that you are available to mandates
  • look at your skill set and see what value you can add to a board, what is in demand
  • identify the boards or industry where your specific skills are lacking and approach them
Today there is more demand for independent directors and there are new networking platforms in the market specific for Non-Executive Directors that can be used as well, such as for example!
I wish all the best to new independent directors.