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“A Seat at the Table” - The Future of Governance

A key theme of the past 12 turbulent months has been the acceleration of ESG. Boards have recognised the risks of ignoring ESG and smart Boards are alert to the opportunity that ESG provides in terms of innovation, licence to operate and access to capital. While Boards are moving fast to understand stakeholder expectations and stakeholder value, a new and important variant has entered the field: state capitalism. In all countries, government has a major role to play in rebuilding economies and securing a green future. During the pandemic, business has felt keenly the consequences of governments needing to move quickly; today’s Boards need to be intensely alert to government which will have an exceptional say in the future of business and the economy in the years to come. Fidelio has seen from our Board assignments that this has clear implications for Board composition and how the Board operates. Effective Boards will be skilled in navigating often disruptive change and will also be good at stakeholder engagement, with government frequently being a key stakeholder.


These are themes vital to the future of governance and Board effectiveness. They will be embedded in Fidelio’s forthcoming “A Seat at the Table” Board Development Programme (16th – 17th March 2021) where we will be exploring:

  • ESG and how it is impacting different types of Boards: quoted, private equity, non-profit and across a range of jurisdictions

  • Board structure: how is the work of the Board accommodating the radical shifts in shareholder and stakeholder expectations, including the implications for:

    • The role of the Chair and the role of the Senior Independent Director

    • Committee Structure – can a traditional Committee structure accommodate the work of sustainability?

    • The contribution of the Company Secretary

  • Shareholders and 2021 AGM expectations

  • Enabling diversity and the role of the Board

  • "Building Back Better"

  • Trust and reputation

  • Government regulation, technology and the implications for Boards

Fidelio will guide participants from a range of leading companies and organisations through these Board challenges. We will be ably supported by talented and highly experienced contributors:



  • Ann Cairns, Executive Vice Chair, Mastercard; Global Chair, 30% Club; Chair, ICE Clear Europe & Financial Alliance for Women; Member, UK Government’s AI Council; Lead Non-Executive Board Member, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)

  • Natalie Ceeney, Chair, Innovate Finance; Senior Independent Director, Countrywide plc; Non-Executive Director, Anglian Water Services; Remuneration Committee Chair, Ford Credit Europe Bank; Vice Chair, Sport England

  • Tony Cocker, Senior Independent Director, SSE plc; Chair, Infinis

  • Jo Harlow, Sustainability Committee Chair, J Sainsbury plc; Supervisory Board Member, CECONOMY AG; Non-Executive Director, Halma plc and InterContinental Hotels Group plc


  • Beatriz Araujo, Partner, Baker McKenzie; Expert on Governance Projects, WEF

  • Rachel Brandenburger, Senior Advisor and Foreign Legal Consultant, Hogan Lovells US LLP

  • David Jackson, former Company Secretary, BP plc

  • Michael Stewart, Global Leader, Corporate Affairs & Communications, PwC

  • Cas Sydorowitz, Global Head of Activism and M&A, Georgeson

  • Gillian Karran-Cumberlege: Head of Chair Advisory, Fidelio Partners; Board Member, German British Forum; Board Member, Chapter Zero

  • Mark Cumberlege: Founding Partner, Fidelio Partners

  • Alistair Stranack: Partner, Fidelio Partners

  • Stephen Cheetham: Senior Consultant, Fidelio Partners


To learn more about Fidelio's “A Seat at the Table” Board Learning Programme, contact Amy at

For further details regarding Fidelio's Search, Evaluation and Development capability, contact Gillian Karran-Cumberlege at


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Gillian - Karran Cumberlege

Head of

Board Advisory

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