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School of Business and Management

Is the boardroom fit for 21st Century business?

When: Monday, February 28, 2022, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Where: Lecture Theatre, G.O. Jones Building, Mile End

Speaker: Mr Simon Laffin, non-executive director at Watkin Jones PLC and Dentsu Group Inc

Corporate governance is important in setting out the basic rules for how boards and companies should behave. However, understanding why boards make the decisions they do, how they make those decisions and why some are successful and others aren’t, requires a practical understanding of how senior leaders take decisions together as a team. How do boards select and recruit new members? Why are they so predominately elderly, white and male? How do executive and non-executive directors work together? Why do some boards make bad decisions? In a fast moving digital virtual world, is the boardroom really fit for the challenges facing 21st century businesses?

Guest speaker biography

Mr Simon Laffin is a mentor, author and non-executive director at both Watkin Jones PLC, a UK-listed property developer and Dentsu Group Inc, a Japanese-based global media group. Having served on boards for over 30 years, he has been Chairman of Assura PLC, Flybe and Hozelock groups. He has also served as a non-executive director at Quintain Estates and Development PLC, Aegis Group PLC, Mitchells & Butlers PLC and Northern Rock (as part of the rescue team). He was also an adviser to private equity house, CVC Capital Partners. Prior to this, he was Group Finance & Property Director of grocery chain, Safeway PLC. He is a qualified accountant, blogger and former columnist for Retail Week. His book, ‘Behind Closed Doors. The Boardroom: How to Get In, Get On and Make A Difference’ was published in September 2021.

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