PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP issued a report last month addressing the current and future role of lead corporate directors, focusing on the most important elements of their service now and in the future. The results of the survey of lead directors from 16 sectors with revenue ranging from $4 billion to $100 billion suggest that, in the near future, lead directors "will be expected to delve further into shareholder and governance issues, be more involved in risk management, drive succession planning to ensure the process produces top leaders, and strengthen the independence of the board."
The survey participants were asked a series of carefully crafted questions on crisis management, succession planning, risk management and their roles and responsibilities. The lead directors surveyed were also questioned about the amount of additional time required to perform the duties of a lead, and the extent to which they received additional compensation for these duties.
Though the survey is focused exclusively on lead directors of operating companies, mutual fund boards may be able to glean some useful insights from the report and its conclusions.
The full text of PWC's inaugural survey, "Lead Directors: A Study of Their Growing Influence and Importance," is available at here.