Meeting and Learning from Other Independent Directors
Because peer-to-peer discussion between directors is often the best way to learn about emerging issues and the industry as a whole, the Forum provides numerous opportunities to benefit from others' experiences. Informal issue breakfasts, participation in working groups, and working together at formal educational programs provide invaluable opportunities for directors to learn, build professional relationships with other directors, and take new ideas back to their boards.
Access to Educational Programs
The Forum's educational programs focus on helping our members enhance their effectiveness as independent directors. Programs cover a wide variety of current and emerging issues of concern to independent directors at all experience levels. Member input about program topics helps ensure that our educational programs are responsive to the issues of greatest concern to fund directors. Forum members pay a reduced registration fee to attend our innovative programs, and receive advance notice of the Forum's informal regional breakfast discussions.
Participation in Drafting Best Practice and Other Guidance
In the fast paced and constantly changing fund industry, independent directors, upon whom much responsibility is placed, can find it challenging to keep up with developments in market conditions and regulatory policy. The Forum, through its website, published guidance, newsletter, and updates to members, gives members the tools they need to meet these challenges. Forum members participate actively in drafting industry guidance. Every member board has a seat on the Forum's Steering Committee, which reviews all draft comment letters and other position papers prior to issuance.
Representation on the Forum Steering Committee
Each member group has a seat on the Forum's Steering Committee, giving members the opportunity to participate on a regular basis in the planning of Forum activities, the formulation of Forum policy positions, and the development of practical guidance. The Steering Committee is integral to the success of the Forum, and its composition assures that Forum activities and positions represent the diverse views of our membership.
Access to Director Candidate Database
Fund boards are best served when they can select from a wide range of qualified candidates to fill board positions. To assist in this endeavor, the Forum has developed a database to bring together candidates interested in serving on fund boards with boards looking to add new directors. The database can help member fund boards identify candidates that match particular search criteria. Candidates answer questions that cover biographical information and work experience that could be of specific interest to a fund boards and upload their resumes directly into the database. The information in the database allows the Forum to provide Forum members with resumes of candidates that meet the criteria identified by the interest board. All search results are confidential – candidates are not informed in any way that their information has been provided to a fund board. Click here if you are interested in receiving information about director candidates.
Exclusive Access to Side A Insurance Policy
Enhanced insurance coverage is available exclusively for the Forum's independent director members through Everest Specialty Underwriters and Frank Crystal & Company. The new Side A Difference in Conditions ("DIC") insurance policy will provide coverage for costs:
- related to shareholder derivative demand investigations and for a director's testimony as a third party witness in civil litigation or in connection with informal SEC or other regulatory requests and
- incurred for responding to negative statements in the press or from a regulator or court that result in a personal reputation crisis.
The Forum worked with Everest and Frank Crystal to make this coverage available to independent directors, but has no financial relationship whatsoever with those entities and will receive no compensation of any sort from sales of the policy. Everest agreed to offer the policy exclusively to Forum members after reviewing the high quality independent director educational programs and materials developed by the Forum.