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Simons wants to raise profile of IoD members

Re-elected: Rochelle Simons will continue in the role of chairman of the Bermuda branch of the IoD

The newly re-elected chairwoman of the Bermuda branch of the Institute of Directors says its members can play a larger role on the boards of island-based companies.

Rochelle Simons says she wants to raise the profile of IoD members who are available for board appointments, and to close the gap between those who require independent non-executive directors and those available to serve in that capacity.

“In the future, I look forward to the branch becoming the key resource on governance matters in Bermuda,” she said.

“While the number of certified directors is certainly not large enough to satisfy director requirements for the 13,000-plus companies on the Bermuda register, they are a qualified resource added to the existing pool of professionals available to serve.

“Wouldn’t it be great if nominating committees on the largest public and private companies on-island adopted an approach to appoint at least one certified non-executive director to their boards?”

In the near future, the IoD said, it will launch a drive to make boards aware of the pool of talent available locally and to inform them of training opportunities for directors or those earmarked for possible director roles.

Mrs Simons said some highlights during her tenure as chairwoman include a shift to corporate sponsorship of employee director development; more companies seeking private training for directors and executive teams as well as growth in the number of women joining the IoD and completing professional designations.

Some 53 people have completed the certificate in company direction designation, the IoD said.

“This is a very significant accomplishment for our small jurisdiction, especially considering that exams only began in 2014,” Mrs Simons said.

“The jurisdiction must continue to embrace best practices and standards, and it will be the individual directors and collective boards who will be charged with being fit for purpose to lead their companies to success.

“I would be satisfied knowing that IoD Bermuda offerings have contributed positively to director engagement and company successes. Better directors. Better business. Better economy.”

Mrs Simons is a director of Sound View Ltd, consultant general manager for the Bermuda Captive Owners Association, and a trustee of the Bermuda Housing Trust.