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Shaping the Board of the Future: The Rise of the Digital Non-Exec Director

29 January 2016


The risk of increased global transparency means the Financial Services sector needs leaders with strong digital acumen. PwC’s most recent global annual survey of Board Directors resulted in 9 out of 10 Chief Executives believing they “should champion the use of digital technologies to get the most from investment”. So is the FS world becoming digitally literate? Today’s hiring trends certainly show that change is happening.

Executive and Non-Executive Directors are fully aware that their biggest task for 2016 is to protect their business from cyber-crime and terrorism. In today’s crowded C-suite, those who have the skills, hindsight and expertise to drive insurance firms and banks forward, working their key assets harder than ever before (these key assets being data) are leading the way in the Financial Services sector. Hence, the rise of the Non-Exec Director with digital experience (or the D-NED) being the most talked about key hire of today.

Who is the D-NED? Quite simply, an accomplished business professional, likely to be an ex CEO who has driven and influenced their business, thus bringing with them a range of sought after skills married with an extensive understanding of the digital space. Not forgetting a little black book of key contacts able to deliver and advise on digital projects that will add real bottom line value to the business. The D-NED works closely with the Board, to ensure that each department contributes to the overall business strategy and vision. Their overarching skill? They have the expertise to get the most out of the information the company holds, turning the data into sales. The Digital Non-Executive Director provides advice and expertise in online and e-commerce, acting as a sounding board for all things digital. Crucial in a digital age.

The question is, with demand for this role outweighing supply, how do we secure more digital leaders to ensure UK business and our economy as a whole can best compete on the world stage? Let us know your thoughts and tweet us @OJAssociates.

At Oliver James Associates, our Digital division is able to help you pinpoint exactly what you need from this role. We can refine your brief and encourage a strategic plan centred around your hiring needs – be it transformation or innovation. 

For an open and confidential conversation, contact Tom Pain – Manager, Digital division at Oliver James Associates – 0203 675 6821 –

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