This morning corporate governance expert and board diversity champion Charlotte Valeur has become the new Chair of the Institute of Directors.
Charlotte has held seven directorships at public companies, including three as chair, over the last decade. With a background in finance including stints at Societe Generale, BNP-Paribas and S.G. Warburg, Charlotte has experience in a range of sectors, from property and infrastructure to renewable energy. Her board appointments have included FTSE 250 3i Infrastructure and Kennedy Wilson Europe Real Estate, where she oversaw an $8bn merger with the firm’s US-listed parent company. Charlotte’s unlisted experience includes a non-executive directorship with the international engineering firm Laing O’Rourke.
Originally from Copenhagen and speaking six languages, Charlotte is a specialist in corporate governance, founding and running her own advisory firm, the Global Governance Group.
She is also a keen advocate for diversity in the boardroom, and has backed this up with action by founding Board Apprentice. This non-profit organisation provides individuals hands-on experience at the very top of business, and has been cited in the Government’s recent reviews on ethnic and gender diversity in UK boardrooms as a resource for effecting real change.
Stephen Martin, Director General of the IoD, said:“Charlotte brings with her an impressive range of experience, gained by leading businesses of different sizes and sectors. This will put her in tune with the breadth of IoD members. As a member herself for over a decade, Charlotte possesses a first-hand understanding of what the Institute can and should be providing for the director of today.
“With a new Chair in place, I’m confident that we can further strengthen our position as the UK’s leading governance institute. I know that Charlotte’s insight and genuine commitment to good governance will ensure we are perfectly placed to lead as we begin a fresh chapter in the Institute’s history.
“On top of this, Charlotte doesn’t just talk the talk when it comes to diversity. With Board Apprentice she has already made a genuine difference, and I’m sure she will continue in this vein as Chair of the IoD.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Chris Walton for his work as Interim Chair. He has brought his considerable experience to bear in the position, guiding the IoD through the last few months with great skill and dedication. The IoD owes Chris a great deal of thanks.”
Chris Walton, outgoing Interim Chair, said:“I am very pleased to be able to pass the baton on to Charlotte, who has a breadth of business experience and a passion for corporate governance. The last few months have been a period of renewal for the IoD, and Charlotte and Stephen are well placed to take the organisation on to bigger and better things.
“It has been a pleasure to serve as Interim Chair of the Institute. The country needs skilled and knowledgeable business leaders, now more than ever, and I know the IoD will continue to be a vital source of support and development for them for many years to come.”
Charlotte said: “It’s a privilege to be appointed Chair at such an historic institution. But more than this, I see it as an exciting opportunity to contribute to the IoD as it embraces the needs of the modern business leader.
“It’s imperative that people of all backgrounds know that the world of business is not a closed shop, and the IoD has a major part to play in achieving this. Firms draw strength from their diversity of perspective, while the good standing of business leaders in society relies upon the route to the top being open to all.
“Good corporate governance is not only fundamental to the IoD’s charter, but is also one of the UK’s prime assets in the global marketplace. I look forward to continuing the IoD’s work providing first-class professional development for directors and leading the governance policy debate. With the challenges of the modern business environment only increasing in complexity, the IoD’s role supporting, training, and connecting leaders is more vital than ever.”