Board Evaluation has become a regular feature of an effective board's calendar. It is simply the best investment you can make in the continuous improvement of your top team.

Who we are

Independent Board Evaluation (IBE) was founded by Ffion Hague in 2008 and is a stand-alone consultancy of independent practitioners, working solely on board effectiveness reviews. IBE has conducted board evaluations for all kinds of companies, partnerships and organisations across the commercial, public and voluntary sectors. Lisa Thomas has been working in the field since 2011 and they are supported by a team of experienced researchers.

What we do

Over many years, IBE has developed interview based evaluation technique that is light, non-bureaucratic and highly effective. Tailored to your board’s needs, the IBE process can be angled to a specific issue or used as a general assessment of a board’s effectiveness. In partnerships or organisations that are not listed, we bring our experience of best practice to bear so that we can help your board be the best it can be within its particular governance structure. IBE can support boards with an in-depth review of individual governance issues on request.

Our Clients

Our Team

Ffion Hague

Ffion has been evaluating the effectiveness of boards for over fifteen years and founded Independent Board Evaluation in 2008. Between 2003 and 2008 she was a director and shareholder at Hanson Green, a top-level non-executive search company, where she built up the board evaluation practice alongside her search activities. Since 2008, Ffion has focused exclusively on board evaluation in the UK and internationally, running her own practice, Independent Board Evaluation and working with clients in the FTSE 100 and 250 together with private, not-for-profit and public sector organisations.

Ffion's Website >

Lisa Thomas

Lisa has been evaluating board performance since 2011. Lisa has worked with the boards of major UK and overseas companies and legal and accounting firms and has a particular interest in evaluating partnership strucutres. Lisa is a Vice President of the London Welsh Centre, and has served on the London Advisory Board of Maggie's Cancer Caring Centres, and been a Trustee of KINOE.

Lisa's Website >

Patricia Broke

After studying history at university and an early career as a research officer in a government department, Patricia became a recruitment and careers consultant and has a background in both the private and public sectors. She specialises in mentoring graduates and second jobbers through the career-finding process. She has been working on board effectiveness reviews with Ffion Hague for over a decade.

Emma French

Emma has worked for over a decade as a researcher and consultant in the recruitment industry, specialising in financial services. She joined IBE in 2014 and provides senior research input to board effectiveness reviews. Emma is also a prolific freelance travel writer and holds a PhD from the University of Oxford.

Kariné Guzelian

Kariné has spent over twenty years in the recruitment industry working for various leading global search firms. Since 2000 her focus has been on non-executive appointments for FTSE, private, private equity backed and public sector organisations. She joined IBE in 2016 to provide research support on board effectiveness reviews. She holds a BA and an MA in Classics from University College, London.

Claire Moran

Claire started working as PA to Ffion Hague in December 2016. Claire previously worked for 11 years at Berry Bros & Rudd, Wine and Spirits Merchant, initially in the international spirits division and latterly as PA to the Chief Executive. Claire worked previously in PA and office management roles for Diageo, several International Banks and an international environmental consultancy. Claire is a fully trained PA after completing a full time two-year diploma for Bilingual PA (Spanish and French).

Principles

These guiding principles have been designed to standardise best practice for Board evaluation. Created by three leading evaluators, including Boardroom Review, Independent Board Evaluation and Lintstock, and in consultation with shareholders and regulators, they are intended to set professional standards for evaluators, regardless of methodology, and align expectations between clients, shareholders and regulators with regard to quality and integrity of process.

There are four guiding principles for evaluators, and three for clients, that will standardise the quality, credibility and legitimacy of the field, and have relevance across a number of different methodologies.

Four guiding principles for evaluators

Independence - the evaluator must be able to exercise independent and objective judgement. Existing commercial relationships, and other conflicts of interest, should be avoided, and/or disclosed and managed.

Confidentiality - the evaluator must keep all information confidential. The only exception to this is the discovery of unlawful practices or regulatory demands.

Competency - the evaluator will disclose the skills and competences of each individual involved in the evaluation, and provide appropriate references. There must be alignment of expectation between the client and the evaluator with regard to quality, value and longevity of service.

Follow-up - the evaluator will discuss progress on agreed outcomes with clients (to include the Chairman, SID and/or Board) within 6-12 months of the evaluation.

Three guiding principles for clients

Cooperation - there must be full cooperation between the client and the evaluator in order to ensure integrity of process. This will include transparency of, and appropriate access to, Board and Committee information, participants, and meetings.

Transparency - all disclosures, including the Annual Report, must identify the evaluator (and any conflicts), the methodology (including the use of interviews and observation), final outcomes (with reference to accepted recommendations), and the approval process.

Approval - the evaluator should agree and approve any formal disclosures, including the Annual Report, which describe the evaluation.

Testimonials

Ffion’s low key but thorough, firm but fair, unconfrontational approach turned Board opinion from marginally fragmented to wholly supportive. As a result, the review has generated an important and quantifiable contribution to the process of building a Board that is better equipped to do justice to shareholders expectations.

No Board is perfect, there is always room for improvement. Ffion Hague has the great ability to encourage Boards to examine how they perform in a clear and positive way and to build a plan to get better without any unnecessary fear of creating unrest or dysfunctionality between directors.

As a true global partnership, the effectiveness of our board is critical to our future success. Working with Ffion, with her extensive board experience, and Lisa, with her knowledge of partnership culture, was a valuable and enjoyable experience, and delivered an outcome tailored to our needs that provided some real insight.

Contact

Ffion Hague

E: ffion@ibe.uk.com

Lisa Thomas

E: lisa@ibe.uk.com

Claire Moran

E: claire@ffionhague.com