Quick links - The Independent Director

"required reading on business’ schools curricula"


"most insightful"

The Financial Times

The Independent Director

Independent Chairmen and Directors play a crucial role in business today. This comprehensive, global guide provides a unique insight into what it's like to be an Independent Chairman and Director, the contributions made to companies, and the challenges faced in these roles.

It features a large range of international case studies from different sectors, which are used to explore eight central themes critical to business today. Supported by academic research and interviews with business leaders, the book provides a rare emphasis on 'soft skills', the importance of cultural flexibility, relationship building, and the value to boards of an independent perspective.

It is essential reading both for current and aspiring Independent Chairmen or Directors, as well as for companies seeking to improve their boards.

Published by Palgrave Macmillan.

Some of the questions answered in The Independent Director

What are the main challenges faced by Independent Directors?

What are the most difficult problems for Independent Directors?

How do these vary in different parts of the world?

Does the type of ownership of companies have an impact?

Are there differences between the sectors?

What are the main aspects of the role?

What is the job of the Chair?

What are the main attributes required to be successful?

How can a portfolio of positions be developed?

What are the rewards?

Why would a person want to be an Independent Director?

How do you get your first appointment?

What does the future look like for Independent Directors?

Matthew Blagg CEO, Criticaleye

This is an important and impressive book. It seems amazing that such a pivotal role has rarely been covered in the is way. As Gerry articulates, to look at the role solely as an act of governance is to fundamentally diminish its key function: to ensure that both executive and non-executive directors are focused on creating shareholder value. All too often in the work we do with boards, the remit of the independent director is, at beast, undervalued – gerry is not only educating the reader but creating a debate that can only lead to better-quality board performance, whether that is within the context of a private equity-backed or publicly traded company.

Hugh Lenon Chairman, Phoenix Equity Partners

A fascinating and honest account of the opportunities and pitfalls of life as an Independent Director. Gerry Brown has a unique blend of executive and non-executive experience and his book brims with authority and useful tips. For those of us on Boards, The Independent Director is a must read.

Sarah Laessig The Wharton Club of the United Kingdom

Gerry’s wealth of experience and wise counsel for existing and aspiring independent directors was a great mix of guiding principles and practical advice. having served on boards in the US, UK, Europe and Japan, gerry is perfectly placed to provide globally applicable advice on the theme.

Peter Waine Director, Hanson Green

I thought there was no justification for another business book, least of all on corporate governance. I was wrong. Gerry Brown offers a rare mixture, deep thinking combined with practical experience, tested and conveyed via a rich array of eclectic corporate cultures and against different business cycles. Whether setting out as an independent director or if you are a seasoned traveller this book is a must read

Dr. Roger Barker Director of Corporate Governance and Professional Standards Institute of Directors

This book is a lively and thought provoking read which rightly acknowledges the increasingly central role of the independent director on company boards. Drawing on numerous real-life case studies, it demonstrate the variety and complexity of the dilemmas faced by the independent directors.

Dennis Gillings Executive Chairman, Quintiles Transnational Corporation Inc.

A comprehensive and practical review of issues facing Independent Directors in today’s ever increasingly complex business environment. The stage is set perfectly for penetrating discussions of difficulties and nuances surrounding decisions Independent Directors must make. Provocative, educational, opinionated, and entertaining – a must read!

Robin Mason Dean, University of Exeter Business School

With the ongoing controversy about corporate governance, you would expect there to be an excellent book on the role of non-executive directors. Now, thankfully, there is.The product is an account of the how, what and why of being a non-executive director that should be compulsory reading: and not just for non-executives. This book should be on every MBA reading list.

Marianne M. Jennings Professor Emeritus, Legal and Ethical Studies in Business, Arizona

Gerry Brown has it right. There is little that has been written for independent directors on the affirmative side. Rather than just playing defence to prevent shareholder lawsuits, minimize liability, or, above all, follow the governance processes, Gerry Brown has something novel to offer: How about a director that moves the company forward? The book is a welcome addition to the resources for independent directors and provides boards, and directors with the tools and insights they need to contribute to business success.

Chester W Douglass, DMD, PhD Professor Emeritus of Health Policy and Epidemiology

Gerry Brown is a businessman of great experience and exceptional incite. His understanding of the critical role of the independent director is unusually perceptive. Professors are frequently asked to serve as independent directors by a wide array of large , small and aggressively growing corporations. With its 11 cases and 8 themes, The Independent Director will be a great help for anyone needing to understand the pressures of this role and its important responsibilities. I believe this book will be an excellent background resource for case studies in schools of Business, Law and Health Sciences , as well as Public Policy and Management Programmes . It will be on the required reading list for my Health Policy course in the School of Public Health next year.