Three Reasons Your Company Should Have an Advisory Board

Maryann G. Bell
May 1, 2024

Privately held companies — especially those owned and operated by families — often have no formal boards. Even if the board exists, many hold a “board meeting” once per year at which the family shareholders and the CEO provide only general business updates. But this often leads to a dearth of both expertise and vital oversight, weakening a business’ ability to adapt and thrive. In this article for Private Company Director, Wingspan Partner Maryann Bell discusses an alternative for privately owned companies when it comes to ensuring good governance: a non-fiduciary advisory board.

In the article, Maryann details the three key reasons why you may want to consider creating an advisory board comprised of independent experts:

  1. Industry expertise: A board comprised of experts in what your company does provide valuable insights that board members who are family members or close associates typically cannot.
  2. Professionalism and governance: An advisory board can stand outside these circles and provide needed advice, accountability and strategic oversight.
  3. Interim management and succession: In the event of an owner or appointed CEO becoming incapacitated or needing to be removed without a succession plan, the advisory board can step in to run the company on a temporary basis, with its expertise and independence providing solid rationale for taking on such a duty.

Read more about the value of an advisory board for privately owned companies by clicking the link below.

For more content, check out Wingspan Insights.

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About Maryann G. Bell

Maryann has led transformation through board work in Austin after almost two decades in finance. Maryann holds a BA from Georgetown University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.