FWB Park Brown and the University of Edinburgh Business School are delighted to announce the fourth series of The Non-Executive Director Programme.

Each session is interactive and includes group activities and case studies addressing real events, together with plenary Q&A and discussion.


Due to increasing demand and the circumstances prevailing at this time, the programme will be held online. If we can revert to physical meetings by the date of each session then we will review the situation.

Sessions will take place from 17:00 to 19:00 and will be delivered online via Zoom.


£90 per session

A 20% discount is available if all four sessions are booked at the same time. You can find the Promo Code on the Eventbrite registration page and when you enter it on the ticket page, the discount will automatically be deducted.




In recent years Non-Executive Directors (NXDs) have become the subject of increased scrutiny and analysis leading to higher levels of responsibility and accountability, which in turn has required them to have more knowledge and experience. The global pandemic has added a level of complexity that has seen Boards grappling with unforeseen challenges on an unprecedented scale. This has forced many NXDs to face crisis situations while also searching out new opportunities as they try to survive.

The 2021 Programme will address these issues and help NXDs bring value to their Boards in these constantly changing and uncertain times. As usual, the programme is highly practical, led by experienced Chairs and NXDs, focusing on the key issues every NXD should be aware of. It also caters for those interested in all types and sizes of organisation: listed, private, entrepreneurial, SMEs, public sector and not-for-profit. Each session will again be interactive and include group activities and case studies addressing real events, together with plenary Q&A and discussion.

These sessions have been designed to allow time for interaction and active learning in each area. While each session has a main topic, the discussions and questions will be wide-ranging.

Session One: 21 January 2021

Life During and Emerging from Covid-19: Opportunities and challenges for companies and the implications for NXDs

Angela Seymour-Jackson, Deputy Chair, GoCompare

This has been an unprecedented time for all organisations. Some have flourished, most have struggled, and the expectations and help required from NXDs to support their Boards and add value to ensure long-term growth, sustainability and profitability have never been greater. This session will look at the effects of the crisis and the issues that NXDs will need to contend with going forward. We will explore issues likely to arise in many areas including the Remuneration and Audit Committees, Risk Assessment, and Strategic Growth plans.

Session Two: 18 February 2021

What do Private Equity Investors look for in a potential NXD? How do you get it right when looking for a NXD role?

Panel Speakers

  • Calum Paterson, Managing Partner, Scottish Equity Partners
  • Sarah Hardy, Director & Head of New Investment, Archangels
  • Willie Finlayson, Co-Founder & Director, FWB Park Brown

Much has been written about the fact that technology can help make society more resilient in the face of threats such as the current pandemic. This creates investment opportunities for Private Equity, which will require a strong Board and senior management team to drive value towards a successful exit. NXDs have a crucial role to play in achieving this as they help to guide Executives in developing strategy and building appropriate infrastructure to achieve business goals.

So, what are the skills and experience that Private Equity will look for in making NXD appointments to their investee company boards, and how can individuals ensure they are able to secure an appropriate role in this exciting, challenging and rewarding sector? This session will be with a panel of Private Equity Investors and Head Hunter specialising in NXD and Chair appointments. They will discuss how potential NXDs should position themselves for these roles and what attributes are of most interest to Private Equity investors.

There will be case studies to examine what makes a good NXD in particular challenging situations with small group and plenary discussions. The session will also cover the Due Diligence review that potential NXDs should undertake to ensure a good and lasting fit on both sides, as well as the process of appointment and how to ensure a successful outcome.

Session Three: 18 March 2021

The legal liabilities of a NXD and how to navigate and manage risk

Walter Clark, Corporate Partner, Burness Paull and Bill McCall, Principal, McCall & Partners

This session will cover what a NXD should know about their legal responsibilities and liabilities. It will focus on exemplary relevant legal cases in Scotland/UK of which NXDs should be aware. As responsibilities of NXDs have become more onerous, and successful claims against them have been made, it is important that NXDs are aware of these issues to protect the companies whose boards they are on as well as themselves.

In particular, it is increasingly important that NXDs satisfy themselves that financial information is accurate and that financial controls and systems of risk management are robust and defensible. But how can they ensure they are aware of and comfortable with these from their non-executive standpoint? What questions should they be asking, of whom and how can they confirm that there is adequate risk management in place?

Session Four: 29 April 2021

Meet the CEOs

Ian Ritchie and CEOs

This is an opportunity for NXDs to discuss with CEOs the challenges and opportunities in growing their businesses and exploring the value they can bring to their Boards. The CEOs will come from a variety of businesses across different sectors, some at start-up phase with other more advanced in their growth projections. Our speakers will discuss some of the issues that NXDs need to consider to help achieve successful business growth. We will then split into small breakout groups with individual CEOs to explore the potential of advising their businesses and joining their Boards.