Michele Kythe Lim
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 15 — Demand for world-class boards in the ASEAN markets is set to rise as the region continues to be a major player in global trade and companies here expand into other markets.
Institute of Corporate Directors Malaysia (ICDM) president and chief executive officer, Michele Kythe Lim, said in light of that, the institute planned to spearhead and shape a robust regional network of professionally recognised and respected corporate directors within the region and for the rest of the world.
She said this in her wrap-up speech to close the two-day International Directors Summit 2019 here today.
“Following the conclusion of this summit, ICDM will continue to facilitate more conversations and networking on matters relevant to boards and directors.
“We will proactively identify and raise issues on behalf of our members and the wider director community,” she said.
Lim said ICDM’s goal was to enhance board effectiveness and promote excellence in governance by strengthening the professionalism of directors via a combination of education and development programmes, competency-based sourcing, board evaluation, research and advocacy.
“The reality is that businesses are operating in an environment of great uncertainty, which is also untrusting, unfair, complicated and ambiguous.
“Boards and companies face greater scrutiny today than ever before. Shareholders are increasingly holding board members accountable for their companies’ performance,” Lim said, added this was to ensure companies were able to withstand challenges and mitigate risks, both financial and non-financial.
She also emphasised that in today’s digital age, boards could no longer overlook the culture of diversity.
“To remain competitive, boards must be proactively designed to ensure there is an optimal mix of age, gender, skills, nationality, professional background and other relevant elements.
“Diversity helps guard against ‘groupthink’ because having different perspectives in the boardroom means that the status quo is always challenged and critically re-evaluated.
“This, in turn, will ensure there is a robust and effective decision-making process to help boards face the challenges of the 21st century,” Lim noted.
More than 400 local and overseas participants participated in the International Directors Summit 2019 organised by ICDM.
Over 30 speakers from across Europe shared their views at the inaugural summit.