Dear readers,

It’s been another action packed Q3. The GCC BDI team was delighted to oversee one of the region’s major director events – our flagship annual Chairman Summit, in partnership with Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest private company.

The Riyadh-based event was opened by HE, Eng. Khalid A. Al-Falih, Minister of Energy, Industry, and Mineral Resources and Saudi Aramco chairman – a veteran board director at the helm of one of the world’s largest oil producers.

He spoke with passion about how effective board directors are critical to steering the country’s future in a time of social flux and national evolution. “Board directors must uphold the highest standards of corporate governance and put in place the right systems and processes to deliver change.”

The Chairman Summit continues to be a must-attend event for GCC board members and industry experts to share local knowledge and introduce international best practice. More than 70 chairmen and board directors convened at this event to listen and engage with panels and talks under the theme of, “Leading the board through changing times”.

Critical to the evolution and management of the board is the role of the board secretary. Though often misunderstood and undervalued, we’ve dedicated this month’s newsletter to the importance of this role – a high-quality board secretary’s contribution to good corporate governance is invaluable. Their special mix of leadership, practical knowledge, breadth, depth and diplomacy makes them critical in creating effective boards.In the issue, we explore how the relationship between the chairman, the CEO and the board secretary is key to the effectiveness of the board and the company as a whole. We also feature a real life account from Hanan Ahmad, company secretary for the chairman’s office at UAE telco, duAnd we will be running a 1 day workshop for Board Secretaries in Bahrain on 4 December- See more by clicking this link.

In other news, we’ve ramped up our profile in the region with the launch of our new logo and brand design, which was launched and well received at the Chairman Summit. Read more about the conception of the new design by Emperor here on this link.

We have also added a host of new events to our regional calendar. In November, we’re hosting the region’s first-ever Joint Venture Director Workshop, in conjunction with Water Street Partners. In December, GCC BDI will host the popular The Foundations of Directorship two-day workshop that deals with contemporary board issues.

And finally we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at our next Alumni Dinner in Bahrain on 6 December.

I hope you enjoy this issue of Al Majlis.

With my warmest regards,

Jane Valls
Executive Director