May 20, 2016 – The Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF), Greece’s bank bailout fund, has picked Stuart Spencer to undertake a review of the boards of the country’s four big banks, part of a drive to crack down on how members are chosen.
The HFSF currently owns stakes in National Bank, Piraeus Bank, Eurobank and Alpha Bank, after taking part in their recapitalizations.
The evaluation, one of the commitments Greece made in order to receive its third international bailout, aims to boost board level expertise and improve corporate governance.
The HFSF, backed by the country’s official lenders, said the review will be carried out in line with international prudential practices, applying criteria that go beyond minimum supervisory requirements.
It will also be assisted on a technical basis by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Spencer Stuart, a board leadership specialist, and the HFSF will evaluate the size, operation, organization, structure and the allocation of powers and responsibilities within the board of directors and the board committees and will propose improvements and amendments to each institution’s current corporate governance framework.
Spencer Stuart brings to the bail out fund decades of specialized experience in board review and the evaluation of bank-specific corporate governance. It has conducted board evaluations of important banks in the Euro area and the Organization for Economic Co-operation & Development (OECD) countries and it has counseled regulatory and supervisory authorities. The firm is known for its global board index intelligence briefs on boardroom trends and assessment, succession planning, digital transformation and diversity.
As part of its work, Spencer Stuart will compile a detailed evaluation report and recommend actions to improve the boards and the operation of the banks’ committees, the HFSF said.
Spencer Stuart’s scope of work will include, but not be limited to, these criteria:
- Draft, in cooperation with HFSF and in accordance with the best international practices, the evaluation criteria and target skill / profile for the members of the board of directors and the committees;
- Evaluate and review governance structures;
- Compile and present a detailed evaluation report as well as recommend actions for the improvement of the board of directors’ and the committees’ operation.
The outcome of the assignment is expected to contribute to the improvement of the operations of the banks’ boards and committees not only in line with best practices found in other developed regions around the world, but also under the special situations of the Greek banking sector which has had to deal with a challenging economic environment and issues and issues including non-performing loans.
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media