Considerations for Boards as Industry Shifts from Virtual Setting
As pandemic restrictions subside, many advisers are calling employees back to the office and some fund boards are planning to meet in person this fall for the first time in over 15 months. The return to the in-person environment will no doubt bring logistical challenges and raise important oversight questions for the coming year. Some of the issues and questions we have heard directors raise include the following:
- Charter/governing documents: Should boards review whether their charter documents might include policies on vaccination and compensation for virtual meetings?
- Meeting policies: Should boards designate secondary meeting sites for occasions when the adviser’s office is not available; review appropriateness of agenda items for either virtual or in-person meetings; review the frequency of in-person visits with sub-advisers and other service providers?
- Recruiting practices: Will boards’ recruiting practices change, e.g., increased use of virtual interviewing, more emphasis on geographic location of potential new directors in light of future travel restrictions and proximity to meeting locations?
- Adviser workforce: Will boards engage thoughtfully with management on improving oversight of remote or hybrid workforce, maintaining workplace culture, and talent retention as firms compete to offer staff more flexibility?