Building a Worldclass Board 2016
Building a Worldclass Board 2016


A 3-day Education Program on Corporate Governance for Family Companies

TODAY’S BUSINESS LANDSCAPE sees an accelerating rate of technological change, unprecedented competition and increased globalization. More than ever before, family companies need high-performing, strategic boards that help the owners think about the company’s future. Having a company that is well-steered by a strong board is a significant advantage for the owners of family companies.


The Building a Worldclass Board for the Family Enterprise program provides an orientation on the fundamentals of boards for family companies.

How would a high-functioning board benefit your company and owners? How do you create a board, manage it, strengthen it or change it to meet the current and future needs of your business? How do you best contribute as a director on a board of a family business? How do you lead a family business board that you chair?

Over three days, through rich discussion, classroom sessions, exercises and Harvard case studies, participants will understand boards more deeply and acquire skills to effectively contribute as board members now and in the future.

Topics and themes include:


  • Why have a board?
  • What does the data reveal about good boards and company performance?
  • How can owners maximize the value of their board?
  • What are the different types of boards, and which is right for my family business?
  • What should a board provide to the owners and the company?


  • What are the responsibilities of boards?
  • What is the board’s role in setting strategy, monitoring performance, overseeing management and CEO succession?
  • What are the proper boundaries and means of coordination between shareholders, management and the board?
  • How can boards effectively connect to the owners and family, particularly with growing sibling and cousin ownership groups?


  • How do you compose an effective board? Who should serve on it? What is the appropriate size? What are appropriate qualificationsfor family directors and independent directors?
  • What is expected of directors?
  • How do you recruit and compensate board members?
  • What are appropriate terms of office and retirement ages?
  • What are special considerations when recruiting independent directors?
  • How can family directors contribute appropriately to the board?
  • Which board committees are necessary?



  • What does an effective board meeting accomplish and look like?
  • What are the best practices for effective board agendas?
  • What is the role of the Chairman vis-à-vis the CEO?
  • What are the qualities of an effective Chair?


  • How do you create a new board? How do you improve an existing board?
  • How and when do you turnover your board members?
  • How do you evaluate your current board?
  • How does a board become a successful decision-making group?
  • How do you prepare the next generation of board members?


Program Chair: Eduardo Gentil

Program Chair: Eduardo Gentil

Fellow, Cambridge Advisors to Family Enterprise

Eduardo Gentil is an advisor to business families on issues related to succession, financial planning, ownership strategies, governance and recruiting and retaining a non-family CEO. Since 2000 he has led the São Paulo office of Cambridge Advisors to Family Enterprise, a global advisory firm serving business families, where he is Senior Partner. Prior to advising family enterprises, Mr. Gentil spent his career in investment banking in Brazil and New York.

Professor John A. Davis

Professor John A. Davis

Founder and Chairman, Cambridge Institute for Family Enterprise;
Chair, Families in Business Program, Harvard Business School

For over thirty years, John A. Davis has served as an academic, advisor, writer and speaker in the family enterprise field. He is a leading authority on family enterprise and family wealth. He is Founder and Chairman of the Cambridge Institute for Family Enterprise, and Chair of the Families in Business program at Harvard Business School. He is author of Enduring Advantage: Collected Essays on Family Enterprise, Next Generation Success and Generation to Generation: Life Cycles of the Family Business, a preeminent work in the family enterprise field.

Andrew Hier

Andrew Hier

Fellow, Cambridge Advisors to Family Enterprise

Andrew Hier is an advisor to business families globally, specializing in family and business governance, shareholder relationships, ownership strategies and succession issues. Mr. Hier is co-author of the forthcoming book, Understanding the Power of Ownership. He is active in the Family Firm Institute (FFI), an association of advisors serving families, having co-chaired the 2014 Global Conference, and holds a certificate in family business advising from FFI.

Philippe Haspeslagh

Philippe Haspeslagh

Professor and Honorary Dean, Vlerick Business School

Paulo Vasconcellos

Paulo Vasconcellos

Fellow, Cambridge Institute for Family Enterprise; Senior Associate Partner, Cambridge Advisors to Family Enterprise

Paulo Vasconcellos is an advisor to business families on strategies for the successful continuity of their enterprises. He is senior associate partner at Cambridge Advisors to Family Enterprise, a highly specialized international advisory firm serving family enterprises. Based in São Paulo, Brazil, Mr. Vasconcellos has advised multigenerational family enterprises of diverse sizes, generations and industries in Brazil since 2001. His areas of focus include corporate governance; preparing family members for board positions; leadership development for CEOs, board members and the next generation; and executive coaching.


This program is well suited to current and future board members and owners of a family-owned or family-controlled enterprise of any size, generation, industry and geography. It is particularly useful for those who would benefit from an orientation to how good boards function.

Whether your family business has a board you want to strengthen, is considering creating a board, or will soon appoint new directors to your board, the program is useful to:

  • Current board members (family and non-family) who want to contribute more effectively to the board
  • Future board members or successors who want to understand the fundamentals of boards and how to contribute to them
  • Chairs of boards who want to know how best to run a strong board
  • Owners of family companies who wish to set up a new board, improve a current board, or want to know how best to use their board
  • Family members interested in increasing their knowledge of high-performing boards

$7,500 USD per person
$6,500 USD per person for groups of 3 or more from the same family or company. 

Space is limited so register today.