Here we talk to BoardClic co-founder Malin Lombardi about her professional career and her insights into Corporate Governance.
Who is Malin Lombardi?
I’m an ambitious dreamer – a lawyer who broke free from the law firm but remains a very hard working professional. Also a mother of two living in Stockholm with my Italian husband.
What do you do in your free time and what is your favourite destination?
Free time? What is that? I kind of have none. I would like to say that I like to read and travel but what I am more likely to do is watch someone else playing tennis or colouring princesses with my princess. And I like Italy, a lot.
What is your professional background?
I have a law degree from Lund University. Between 2006 and 2015 I was a senior business lawyer with Roschier Attorneys in Stockholm, providing advice to boards, shareholders and senior management in corporate governance matters.
I spent a great deal of my career in law handling delicate matters relating to M&A and securities law, with a focus on public tender offers, private M&A, transaction structures and advice on insider rules.
Why did you join Lagercrantz Associates?
I wanted to venture outside of the legal aspects of business. As I had specialised in corporate governance matters early at the law firm, I had met plenty of boards in situations in which they did not like to be (when they needed legal reviews and legal opinions regarding which decision to make, or the validity of past decisions).
When I first heard of Lagercrantz Associates and the board assessment business I thought: ”That sounds like too much fun to really exist!”. I jumped at the chance to enter into the heart of corporations, their strategic challenges and opportunities, and to help them make sure that they would not end up in a situation in which a legal review of their conduct was necessary.
“Also, through assessing boards and senior management teams, we’re in a position to raise certain questions with people who can really influence society. We’re part of shaping better corporate governance.”
Why is it important to conduct top team assessments?
Firstly, it gives you a basis for a conversation on how to improve. It can confirm your ”hunch” or surprise you completely – prompting further conversation and enquiry (e.g. if there is someone on your tean who is very critical about something that you had no idea about previously).
Either way, a general feeling or a hunch is easier to be pushed aside than when you have a tangible report stating that the circumstances are in a certain way. Having a ”paper trail” increases likelihood of subsequent action.
Secondly, transparency. Reports and subsequent findings and action plans can be made available to e.g. nomination committees, who typically do not have the same insights into the board room as the board itself. On that note, transparency also involves unveiling differences in opinions and priorities within and between your teams, as well as insights on how to align them for a better organisational outcome.
Who are assessments for?
Every board, CEO and management team, and should be conducted once every two to three years – at a minimum. Also, anyone else who cares about continuous improvement and increasing stakeholder value.
How do you see the corporate governance landscape today?
Ambitious and increasingly professional, but people are also a bit anxious. Regulations are piling up and the media scrutiny of corporate board and executives are more aggressive than ever before. Corporations need to move with agility today, it’s a fast-changing world out there.
When did the idea of BoardClic come around?
When I joined Lagercrantz Associates it quickly became evident to me that companies whose boards and CEOs are in most need of being assessed is due to lack of awareness and/or budget limitations. Hence, we wanted to create a cost-effective and time-efficient option for those companies, including a more flexible way to utilise the data and intelligence we have collected over the years.
As for CEO evaluations, we saw in our board assessments that a lot of boards did not feel that they had a structured procedure for assessing their CEO. On the other hand, CEOs were often of the opinion that they were not being properly assessed, or at least did not receive feedback in a structured manner.
As a result, we started the development of BoardClic as a more tangible project.
What is the vision of BoardClic?
Our vision is to make transparency and sound corporate governance available to all organisations across the globe.
Our mission is to help companies make better choices by providing actionable insights based on data-driven and cost-effective assessments of top corporate functions; to establish organisational vertical alignment; and bring science, true transparency and simplicity into corporate governance.
What makes the BoardClic team great?
We know the product by heart – we have over 60 years of collective experience within corporate governance. Now we’re reinventing our knowledge and fusing it with amazing people that do not know the space that well but instead really know ”new” business models, scalable SaaS products, businesses and digital marketing inter alia.
What are the trends in the Nordics that are hot right now in corporate governance?
– Many boards are increasing the frequency of strategy sessions (it used to be one day a year, then it became two days in the autumn, and now many add a second or third strategy session in the spring).
– A large portion of our assessed companies are facing challenges such as big changes in the marketplace or the need to undergo large transformations, leading to a tendency to appoint smaller, more active boards where every director has a very distinct role to play.
– The war on talents is a concern. Many boards feel that they contribute too little to talent management aspects of the strategy work and implementation. Some companies are opting for enlarging the scope for the classical board remuneration committee or hiring a global, strategic HR director to the senior management team.
Last question, How can people reach you? 🙂
You can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org, or call me on +46 76 840 91 15!
CEO of Lagercrantz Associates Board Services