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Board Director and Chair Services

Experience true partnership as you bring leadership to the boardroom

Shareholders and society as a whole now expect much more from boards of directors, as part of increased scrutiny of our institutions. In addition, there is a growing demand from senior executives for their boards to provide judgment and wisdom on how to “do things better,” taking advantage of global and technological opportunities while avoiding traps and ensuring growth and sustainability.

At Egon Zehnder, we welcome this higher level of scrutiny and stand ready to work with you as partners in building the best boards of directors possible. Through more than 400 international board-consulting assignments annually, we have accumulated insight on a broad range of topics that boards will encounter. Our experience goes well beyond executive search to build on nearly 50 years of learning how board directors can have the greatest impact, both individually and collectively.

We take particular pride in our deep experience helping boards of directors source and develop leadership talent, both on the board and in CEO succession projects. With 63 global offices in 36 countries, we are able to identify, assess, and develop director candidates all over the world. The collective expertise of our consultants — all of whom had significant careers in business before coming to our firm — allows us to better understand and anticipate your talent requirements in this area. Our wide reach also enables us to be creative when it comes to talent solutions; you can expect to meet candidates who don’t show up in traditional databases and who bring diversity of all kinds.

Our board work has three main components. With each of them, we leverage our unique global reach and equal partnership model to make sure that everything we do has a singular focus: bringing better leadership to the boardroom. We invite you to experience true partnership as you build a more effective board.


Board Directors & Chairs Consultants

Ashley Summerfield

Ashley Summerfield

London

Global Lead

Ashley Summerfield leads Egon Zehnder’s global CEO and Board Consulting Practice. He is a trusted advisor to scores of prestigious clients around the… Read more

Thorsten Gerhard

Thorsten Gerhard

Stuttgart

Local Lead

Based in Stuttgart, Thorsten Gerhard leads Egon Zehnder’s CEO and Board Consulting Practice in Germany. He advises on CEO succession and executive… Read more

Elke Hofmann

Elke Hofmann

Munich Office Leader

Local Lead

Based in Munich, Elke Hofmann heads Egon Zehnder’s Munich office and leads the CEO & Board Advisory Practice in Germany. Read more

Charles Gray

Charles Gray

New York

US Lead

Charles “Chuck” Gray, based in New York, co-leads Egon Zehnder's U.S. CEO and Board Practice. Read more

Lisa Blais

Lisa Blais

Boston

US Lead

Lisa Blais leads Egon Zehnder’s US Board & CEO Practice and serves on the firm’s global Board of Directors. She also recently served as Managing… Read more

Olli Laurén

Olli Laurén

Washington, D.C.

Olli Lauren serves as a senior adviser in Washington DC. He is also a member of Egon Zehnder’s Global Machinery & Industrial Technology practice. Read more

Anne-Claire Monod

Anne-Claire Monod

New York

Anne-Claire Monod is a sought-out advisor to industrial businesses who has developed trusted relationships with Fortune 500 corporations as well as… Read more

Erin Maier

Erin Maier

New York

Erin Maier, based in New York, is an active member of Egon Zehnder’s Digital and FinTech practices while also covering media and technology. Read more

Ashley Ma

Ashley Ma

New York

Based in New York, Ashley Ma is a core member of Egon Zehnder’s Financial Services and Technology and Communications Practices. Read more

Dan Phelan

Dan Phelan

New York

Dan Phelan is a Senior Advisor at Egon Zehnder. He draws on over 40 years’ experience as a senior executive and board director to counsel clients. Read more

Marieke Witjes

Marieke Witjes

New York

Based in New York, Marieke Witjes is globally active across Egon Zehnder’s Services, Consumer, and Private Equity practice. Read more

Sergio Della Zassa

Sergio Della Zassa

New York

Sergio Della Zassa is active in Egon Zehnder’s Health Practice in New York. Read more

Beth McCarter

Beth McCarter

New York

Beth McCarter, based in New York City, draws on more than 20 years of experience in retail, business and commercial banking, and wealth management. Read more

Carol Kauffman

Carol Kauffman

Boston

Carol is a Senior Leadership Advisor for Egon Zehnder. She has been on the faculty of Harvard for 30 years and is a Visiting Professor at Henley… Read more

Martha Williams

Martha Williams

Boston

Martha Williams, based in Boston, advises companies in the retail and consumer sectors. She is a valued partner to leading national and global clients… Read more

Ian Bolin

Ian Bolin

Atlanta, Detroit

Ian Bolin, based in Atlanta and Detroit, leads Egon Zehnder’s Global Automotive and Mobility Practice. Read more


Thought Leadership | Board Directors & Chairs

Read more insights
Boards Directors Are Going Digital. Why You Should Too.

Boards Directors Are Going Digital. Why You Should Too.

The ‘digital board’ has become a prerequisite for securing long-term success, effectively managing talent, and mitigating risks within the company. Read more

A Board Effectiveness Review: What Boards Can Learn from Looking in the Mirror

A Board Effectiveness Review: What Boards Can Learn from Looking in the Mirror

Discover the keys to navigating today's demanding business landscape through effective board evaluations. Learn how a comprehensive approach, combining online questionnaires and individual interviews,… Read more

How Committees Can Effectively Tackle the 'Nitty-Gritty' of Board Agendas

How Committees Can Effectively Tackle the 'Nitty-Gritty' of Board Agendas

Join the discussion on board committees with Egon Zehnder's Directors Development Program. Gain insights on unique responsibilities and maximizing productivity. Read more

Building a High-Performing Board

Building a High-Performing Board

Boards hardly succeed by accident. In fact, it takes intentional efforts to construct a consistently high-performing board. This was one of the key takeaways… Read more

Leading the Boardroom: Insights on Good Board Governance and Managing Dissent

Leading the Boardroom: Insights on Good Board Governance and Managing Dissent

In a recent session of Egon Zehnder’s Directors Development Program, the focus was on the nuanced role of the chair and the delicate art… Read more

The Fundamentals of Corporate Governance

The Fundamentals of Corporate Governance

One of the sessions of Egon Zehnder’s Directors Program looked at the “Fundamentals of Corporate Governance,” examining a broad set of recommendations and challenges… Read more

Achieving Long-Term Strategic Alignment Between Boards and Management

Achieving Long-Term Strategic Alignment Between Boards and Management

A new session of Egon Zehnder’s Directors Development Program looked at executive strategy in the boardroom and how companies can best prepare themselves as… Read more

How Boards Can Own the Company Strategy Without Acting on It

How Boards Can Own the Company Strategy Without Acting on It

“What is strategy?” asked Ashish Nanda to board members attending Egon Zehnder’s Directors Development Program. Read more

The Forward-Looking Board: Insights from Board Members

The Forward-Looking Board: Insights from Board Members

To truly provide foresight, boards must embrace continuous learning and remain open to diverse perspectives, fostering an environment where trust, accountability, and ethical considerations… Read more

Taking a Seat at the Table: How HR Leaders Are Adding Value in the Boardroom

Taking a Seat at the Table: How HR Leaders Are Adding Value in the Boardroom

HR leaders spoke about their board service, the value they added, and advice they would give to HR professionals who may be considering board… Read more

Rethinking Board Motivation — Future

Rethinking Board Motivation — Future

In light of the increased pressure on chairs to ensure engagement and contribution of board directors, we asked survey participants about the best way… Read more

Rethinking Board Motivation — Compensation

Rethinking Board Motivation — Compensation

Directors want to simplify compensation and raise fixed retainer fees to attractive yet sufficient levels. Read more

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