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Strengthening NEDs' Appreciation of Treasury, Markets & Risk

The Board of our client was facing a common challenge - some of their Non-Executive Directors (NEDs) were struggling to fully understand the complexities of treasury, markets, and risk. As a specialised area, this was not entirely surprising. However, the Board had several concerns about this. They questioned the meaning of the information they received, the complex and technical explanations from the risk management team, and whether they were meeting regulatory requirements. They also wanted to promote internal debate on key issues. These concerns led them to seek out a solution to improve the NEDs' understanding of financial markets and the risks involved. That's where Barbican Consulting stepped in with our proposal of five two-hour sessions over six months. We focused on the risks in the client's business and the Board's information packs, covering high-level topics such as the role of the treasury, liquidity, credit risk, and market risk.

Our sessions were designed to provide the NEDs with a better understanding of the risks faced by the business, how those risks were measured, and an appreciation of weaknesses in the way risk was reported. We wanted to promote internal debate on key issues, including some that had been raised by the regulator, such as sustaining the business in times of stress and demonstrating flexibility within the balance sheet.

Our approach significantly impacted the NEDs' engagement and understanding of the issues at hand. They were able to ask informed questions, challenge management and risk teams, and offer valuable contributions during board discussions. They even identified weaknesses in the board pack and recommended modifications to improve its quality.

While it is possible for a company to address these issues on their own, our client found several benefits to partnering with us. First, our financial markets and risk management expertise allowed us to provide an independent and objective perspective. Second, we were able to communicate the information in a way that the NEDs could easily understand. And finally, our sessions were well-structured, efficient, and led to tangible outcomes.

Our client was very pleased with the results of our sessions and the impact they had on the Board's understanding of treasury, markets, and risk. They felt better equipped to meet regulatory requirements and more confidence in their ability to promote internal debate on key issues.

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