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Build, Develop & Operate a High-Performing Board

The Board & CEO Advisory Group, a US-based* division of Russell Reynolds Associates, is an expert and dedicated consulting team that positions the boards of the world's leading corporations and nonprofits to best support the evolving strategies and governance needs of the organizations they oversee.
* Currently available only in the United States, this offering will be expanded in the near future to serve other markets around the globe.
A Customized Long-Term Boardroom Approach for Enhanced Performance
Our highly experienced and dedicated team of leadership and governance advisors represents a diversity of perspectives. Their combined cross-functional expertise helps to enhance an organization’s board performance by partnering with board members to proactively plan director and CEO succession, review board effectiveness, design and implement best-in-class corporate governance processes, and assess board culture and values.
MANAGE MARKET COMPLEXITIES
Tackling the New Realities Facing Boards and CEOs
Our clients today face unprecedented challenges in the marketplace. Never before has board performance and accountability been under such intense scrutiny by a range of stakeholders, including institutional investors, regulators and employees. This is coupled with significant disruption and transformation driven by volatility, complexity and speed in global markets. Boards need to offer more than just compliance oversight. Boards today must assure leadership talent, ensure an excellent focus on strategy and performance, and build a strong board culture to position CEOs and their companies for long-term success.
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The most effective boards are up to 40% more likely to consistently demonstrate five specific behaviors*
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The most effective boards are 38% more likely to use a time horizon of five or more years when evaluating opportunities and making decisions*
PLAN FOR SUCCESS
Building a High- Performing Board
“Every board and director should aspire to leave the board and company in a better condition from which they inherited it. High-performing boards seek to continuously improve their effectiveness and performance—and institutional investors are expecting it.”
— Russell Reynolds Associates' client
PLAN FOR SUCCESS
Building a High- Performing Board
“Every board and director should aspire to leave the board and company in a better condition from which they inherited it. High-performing boards seek to continuously improve their effectiveness and performance—and institutional investors are expecting it.”
— Russell Reynolds Associates' client
GAIN A STRATEGIC ADVANTAGE
Helping Your Organization Achieve Best-in-Class Performance
Our Board & CEO Advisory Group, a US-based* division of Russell Reynolds Associates, offers a four-pronged proprietary approach, customized to specific client needs. This enables boards and CEOs to navigate core people issues, plan for the unexpected, and proactively address board performance issues before they become a headline.
* Currently available only in the United States, this offering will be expanded in the near future to serve other markets around the globe.
Board Performance
Improve overall board effectiveness through a customized assessment process, including enhancing governance processes and best practice benchmarking
Talent Delivery
Identify, assess and appoint successful leaders to drive business success
Diversity & Culture
Define and shape board culture to enhance diversity of perspectives and achieve optimal performance
Leadership Succession
Work with board chairs and CEOs on planning for succession and developing the best course of action
Board Performance
Improve overall board effectiveness through a customized assessment process, including enhancing governance processes and best practice benchmarking
Talent Delivery
Identify, assess and appoint successful leaders to drive business success
Diversity & Culture
Define and shape board culture to enhance diversity of perspectives and achieve optimal performance
Leadership Succession
Work with board chairs and CEOs on planning for succession and developing the best course of action
OUR SOLUTIONS
Board & CEO Advisory Services
A powerful array of board consulting services integrated under a single umbrella and tailored to specific client needs
PERFORMANCE
Board & Governance Benchmarking
Evaluate peer boards, best practices and investor expectations and identify key performance opportunities
Composition Review & Board Refreshment
Conduct a needs assessment to understand strategic needs, skill gaps and requisite board expertise and define the specific experiences required
Structure & Process Review
Analyze board and committee structure and processes, including role in key governance processes like succession planning, M&A and strategic planning
Inflection Point Support
Make recommendations on board expertise and composition, director performance, and governance issues stemming from M&A, spinoffs, board buildouts, and activism interventions
LEADERSHIP
TALENT
CEO & Executive Succession Planning
Create long-term processes to develop internal candidates and benchmark external talent
Board Succession
Develop a multiyear, strategically aligned board and committee succession roadmap
Board & CEO Governance Education
Develop and implement governance and leadership insights, trends, best practices and director education
TALENT
Board & CEO Search
Recruit directors and CEOs to enable companies to deliver on their long-term strategic, succession and leadership objectives
CULTURE
Board Culture
Analyze and shape the board’s values, behavior and culture
Board Diversity & Inclusion
Shape an inclusive culture by assessing barriers to desired inclusion and identifying and recruiting candidates with diverse experiences and perspectives
Board & Executive Alignment
Evaluate and advise on board, CEO and executive relationships and organizational dynamics
CASE STUDIES
Transforming Board and CEO Performance, Leadership & Culture
Transforming Board and CEO Performance,
Leadership & Culture
Proactive board composition strategy and succession planning
The board of a successful industrial company had enjoyed multiple years of financial strength and wanted to take a proactive approach to ensuring that the board was strong and successful over the next five years, during which it would face planned chair and CEO retirements.
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CEO succession, board effectiveness and strategic advisory
After undertaking a successful CEO succession process for a family-owned company, the board wanted to conduct an in-depth assessment with the goal of building a world-class board.
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Improving board and management relationships and communication
The board of a successful and high-performing U.S. materials company wanted an independent assessment of the board in certain areas, specifically around board culture, effectiveness, and the relationship between the CEO and management.
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OUR CONSULTANTS
Meet Our Team of Experts
Our Board & CEO Advisory Group, a US-based* division of Russell Reynolds, is composed of experts with significant experience and diverse perspectives. They have backgrounds in legal/governance, digital transformation and talent delivery. They also have experience as current and former public and private company board directors; human capital and management consultants; and organizational psychologists. As a team, they can provide your organization with a customized partnership that fosters strategic growth and long-term success while helping you plan for the unexpected.

* Currently available only in the United States, this offering will be expanded in the near future to serve other markets around the globe.
Justus O’Brien
Co-leader of the firm’s Board and CEO Advisory Group and Managing Director in the New York office. He has established long-term board advisory relationships with Fortune and FTSE 100 companies across all industry sectors.
Charles A. Tribbett, III
Co-leader of the firm’s Board and CEO Advisory Group and Managing Director in the Chicago office. He is a senior advisor to corporate boards and CEOs in the area of corporate governance, fiduciary responsibilities and diversity in the boardroom.
Constantine Alexandrakis
Leader of the firm’s U.S. business and the global Leadership & Succession Practice and is a Managing Director in the Chicago office. He has advised a range of public and private companies across an array of industries on corporate governance, board effectiveness and leadership transformation.
Margot McShane
Former Co-lead of the global Consumer Digital Practice and a Managing Director in the San Francisco office. She leverages her extensive experience in digital transformation to advise boards of Fortune 500 companies, as well as venture capital and private equity-backed companies.
Jack "Rusty" O'Kelley III
Global Head of the Board Consulting and Effectiveness Practice and a Managing Director in the New York office. He advises corporate boards and CEOs in the areas of corporate governance (U.S. and global), board succession planning and refreshment, board assessments and CEO succession planning.
Dean T. Stamoulis
Leader of the firm's Center for Leadership Insight and is a Managing Director in the Atlanta office. He provides guidance to boards about CEO selection and succession, the development of CEO candidates, and board and C-suite people-related dynamics.
ADVISORY BOARD
Meet Our Distinctive Advisory Board
Providing a wealth of expertise in corporate governance from the regulatory, investment and board director perspective across a broad spectrum of industries and global markets.
Jackson Tai
Jackson Tai
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
Jack is a Non-Executive Director of HSBC Holdings PLC, Eli Lilly and Company, Mastercard Incorporated, Royal Philips NV and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.
Jack was Vice Chairman and CEO of both DBS Group Holdings and DBS Bank from 2002 to 2007. He joined DBS as Chief Financial Officer in 1999 and was President and Chief Operating Officer of DBS from 2001 to 2002.
Prior to his appointment at DBS, Jack was an investment banker with J. P. Morgan & Co. Incorporated for 25 years. While at J.P. Morgan, he established the firm's Japan capital markets business, based in Tokyo; founded the firm's global real estate banking business, based in New York; served as the firm's senior officer for Asia Pacific, based in Tokyo; and served as the firm's senior officer for the western United States, based in San Francisco.
ADDITIONAL PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES
In the not-for-profit sector, Jack is a Director of the Metropolitan Opera, a Trustee of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a member of the Harvard China Advisory Group and the Harvard Business School Asia-Pacific Advisory Board. Previously, he was a Director of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco and the San Francisco Symphony.
Previously, he was a Non-Executive Director of Russell Reynolds Associates, The Bank of China Limited, Singapore Airlines, NYSE Euronext, ING Groep NV, CapitaLand, Singapore Telecommunications Ltd and Jones Lang LaSalle.
EDUCATION
Jack received a bachelor of science degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1972 and an M.B.A. degree from Harvard University in 1974.
An accomplished executive with significant global experience, particularly in Asia. Jack sits on four public company Boards and most recently was a member of the Russell Reynolds Associates' Board. Jack’s previous executive roles include CEO and prior to that Chief Financial Officer of DBS Group Holdings.
Ronald (Ron) Williams
Ronald (Ron) Williams
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
Ron serves on the Board of Directors of The Boeing Company, American Express Company, Johnson & Johnson and Envision Healthcare Corporation. He is an Operating Advisor to the private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice since 2011.
Ron also is the Chairman and CEO of RW2 Enterprises. Through RW2, Ron advises senior corporate executives across all industries on the development of strategy and ways to achieve transformational leadership grounded in core values.
He is former Chairman and CEO of Aetna Inc., a leading diversified health care benefits company where he served as both Chairman and CEO from 2006 to 2010, and as Chairman until April 2011. He joined Aetna in 2001, and focused on creating innovation in the industry via effective use of information technology and increased transparency in the health care system.
Prior to joining Aetna, Ron was Group President of the Large Group Division at WellPoint Health Networks Inc. and President of the company’s Blue Cross of California subsidiary. He joined Blue Cross of California in 1987 and served in a series of increasingly prominent roles. Previous executive roles include Co-founder and Senior Vice President at Vista Health Corp. and group marketing executive at Control Data Corp.
ADDITIONAL PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES
Ron served on the President's Management Advisory Board from 2011 to 2017, whose goal is to help bring the best of business practices to the management and operation of the federal government.
Ron is a member of MIT Corporation and is Vice Chairman of The Conference Board. He is a member of the President’s Circle of National Academies and also serves on the Board of the National Academy Foundation and the Peterson Institute for International Economics. He is a member of the Peterson Center on Healthcare Advisory Board, the RAND Health Advisory Board, and the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Commission on Political Reform. His previous board service includes Save The Children, Vice Chairman of The Business Council, Vice Chairman of the Healthcare Leadership Council and Chairman of the Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare.
In 2013, he was elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an independent, multidisciplinary policy research center founded in 1780, and became a Trustee of the Committee for Economic Development, a nonprofit, non-partisan, business-led public policy organization.
EDUCATION
Ron is a graduate of Roosevelt University and holds an M.S. in management from the Sloan School of Management at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
A veteran business leader, turn-around expert and advocate for value creation. Ron devotes his time and energy to helping future leaders with strategy, values-based leadership, public-private partnership and the continued transformation of the health care industry. He is a member of four public company boards and was the former Chairman and CEO of Aetna.
Michelle Edkins
Michelle Edkins
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
Michelle is a Managing Director at BlackRock and Global Head of the Investment Stewardship team, composed of 31 specialists based in three key regions internationally. In this role, she is responsible for the team’s engagement and proxy voting activities in relation to the companies in which BlackRock invests on behalf of clients. She also serves on the firm’s Global Operations, Human Capital and Government Relations steering committees.
Prior to joining BlackRock in 2009, Michelle was Managing Director at Governance for Owners, an independent partnership offering products that support responsible long-term share ownership. She started her corporate governance career in the UK in 1997 at Hermes Pensions Management, where she spent eight years, initially as the Head of the Corporate Governance team and thereafter as Director of Institutional Relations. An economist by training, Michelle also has worked for New Zealand’s Reserve Bank and the British High Commission in Wellington.
ADDITIONAL PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES
Michelle is involved in a number of public and private initiatives in the field of corporate governance and stewardship. She was named in the NACD (the U.S. National Association of Corporate Directors) Directorship 100 Governance Professionals list for the past five years.
Michelle also is a Fellow of the Aspen Institute’s First Movers program and a former Chairman of the Board of Governors of the International Corporate Governance Network. She is an alumna of BlackRock’s Women’s Leadership Forum and its Enterprise Leadership Program. She currently serves on the Advisory Council of the International Integrated Reporting Council and is a member of the steering group of the U.S. chapter of the 30% Club, a market initiative to increase the number of women on boards and in senior management. She is also a member of the Board of the International Institute of Sustainable Development.
EDUCATION
Michelle received her bachelor’s degree in economics from Otago University in New Zealand in 1991.
Michelle Edkins is an expert and active participant in the public corporate governance debate. As Managing Director at BlackRock and Global Head of the Investment Stewardship team, she regularly speaks and writes on the importance of good stewardship for company performance.
Daniel Diermeier
Daniel Diermeier
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
Daniel serves as the 13th Provost of the University of Chicago. He also is the Emmett Dedmon Professor at the Harris School and the College. He is a member of the Board of the University of Chicago Medical Center, the Board of Governors for Argonne National Laboratory and the Board of Trustees of NORC. Additionally, he serves on the Board of Directors of CityBase, an urban technology company.
Previously, Daniel was Dean of the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago from 2014-2016.
Prior to joining the University of Chicago, Daniel was a professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, most recently as IBM Professor of Regulation and Practice in the Department of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences and Director of the Ford Motor Company Center for Global Citizenship. He also co-founded and was Academic Director of CEO Perspectives. This nationally recognized development program for C-suite business executives is a partnership among the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, the Corporate Leadership Center and the Chicago Booth School of Business.
ADDITIONAL PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES
Daniel has published two books including Reputation Rules: Strategies for Building your Company’s Most Valuable Asset (McGraw-Hill, 2011) and more than 100 research articles in academic journals, mostly in the fields of political science, economics and management but also in other areas ranging from linguistics, sociology and psychology to computer science and applied mathematics. Daniel is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Guggenheim Foundation and the Canadian Institute of Advanced Research.
During his time at Northwestern, he won 13 teaching awards, including the 2001 Kellogg Lavengood Professor of the Year Award and the 2013 Kellogg Alumni Professor of the Year Award. He was named among the World’s 50 Best Business School Professors, was the 2007 recipient of the Faculty Pioneer Award from the Aspen Institute and was named the “Oscar of Business Schools” by the Financial Times.
Professor Diermeier has been an advisor to leading companies, governments and non-profits, including Abbott, Accenture, Allianz, Baxter International, BP, the City of Chicago, Edelman, Exelon, E&Y, the FBI, General Mills, the Government of Canada, Greenpeace, Hyatt, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft, McDonald’s, Medtronic, Metro Group, the Metropolitan Opera of New York, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Shell, State Farm, UnitedHealth Group and the U.S. Olympic Committee, among others. He is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago.
Additionally, he was Director of the Ford Motor Company Center for Global Citizenship and in 2004, he was appointed to the Management Board of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He also was a Senior Advisor to PricewaterhouseCoopers and GroupOn and currently serves on the Advisory Board of Quantum Secure, a security management technology company.
EDUCATION
Daniel received a master’s degree in political science from Munich University in 1986. In 1989, he received a master of arts in philosophy from the University of Southern California, and in 1994, he received a doctorate in political science from the University of Rochester.
Daniel is a globally recognized scholar, currently holding the post of Provost of the University of Chicago. His teaching and research focus on the interaction of business and politics, public perception and corporate culture, as well as crisis and reputation management. He serves as an advisor and offers strategic advice to clients across an array of governance, stakeholder management and leadership needs.
THOUGHT LEADERSHIP
Discover Our Industry-Leading Insights
CEO Succession Planning
CEO succession planning always has been a central focus of our Board & CEO Advisory Group. Our recent study, Creating Sustained Value: Finding and Supporting Long-Term CEOs, uses psychometric testing to illustrate how long-term CEOs are wired differently from their CEO peers.
Board Effectiveness
During 2016, 369 corporate (supervisory) large public company directors from a dozen countries participated in Russell Reynolds Associates’ Global Board Culture Survey: Understanding the Behaviors That Drive Board Effectiveness. The goal of the survey was to better understand the director behaviors that create a high-performing board culture and drive board effectiveness.
Global and Regional Trends in Corporate Governance 2017
Russell Reynolds Associates recently interviewed numerous institutional and activist investors, pension fund managers, public company directors and other governance professionals about the trends and challenges that public company boards will face in 2017.

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Board & CEO Advisory Group