Tag Archives: NED

The right management team for funding

Company StructureMany of the people that I’ve talked to recently are individuals, they have a need for funding to start-up or to get greater growth, so they are talking to me about finding investment.

After asking about what they have done to prove the concept and reduce the risk to an Investor, the next thing that I ask about is who is behind the business.

From an Investor’s viewpoint they will want to see that whoever is involved has the capability and experience to make a success of the investment, they don’t necessarily have to have a comprehensive and large team behind them.

It some cases the Investor may in fact want to become active in the business and so will be looking to see where they can add value. If for example the Investor has a financial background, a business where the owner is an expert in the market and product, but could benefit from additional business skills would be an attractive fit.

There are Investors though, who whilst willing to contribute experience and contacts would not want to be involved in the day-to-day activity. They ideally would like to see all the bases covered by a solid team of experienced and talented people with a strong commitment to success.

By “bases” we are talking about Product/Service development, Sales & Marketing, and Administration/Finance.

So if you as the owner of the business have one of those areas covered, you should be looking to have brought in partners or employees to cover the rest.

There has also been a trend in recent years for fast-growth businesses to bring high profile Chairman into the company. These figureheads add credibility to the venture, help with their advice and will be experienced in talking to people such as Investors.

Even at a more modest business level bringing senior people in as Non-Execs to add authority and experience can be positive to Investors. It reassures them that the business has the talent to grow with some help, but not requiring a lot of their limited time.

That may of course be less attractive if the Investor has ambitions to be an active part of the team themselves, so consider what your potential Investor’s preferred role may be and that could shape how you present your team.

Having said this about building a team for investment, if the business is one that looks destined for high-growth, Investors will bring in specialists and experienced people to fill any gaps. But for the majority of businesses a little thought on shaping the management team will give credibility to an investment proposal.


Do Non-Executive Directors get paid?

Non Executive DirectorNon Executive Directors (NEDs) are a valuable asset to any growing company, but although they may be very experienced in their market area, for some it’s the first time that they have acted as a Non Executive Director of a business.

The business also may be new to taking on an NED, so between them there is a lot of uncertainty of how the time and efforts of a Non Exec should be rewarded.

In Company Partners we’ve put a resource page on Non Executive Directors that may be helpful. www.companypartners.com/content/resource/Non-execs

In that we give an example of a real business (approx £1M T/O), which gave a 1 or 2 percent share of the business to each of two non-execs (the full-time directors/founders owned the rest), based on this they paid the non-execs a share dividend equating to about £400 a month. This paid for the non-execs time and ensured they had a keen interest in the company.

For complete start-ups however, who may not even be paying the founders a wage, it can be difficult to get a Non Executive Director on-board, since there is no revenue yet to reimburse the NED for their time and expenses.

This is where the young company has to make what they are doing interesting and show that there will be rapid growth, after which the Non-Exec would be able to be compensated. In the mean-time a small percentage of shares could be made available.

It is best to first have a trial run of a couple months with each other to ensure a good fit. Also phase any share holding in over a period of time, making sure that the shares are recoverable should the NED leave. There are specialists who can help with drawing up share investing agreements.

For the Non-Exec, working with a young company can be a fantastic experience, seeing it grow and feeling that you have helped to create something of real value. Being flexible in how you are rewarded will enable the growing company to afford your time.

But to answer the original question, do Non Executive Directors get paid, yes mostly they do, how you arrange that can be agreed between you.