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Greystone says Boards Need New Skills

11 MAY 2010.
Greystone says Boards Need New Skills

Company boards may not be attracting the new skill sets needed to handle the demands of the hardened economic climate and toughening regulatory rules, says Bruce Thomas, the managing director of Greystone Wines.

“All companies need to get the most of out of any new director coming onto the board,” says Thomas. “They need to be ready to make an immediate contribution in the boardroom.”

“Yet emerging companies typically find it difficult to attract quality directors to help them face a myriad of responsibilities.”

The traditional tasks of directing performance and productivity, human resources, financial reporting, audit and regulatory compliance are today significantly more complex and can include technology, communication, capital markets, and environmental responsibility, he said.

“There are fewer and fewer people who wish to share collective boardroom responsibility because of commercial and regulatory risk,” says Thomas.
“As a small emerging company yet to install such a board of diversified expertise, Greystone Wines felt it was appropriate to host sessions on ‘the emerging director’ at this week’s annual conference of the Australian Institute of Company Directors in Christchurch as part of our significant corporate sponsorship of this important conference.”

Thomas is a former accountant with international experience, and owner of the emerging boutique wine producer Greystone Wines, located at Waipara in north Canterbury.

“Greystone has been described as ‘an up and coming winery’ and ‘Waipara’s most exciting new producer’. While that reflects positively on the quality of our emergent brand, an emphasis on strategic direction also supports our growth.”

”Our desire is to make the best wine possible from a phenomenal piece of land,” said Thomas. “We are succeeding in North America, Australia and other markets and we also have to build a brand that can survive economic cycles and emerge stronger.

“The focus of the conference is on directors and how they perform in challenging circumstances.”

“We hope that it will not all be dry argument. Greystone will be introducing its wines to some 500 Australian directors and partners at the AICD conference and also hosting a number of delegates partners to our vineyard in Waipara.”

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