The Senior Independent Director (SID) is now firmly established as an essential feature in the UK corporate governance landscape. The revised UK Corporate Governance Code, published in May 2010, extends and clarifies the SID’s role, and includes new language about its scope and purpose. This paper, informed by our daily conversations with chairmen, SIDs and other directors of companies of all sizes and operating across all sectors, examines the challenges of the SID position. Its looks at the formal aspects of the role, now more clearly defined, but also some of the informal responsibilities. It asks whether the SID should be a natural successor to the chairman, and what the requisite qualities of a strong SID are. It concludes that at a time when boards are coming under ever more scrutiny, SIDs play a vital part in enhancing board effectiveness. Truly the senior independent director has come of age.
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