Non Executive Director (NED)
LAST UPDATED 21 Jul 2022
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The role of non executive directors today


The term non executive director (NED) refers to a company’s board member who is not directly employed with the organisation. This means that NEDs do not engage in daily business processes, rather, they act more as independent consultants or advisors involved in leading policy amendments. NEDs work closely alongside other board members, including the company CEO, and works to support business stakeholders.

Although the on-site or remote job of a NED can be quite diverse, they are typically involved in numerous discussions surrounding company growth and progression. They challenge the way businesses are currently run in the hopes to motivate improved operations, to generate increased company success. 

As NEDs are not directly employed with a company, they’re able to hold a more objective stance on a company—meaning their opinions come from an external point of view and do not possess the same conflict of interest’s other senior managers of a company would. The term NED is often used interchangeably with external directors, independent directors, and outside directors, which all refer to the same responsibilities described above. 


The demand and values of a non executive director


The demand for NEDs is high because of their ability to provide sound advice for a business that is not overshadowed by conflicts of interests like a regular employee would. They are able to put their experience to the test and challenge organisations alongside workplace trends and industry standards. 

Albeit not employed with the company, NEDs are typically compensated by means of equity or other fees, however this depends on the company size and resources available. Nevertheless, as NEDs represent leaders in their respective fields and demonstrable critical work experience, they can receive generous compensation for their time.

Additionally, NEDs can arise from diverse backgrounds and levels of expertise. As a board member, they can also work as a mentor—guiding senior managers in essential and strategic business decisions. Typically, they focus on three core areas of a business:

  • Strategy,
  • Company performance and progression, and
  • Risk mitigation.

In order to effectively conduct the above, NEDs have access to business resources, for example, if a NED wants to assess the financial planning of a company, they’re able to access relevant records in order to make a thoughtful decision accordingly. Generally, NEDs are highly valuable for their independent level of expertise and their well-established connections in the industry that can help support a company.


Duties and responsibilities of non executive directors


As NEDs are entrusted with company policies and similar resources, it’s important they do their due diligence and conduct their on-site or remote job well. They must hold the respect and integrity necessary to uphold a successful company and act in good faith when it comes to complying with legal frameworks. 

Albeit the duties and responsibilities of a NED may differ according to the company size, industry, and resources, commonalities between these jobs in Malta or elsewhere include:

  • Represent the company when it comes to executive decision-making,
  • Work to support and encourage the success of a business,
  • Make free, independent judgements of a company,
  • Ensure business decisions are made thoughtfully and diligently, 
  • Avoid conflicts of interests or similar risks, and
  • Declare their positioning and interests in certain transactions.

Overall, the above illustrates what it takes to pursue a career as a NED. Such a job in Malta or elsewhere can be highly dynamic, for these individuals work with numerous personnel to ensure smooth business operations. Their role is integral within organisations and the demand for talent in this area is increasing, especially as organisations adopt novel technologies and means to conduct everyday tasks.


Salary expectations 


The demand for NEDs is rapidly increasing, leading the career with fast-paced growth capabilities alongside impressive salary raises. The Castille Salary Survey is based on the average gross basic salary ranges we have seen offered in the local market over the last 12 months. This survey is updated quarterly, remaining representative of current market trends.  

For a global perspective, it is worth keeping in mind that sources vary and are subject to change with time. Considering these variances, salaries for NED jobs consistently reflect an average salary ranging from $150,000 to $300,000 a year. These numbers vary according to level of experience, specialisation, and other associated living costs. 


Education and qualifications of non executive directors


Albeit NEDs portray various backgrounds depending on the industry specialised in, the leadership role necessitates a minimum qualification of a bachelor’s degree in a relevant area of interest. Work experience and overcoming organisational challenges is key in such a job in Malta or elsewhere, meaning interested applicants must demonstrate valuable work experience that presents these circumstances. Additional education and qualifications depend on the individual, in that NEDs can pursue a master’s degree to focus their area of specialisation and enhance their knowledge and skills in a field of interest.


Trending technologies and skill sets 


Like their diverse educational backgrounds, NEDs comprise numerous skills that assist their work experience and knowledge in a dedicated industry. Generally, NEDs are committed to implementing the strategy and direction of an organisation, by namely working as an advisor. The following presents the skill sets highlighted by a NED:

  • An independent perspective to make business decisions and develop strategies with the best interests of a company in mind,
  • The diligence to develop business plans that are thoughtful and well-researched, whilst complying with various legal frameworks,
  • A strategic mindset to assess the priorities of a company and act accordingly,
  • The industry foresight to keep on top of industry trends and technologies that can benefit the company, and
  • The creativity to problem-solve diverse company challenges and to mainly provide their unique insight.

The above illustrates the general skills of such a job that is focused around supporting business professionals whilst ensuring internal structures operate well. They understand current business objectives and help amend these during shifting workplace trends. 


Career prospects as a non executive director


NEDs typically work in various office environments, including a work from home job. They collaborate with diverse personnel frequently and facilitate internal and external communications. The consistent use of valuable hard and soft skills employed by the NED is transferable across organisations, meaning these individuals are able to work in diverse workplace settings and industries.

For jobseekers interested in pursuing a career path as a NED, individuals should work to gain valuable work experience in any preferred industry. Applicants must consider their area of specialisation thoughtfully and apply for jobs that are relevant. NEDs can continue to improve their strategic and soft skills through independent learning and keeping up with workplace affairs.


Begin your non executive director career today with Castille 


Now that you’ve critically assessed what working as a NED is about and whether it is right for you, you are able to kickstart your career in this ever-growing field. As technology and the workforce continues to rapidly advance, the role of a NED remains a career suitable for the long-haul.

Non Executive Director (NED)