Dubai, United Arab Emirates: GCC Board Directors Institute (GCC BDI), a not-for-profit organisation that guides board directors of organisations in acquiring the know-how and tools to reach and sustain effective corporate governance, is celebrating its 15th anniversary of excellence in promoting professional board directorship and raising the level of board effectiveness across the Gulf.

Over the past one-and-a-half decades, GCC BDI has grown to over 2600 members and has helped over 2,600 board directors across the Gulf region in developing their professional capabilities. The Institute currently conducts over 50 workshops and seminars annually covering vital board leadership education, including the areas of corporate governance, board evaluation, board diversity, and corporate leadership. GCC BDI has delivered over 400 programmes and forums to top-tier organisations in the Gulf in these 15 years.

Founded in 2007 as a not-for-profit entity, GCC BDI’s mission is to promote the highest professional standards of corporate governance and directorship through capacity building, advocacy, and sound governance practices. As the only director institute from the GCC to be admitted to the Global Network of Director Institutes (GNDI), GCC BDI brings together its members to explore the evolving role and value of boards as well as appropriate corporate governance standards, regionally and globally.

In his comments on the 15th anniversary, Mohammad Al-ShroogiChairman of GCC BDI, said: “The 15th anniversary of GCC BDI is a significant milestone in our journey in the Gulf. As the business and economic landscape evolves, the role of GCC boards has shifted considerably over the past 15 years from largely collegial bodies aimed at approving company strategy to a key governance organ meant to challenge and inspire strategy. At GCC BDI, we are proud of what we have achieved in these 15 years – with a rich track record of local experience and understanding, strong corporate governance knowledge, practical director expertise and tried and tested programmes that have helped thousands of board directors and shaped businesses across the region.”

Commenting on the milestone, Jane VallsExecutive Director of GCC BDI, said: “GCC BDI has come a long way since its inception. We are a homegrown Institute founded to help board directors in the Gulf  – we have a huge accumulated knowledge of the local legal and regulatory environment, as well as the cultural understanding of the Gulf and its boards. This aspect is particularly important as we celebrate 15 years of GCC BDI. GCC BDI has been working tirelessly to raise the profile of good corporate governance and strong investor relations in the Gulf. Good governance is a key factor as the Gulf counties have positioned themselves on the global economic map. GCC BDI’s 15th Anniversary is also the anniversary of good governance in the Gulf – one that we should all be proud of and a key contribution to FDI in the region, as investors seek assurance in high standards of corporate governance. “

Over the years, GCC BDI has launched key programmes and certifications to equip board directors and board secretaries in the Gulf, boosting overall board effectiveness. This includes the Certified Board Secretary programme [2018], Director Certification, [2019], Diploma in Board Directorship [2020], & ‘Chartered Director’, the flagship qualification and the international gold standard for professional director development [2021].

GCC BDI has also won some prestigious accolades over the past 15 years. The Institute was named as one of MEA Market’s winners, receiving the Leading Experts in Board Director Development 2022 – GCC award; Best Professional Business Organisation – Dubai [2021]; and Outstanding Contribution to Corporate Governance GCC Award by Capital Finance International [2017 and 2018], among others.

Every year, the Institute holds a Chairman Summit, its flagship event, and this year the 8th GCC BDI Chairman Summit will take place in Riyadh on 6 September with HE Khalid Al Falih, Minister of Investment for Saudi Arabia, as the keynote speaker.

And every two years, GCC BDI undertakes a survey of Board Effectiveness in the region. Last year, the Institute published its 7th edition of the report which provided insights for board members, investors, advisers, and governments into the changes and improvements made in corporate governance practices in the GCC, as well as forming an ongoing process to track corporate governance and board effectiveness in the region.

The Institute is supported by eight key strategic partners – First Abu Dhabi Bank, National Bank of Bahrain, Saudi Aramco, SABIC, Allen & Overy, Heidrick & Struggles, McKinsey & Company, and PwC, and actively partners with all the regional regulatory authorities.

About GCC Board Directors Institute

GCC Board Directors Institute (GCC BDI) is a not-for-profit organisation which guides board directors of organisations, from family-owned businesses to listed companies, to acquire the know-how and the tools to reach and sustain effective governance. Launched in 2007, we are very proud to be celebrating our 15th anniversary of operating across the GCC. We are supported by eight leading regional corporations and professional services firms who serve as our strategic partners.

Our mission is to enhance board member capabilities, create a strong and influential regional network of board members, and disseminate high-quality corporate governance knowledge, leading the regional debate on emerging best governance practices. We aim to accomplish these goals through a combination of effective practice and experience sharing, access to global knowledge and interaction with regional and international counterparts.

GCC BDI has grown to become the leading organisation in the region for board directors. We have delivered over 400 programmes and forums to top-tier companies in the Gulf and now comprise over 2600 members, each with extensive knowledge and experience in operating at the most senior levels of business in the GCC.

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