Non-Executive Director/Board Advisor Peer Groups

A Peer Group for Aspiring Non-Executive Directors, Trustees and Board Advisors. Creating a trusted network for greater client value and best practice.

Become a member

This invitation only Peer Group provides you with the business tools and resources to improve your decisions and get better results.

Connect with up to 16 like-minded leaders from a diverse range of businesses and backgrounds in your group for challenging discussions, finding broader perspectives and strategies to help drive results for clients, increase your own value and visibility, whilst enhancing your own Non-Executive skills and those around you.

Alison Reynolds
Alison Reynolds

Alison Reynolds is a freelance strategic HR and organisational development consultant. She focuses on getting the best out of her client’s teams, by looking at the whole working system of a company and putting an emphasis on culture.

Having already held a trustee role and regularly operating at board level with her clients, when Peter invited her to the peer group for aspiring NEDs and trustees, Alison was surprised. She said:

“I hadn’t considered myself at the level to be part of such a peer group, so I was flattered when Peter invited me. But as I am keen to be NED ready for the future, I decided to take the plunge.

“It is quite isolating being self-employed, especially over the last couple of years, so to now have access to peers and grown up conversations in a confidential environment is very important. It is also important to invest time in myself and work on my own personal development. It gives me quality time to think about my own business strategically.

“I have always been lucky in my previous employed positions, but when you work on your own there is only you who can balance what is realistic to achieve. Funnily enough, I am finding it easier to take advice from others on this, but I am also finding that I can give more advice than I thought and that my voice, ideas and experience are valued. It is a great confidence booster giving me affirmation of my skills. I also previously found it very hard to sell the value of what I do, but I am learning from Andrew and my peers to go in and say ‘this is what I bring’….priceless.”

Why join?

The Department for Business Energy & Innovation Strategy (BEIS) Productivity Review found that those businesses that adopt formal management practices are more likely to achieve higher turnover, employment and productivity growth.

Businesses that seek external advice or undertake formal training are more likely to improve their performance.

A significant part of a business’s leadership and management practice comes via its board and the appointed Non-Executive Directors. However, very few businesses pro-actively invest in the development of their boards.

Evidence indicates that Peer Networks can result in 2.5% higher productivity. Furthermore, a study performed across over 2000 businesses identified a correlation between High Performance Leadership Effectiveness and Business Performance resulting in a 2x impact on profits. This work is documented in the book Mastering Leadership by Robert J. Anderson & William A. Adams (page 14).

In 2019 Vistage, the world’s largest peer to peer organisation, undertook a survey on why people joined a peer group. Here are the results:

  • Overwhelmed/stuck in the weeds (34%) – want to work on the business not in it.
  • Isolated at the top (26%) – want to work with peers in similar positions as no real access to explore things without vested opinions.
  • Energised and driven (19%) – on the right track but want to learn more and give back to others.
  • Imposter syndrome/fear of failure (18%) – first NED role; first business venture; not sure what to do; relationships not on an even keel.

Your peer group offers a comprehensive method for maintaining your own skills and learning to drive business results.

Programme benefits:

  • Valuable perspectives from a trusted group of peers.
  • Professional guidance from an accomplished business leader and chair, Andrew Marsh.
  • Deep insights from subject matter experts.
  • Keep abreast of the changing role and obligations of being a Non-Executive Director.
  • Have a safe place to explore issues facing you so you can identify more options, make better decisions, get better results and become a better leader.
  • You will be part of The Experience Bank Peer community and will be invited to various social events and open sessions throughout the year.

By joining the group you will gain first-hand knowledge from peers who hail from a broad range of industries and disciplines. You will widen your perspective on your own organisations. The group will serve as way of developing a trusted network of business relationships and give you access to over 50 years of practical, focused knowledge that can prepare you to better anticipate the needs of your clients and be ready with proven solutions.

Our objective is to assist people who are seeking to become better advisors and leaders, make better decisions, and achieve significantly better results.

Craig McIntyre has had a plethora of experience in the start-up world, especially in his previous roles of sales business development for early stage, emerging, start-up tech companies.

Having grown up in the North East, he returned in 2018 following working in the Middle East and America. Having completed a fixed contract position in Teesside which Peter Neal from The Experience Bank Group introduced him to, Craig is currently splitting his time between pro-bono advisory work via The Experience Bank for Living Archive, and his own new businesses PolarStar Visual Education and Drisit.com, as well as coaching and mentoring other business start-ups.

He was invited to join the TEB cohort for aspiring NED’s by Peter Neal to give him access to personal development to support his desire to help more millennial start-ups in a NED or Board position. Craig said:

“Being part of this cohort has been beneficial two-fold for me. I have found the practical element delivered by Andrew Marsh exceptionally useful. We started the process during lockdown, and it was really helpful looking at how you should define and measure yourself.

It has also benefitted me massively by providing a key peer group full of professionals from other industries who have different experience and can offer assistance with issues. As a group we have particularly supportive of each other, keeping in touch between meetings which is invaluable.”

Craig McIntyre, Business Development Director at Vianet Group
Craig McIntyre,
Business Development Director at Vianet Group

Peer Group Charter

  • A diverse, challenging, interactive group which delivers significant business growth, personal value, enjoyment and continuous personal learning and development.
  • Achievement of individual business goals by contributing ideas and sharing best practice.
  • Help each other achieve a healthy, fulfilling and balanced personal life.
Katy Sayburn
Katy Sayburn

Katy Sayburn has had an illustrious career in the travel industry for many years. Originally from the North East, Katy has enjoyed working overseas for large tour operators and airlines, living in Ibiza, Majorca and many other places. During her time at the Monarch Travel Group Katy was promoted to the the board, serving as the first female director in its fifty year history. Katy was accountable for all overseas purchasing and operations. She successfully managed a nine figure buying budget and logistics across 74 destinations.

Prior returning home to the region with her young family, Katy was headhunted to launch a start up hotel chain in Majorca. She significantly increased EBITDA and successfully built a leading European leisure brand. Three months before lockdown, she brought her family home. She said:

“When I returned to the North East, lots of people recommended I spoke with Peter. I did, and he suggested I join his TEB Cohort for aspiring NEDs and Trustees. Networking has always been a highlight of my career and I missed having a peer group, so jumped at the chance.

“I absolutely love it. There is such diversity among the members & you engage with people you wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet otherwise. We have formed an impartial sounding block, which allows balanced feedback using our own experience – successes, challenges and learnings. I have generated some great ‘lockdown’ friendships, outside of business too, which is a lovely added extra.

“The NED learning with Andrew Marsh is really first class. It’s rare to have such in depth training and personal attention. He instils confidence, uses common sense, and attacks everything with a great energy & sense of humor which instantly engages everyone.

“If you haven’t done anything like this before, I wholeheartedly recommend it. It is a super, unpretentious, and welcoming way to learn and build your skills and network. On a personal note, I was really impressed by the code of conduct we all agreed to at the start and this has paved the way for a very safe environment to share.”

How it works

  • Virtual (Zoom) 3 hour meeting every month, chaired by Andrew Marsh.
  • Agenda set to focus on the issues facing the group.
  • Each member can and should bring topics, issues, opportunities, or questions to process with the group each month.
  • Speaker/SME invited along every 4 months (3 per year) to speak on topics chosen by the group.
  • All members will always commit to full confidentiality.
  • You will review your progress and membership on a quarterly basis with Andrew Marsh.
Sarah Pavlou
Sarah Pavlou endorsement of TEB Cohort 1

Sarah Pavlou is an experienced franchise retailer and has spent much of her career abroad. She spent 15 years working in Cyprus, launching and managing brands such as Debenhams, Next, and was the MD of the Hamleys Franchise at 30. Whilst in Cyprus she set up an organisation called International Women in Business, helping women realise their full potential, build confident careers, creating a following of more than 5000 women across 8 countries.

Now 45, Sarah came back to the UK with her husband eight years ago and started her own retail consultancy business for 5 years, Kyclo, supporting the international growth of brands like GEOX, Disney, Toy Entertainer and New Look and then moved on to work with RTC North leading the Innovation and Internationalisation teams. Since, she has moved into Scale Up North East to lead a team of Entrepreneurs and Senior Executives who support the scaling growth of SMEs throughout the North East of England. She has sat on the board of Young Enterprise (supporting young entrepreneurs) for five years and has recently joined Smart Works Charity as a trustee. She said:

“Joining the TEB peer group for aspiring NEDs and Trustees has been incredibly useful as I value peer to peer support and getting perspective from others is hugely beneficial. What is different about this peer group is the learning that Andrew Marsh delivers, and the clear understanding he imparts on the legal difference between being a NED and a consultant.

“I really appreciate how we share our own experiences from different backgrounds, and that we can give and take some great advice. I come out feeling incredibly empowered and take real nuggets of the discussions into my day role. Everyone is so transparent and almost a little vulnerable with their honesty, sharing both personal and business concerns. I am lucky to have joined a lovely group that have become like business family.”

Is there a contract?

Simply, NO. You stay a member for as long as you are getting value, are contributing to the group and continue to pay your fees! Presented at the end of this document is a group charter that sets out the group values and behaviours to which all members must sign up.

What makes a good member?

We are seeking members that show evidence of many of these characteristics:

  • Interested in growing personally and professionally.
  • Interested in growing their business’s top and bottom lines.
  • Be life-long learners.
  • Always seeking to improve their consulting and advisory skills and talents.
  • Have a strong professional network and seek to tap into that more effectively.
  • See a “gap” between current business situation and desired future.
  • See a “gap” between current lifestyle and desired future.
  • Have significant opportunities, but not sure how best to proceed.
  • Experience isolation and/or not have a strong board of advisors.
  • Demonstrate integrity.
  • Financially sound.
  • Well known & respected in their field.

Fees

After the no obligation, programme kick-off meeting the fees will be £150 per month plus VAT. Payment is quarterly in advance via BACS only and invoices will be provided. EBG gifts 5% of all revenue to The Experience Bank™ social enterprise to support more early stage entrepreneurs to gain free access to high quality board advisory and non-executive talent.

Programme Kick-Off

The programme kick-off session will include introductions, objectives, expectations, benefits, member charter and dates for meetings. Members will be sent Zoom calendar invites.

Liam Rafferty, originally from Whitley Bay in the North East, enjoyed a great early career in Asia before returning to the region in 1999 to complete a Masters in Computing Science at Newcastle University.

Having worked for Aldi 15 years, 12 of those years as a Regional Finance & Central Operations Director, Liam continued to build his commercial experience through a series of retail, energy and commercial waste roles in high growth SMEs across the UK.

In September 2018 Liam’s much-loved brother passed away and he returned to the North East with his young family to be closer to his parents. More recently, Liam has started a new National Operations role with a not-for-profit retailer, Campus and Co. With 74 stores, 12 inhouse staff, and 3500 volunteers the organisation raises funds for educational establishments and various worthwhile charities. Liam said:

“My current role is a real job with purpose and is very fulfilling. When Peter, who I have known since my time working at Aldi, invited me to join his cohort for aspiring NED’s, it was very appealing on several levels. I am very glad I did join.

“As well as helping me with my current executive role, it helps me prepare to be a great NED or Trustee in the future. I have really warmed to Andrew Marsh’s part of the sessions, as he has helped me get my head around a lot of new information.

“As a Peer Group, it is second to none. The members are all at different stages in their careers and NED journey, from multiple cross sectors and with varying levels of knowledge and experience that everyone is open to sharing. It is a confidential arena and we have become a close-knit team. I would whole heartedly recommend following this course of action to anyone!”

Liam Rafferty
Liam Rafferty,
National Operations at Campus&Co.