Rachel Albanese Speaks On Independent Directors
Independent directors play an important role in the restructuring process. True independence means not acting at anyone’s behest or being beholden to anyone, however. Unfortunately, the frequent use of repeat player independent directors in cases involving the same professionals, as so many of our cases often do, means that the process is at least superficially, if not substantively, flawed. Counsel and PE sponsors should endeavor to expand their network of potential independent directors to include candidates who are best suited to the industry and the situation, as well as diverse in gender, ethnicity, race and background, for example. Board diversity is an imperative that the restructuring community can and should embrace. As a practical matter, it’s simply not possible to devote the kind of diligence and attention to time-sensitive restructuring issues if one is a so-called “super repeater” serving as a director in multiple companies, often at the same time. There are more and more qualified, diverse board candidates who bring years of restructuring and relevant industry experience to the table; let’s give them a seat there.