EMBA HSG Alumni event:
Inspiring exchange on the much-discussed topic of the Board of Directors

Last Friday, EMBA HSG Alumni organised the education event on the topic of "Dream Job Board of Directors? Theory and practice". Over a hundred participants attended to learn from renowned experts and exchange experiences within the network.

22.03.2024; Zürich; Universität St.Gallen EMBA HSG Alumni; . © Valeriano Di Domenico

Farewells and (new) elections took place at the preceding General Assembly of the Alumni Association. Mandy von Piotrowski is leaving the EMBA HSG Alumni Board after five years of voluntary work. Sarah Banzer Mehling, a long-standing link between the voluntary association and the Executive School, will no longer be able to continue her work for EMBA HSG Alumni due to her new professional challenge. Co-President Stefan Stübi thanked both for their commitment and dedication.

Chief Financial Officer Stephan Müller and Board member Mark Mickoleit were re-elected. They were unanimously confirmed in office for a further two years. Stefan Riner (EMBA 61) was newly elected to the EMBA HSG Alumni Board. He takes over from Mandy von Piotrowski and is primarily responsible for the tribes and the Jobnet. Riner has extensive experience in event management and marketing and was recently appointed Director of the Swiss Gymnastics Federation.

After the GA, the educational event began with an introductory presentation by EMBA HSG Alumni Co-President Daniela Decurtins. She shed light on the topic of boards of directors from various angles and referred to the deliberately chosen title “Dream job board of directors?” Sometimes a dream job can turn into a nightmare, she explained.

Dr Silvan Felder was the first speaker to pick up the ball and provided fascinating insights into the diversity of boards of directors, their composition, and the importance of a balanced mix on the board. Practical tips were also shared, including the importance of fair self-assessment and the motivation behind serving on a board of directors. The need to be visible on platforms such as LinkedIn, for example, and to use networks was emphasised, as many board positions are filled through personal contacts.

The second speaker, Ines Pöschel from Kellerhals Carrard, shared legal principles and urged caution, particularly with reference to specific examples. Among other things, she analysed past cases such as SAirGroup and Lehman Brothers to show the misjudgement of the Board of Directors, which led to personal liability.

Benjamin Domenig tackled the equally topical subject of the special challenges of being a member of the Board of Directors of a start-up. His impressive and memorable thesis of the three pillars stuck: no money, no experience, no time. Domenig also highlighted the financial uncertainties and the often difficult dynamic between founders and board members as further challenges.

The practically oriented workshops enabled participants to engage intensively with various topics, including “Diversity on the Board of Directors” with Yannik Blättler, “Business angels on the Board of Directors” with Dr Johann Schlieper, “Strategy work on the Board of Directors – duty or optional extra” with Gabriela Länger and “Roles, tasks and remuneration on the Board of Directors” with Daniel Frutig. These workshops offered participants the opportunity to delve deeper into specific aspects of board work and gain valuable insights from experts. The subsequent discussion with HSG lecturer Prof. Dr Kuno Schedler rounded off the instructive and inspiring Alumni event.

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