A skills matrix assessment of Equip’s board has identified shortfalls amongst the directors, prompting them to make two new appointees.

In the past six months Equip used the global retained executive search firm Heidrick and Struggles to ascertain the scope of skills, whether hard skills, soft skills, generic skills or specific skills, that the board needed to meet its key requirements.

Andrew Fairley, chair of Equip, said: “Our aspiration as an organisation is to have the best equipped – no pun intended – and skilled board of any financial services company in Australia. The procedure was a very involved and enlightened process. We identified the key requirements for the board, we then did a scoping of our skills and found we had a gap.”

Two vacancies, caused through ill-health and retirement, are partially responsible for this gap, but Equip have taken the vacancies as an opportunity to appoint new directors who will “bring additional skill sets and an additional experience networks to the board deliberation” thereby better enabling the board to meet its key requirements.

“The skills matrix is incredibly powerful for our members because we have the ability to put people on our board that have the capacity to make a significant contribution in these areas where we see the need for support and greater skill sets,” Fairley said.

Jane Simon was appointed as a member director in January and is a graduate of the AICD Company Directors course, with her qualifications including a BA (Hons Psych) and various Securities Industry post-graduate credentials. Her career includes senior roles with Goldman Sachs/JB Were where she was a partner and executive director with Private Wealth Management, an association she has retained as a consultant.

Another director is due to be appointed to bring the board back up to full strength. Interviews are currently underway for the position and the successful applicant is expected to be announced within the next couple of months.