Selection of directors for a private health insurance firm

Assignment

The remuneration and selection committee of the Board of Directors wishes to apply a neutral and professional approach to assess candidates for a Director’s role, in compliance with the ‘fit & proper’ stipulations of the Solvency II Directive.

Issues : Preparing for succession
Sectors : Financial services

Context

The company is a mutualist private health insurance firm under the healthcare insurance regulations, with a national network. It is a key player within the sector.

Its directors are selected from its members. Involved in the development of the company, they take on regional or national responsibilities on a volunteer basis. They are put forward by various trade union and professional associations, based on their commitment within the company and their adherence to social and community-based economic values.

The application of the Solvency II Directive by the ACPR (French Prudential Supervision and Resolution Authority) tightens the requirements in terms of governance. The company must demonstrate that its directors are fully fit and proper.

As part of its planned directorship renewal, the Selection and Remuneration Committee wishes to assess candidates for its director’s role via a professional and neutral body. This will allow the Committee to provide the Board of Directors with objective decision-making elements, enabling it to strengthen the board’s collective competencies whilst retaining political balance in terms of governance.

Eurosearch & Associés involvement

Eurosearch & Associés proposes a comprehensive process for selecting directors and supporting them as they take up their new roles.

The first stage consists of working with the chairman and CEO to define the required profile for directors of a mutualist health insurance firm. This combines the values demonstrated by active members, behavioural qualities expected from a director and the technical skills required for strategic direction and control.

An evaluation chart is drawn up, defining each of the 12 criteria and approved by the Board of Directors.

The second stage consists of assessing the candidates proposed to the Selection Committee, throughout the directorship renewal process. They attend a 3-hour interview with two Eurosearch & Associés partners to compare viewpoints, following an interview template shared with the candidate.

This interview is complemented by two online assessment questionnaires, one on the workplace behaviour and the other on their cognitive skills; the results are fed back during the interview. Their reputability is assessed by calling professional references provided by the candidate. Their e-reputation on the internet is systematically checked.

A detailed individual evaluation report is therefore provided for each candidate. A comparative score allows comparison of the various candidates for each position based on the 12 criteria, taking various aspects into consideration such as their commitment to company values, personal attitude, potential, network and specific skills.

Results

The Selection Committee can rely on neutral, objective evaluations enabling it to remain impartial to pressures from various political odies. The recommendations it makes to the Board of Directors are more relevant and carry more weight.

The individual evaluation reports enable the Board of Directors to meet its obligations to the ACPR in terms of appointing a fit and proper directors, ensuring this is carried out in a smooth and objective manner.

Having a clear idea of what it is looking for means that the company can improve the quality of its Board of Directors, as well as adjusting its governance to the changing role and requirements of the insurance industry.