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Management News Briefs

Developing Diverse Company Boards and Talent Throughout the Private Equity Sector

Directors Academy, a national not-for-profit focused on identifying, developing and advancing the next generation of diverse corporate board members, and Bain Capital announced the launch of the 2021-22 NextGen Directors Program (“NextGen”) to accelerate the appointment of members of underrepresented groups on public and private company Boards of Directors. Bain Capital will support the NextGen Program across the private capital and alternative assets industry with the goal of developing future directors for placement on private equity and private company boards. Bain Capital is the exclusive sponsor of the private equity development track and will serve on the Directors Academy Board.

Program highlights

The NextGen Director’s Program provides governance education and training for future corporate board members. The program’s goal is to better prepare these individuals for their first board experience. The program provides an immersive peer-to-peer learning environment. Benefits include educational sessions, one-on-one mentoring, an interactive case study, panel discussions, and networking opportunities. The program covers a full range of corporate director duties and responsibilities. These include working with the full board and individual committees, emerging governance issues and best practices exchange.

The NextGen program is led by corporate board members with extensive governance experience. The University of California, Berkeley faculty address emerging topics of importance to public and private boards. This includes technology disruption, go-to-market growth strategies and ESG issues, among others. As part of the partnership, Bain Capital will provide content development, business case examples, and faculty for the Private Equity track. To date, 10 cohorts totaling 115 future director candidates have participated in the NextGen program. These cohorts included 99 corporate leaders,16 not-for-profit leaders, of whom 58 percent are female and 44 percent are people of color. NextGen program alums provide their expertise on 48 corporate boards. These are:

  • 46 percent private company
  • 54 percent public company boards
  • 64 percent are leaders of color
    • 52 percent are new Black directors

Diverse company boards

“We are excited to extend our programming. A major focus looks at the different skills and experiences needed on private company boards. We continue to build on our national community of over 200 high-performing board leaders and diverse next-generation director candidates,” said Keith Meyer, Co-Founder and President of the Directors Academy. “We look forward to working with Bain Capital to better prepare future leaders from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds for their first board experience.”

The NextGen program aims to accelerate shareholder value creation. They hope to build a pipeline of highly credentialed prospective board members from diverse backgrounds, experiences, ethnicities, and genders. The program disrupts the current board selection process by educating, exposing and socializing the next generation of diverse board members to governance best practices. We also connect participants to a national network of progressive governance leaders. They help facilitate the matching of this talent to current and future board opportunities.

“The firm benefits from participating firsthand in this innovative program. Bain Captial believes it also advances the effort to bring greater overall diversity to our industry. We do this through creating a broader pool of talent. Bain Captial fosters an ecosystem that is more diverse, equitable and inclusive,” shared Susan Levine, a Managing Director at Bain Capital, who will also serve on the Directors Academy Board.

The 2021-22 NextGen Directors Program will commence with a virtual launch on June 4, 2021. The program includes four main sessions that will run through March 2022, and inter-session networking and mentorship opportunities. The program will conclude with an in-person capstone session at the University of California, Berkeley Haas Business School in March 2022. Registration is now open, and applicants can apply here: https://executive.berkeley.edu/programs/nextgen-directors-program.