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What's the best way to keep our great BoD after we go public? I'm concerned Sox is going to scare them off.

Answers

Jeff Taylor
Title: CFO
Company: Communications Co.
(CFO, Communications Co.) |

A few things you can do:
-Know that it's coming. Ask your board before and during the IPO process what their intention is post-IPO. You can't fight it until you know what the problem is. Once you know who might bail, discover and work on their issues one-by-one.
-Load up on D&O insurance
-Have world-class auditors and corporate counsel
-Have enough talent on the board that you don't overload members with committee responsibilities
-Make it worth their while in terms of compensation and in terms of networking. That is, if your board has great people on it, board members will tend to stay just to have those valuable connections
-Make your numbers. A successful company is a feather in the cap of the board. A failing company is a sinking ship.
-Co-opt other board members to help keep them on-board. If you have a notable board member with a good relationship, they may be able to help out here.

Things you can't do:
-Some investors/board members have a simple policy: no public boards. Can't get around that. But you should ask your board now, prior to going public, where they will stand on that subject.

Topic Expert
Brenda Morris
Title: Board of Directors, Audit Committee Chai..
Company: Boot Barn
(Board of Directors, Audit Committee Chair, Boot Barn) |

I highly recommend providing training and educational sessions to your directors as well. Make sure they are prepared and educated on what a public company director needs to focus on. This preparation will allow them to feel more comfortable about their role on the board post-IPO as well. You can mitigate a lot of the uncertainty by providing these sessions every board meeting (different topics each meeting). Often your attorneys will provide these sessions or you can outsource the training. There are also some great board resources you can sign them up for as well, Boardmember.com is one.

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