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Building effective boards


In the second in our board-focused webinar series we are joined once again by former Olympic rower and CEO of Bvalco, Alison Gill and Partner at Farrer & Co. Tom Bruce. Focusing on building effective board, they will delve into the ongoing impact of Covid-19, the introduction of technology in boardroom practices and the impact this has had on issues such as written resolutions and virtual or hybrid meetings.

Looking ahead, Alison and Tom will discuss the importance of future planning, assessing the opportune time to adapt board policies to reflect recent changes and the importance of continuing to address contentious issues through this period.

Our speakers will examine dynamics within the boardroom, how behaviours are affected by interpersonal and situational contexts, and best practice for recognising and addressing these. They will also cover the ongoing issues of stakeholder engagement and how to effectively manage relationships with a range of interested parties.


You can access and download useful resources using the links below.


Alison Gill

Alison Gill is a founding director and CEO of Bvalco. She helps boards and leadership teams prepare for the future by designing and delivering external board reviews, with a particular emphasis on the human behaviour and dynamics elements that can contribute to, or undermine, board effectiveness. She is valued for her ability to listen deeply to issues and concerns and for helping leaders find actionable solutions.

By background Alison is a behavioural psychologist. Prior to co-founding Bvalco, Alison spent 18 years running a consultancy helping clients to understand the impact of values, behaviour and culture on performance. She acted as a special advisor on matters of culture and behaviour to Sir David Walker, for his Review of Banks and Other Financial Institutions. This gave rise to the recommendation in the Corporate Governance Code that boards should be reviewed externally once every three years.

Alison is keen to improve the quality of boards through the education of board directors. In 2011 she helped to set up and design the FT’s award winning Non- Executive Director Diploma. She is a lead tutor and Advisory Board Member for the diploma. The diploma has several hundred graduates, of which more than 70% go on to become successful board directors.

A keen sportswoman, Alison is a triple Olympian for rowing and now has a passion for the sport of eventing. She rides as a competitive amateur but more importantly supports young rider Lissa Green.

Tom Bruce

Tom is a Partner at Farrer & Co and leads its Sports Governance Practice, which won Firm of the Year – UK in 2018 & 2019.  He is an experienced sports lawyer known for his personable approach and outstanding client service.

Tom is embedded in the sports sector and works closely with sports clients on a wide range of corporate, commercial and governance matters. He advises Governing Bodies, commercial sports organisations and clubs and is a "go-to" adviser for a number of high profile clients on governance matters (including the Code for Sports Governance), joint ventures and structuring international sporting events.

Tom spent five months on secondment to the Rugby Football Union in 2014. He is a contributor to Lewis & Taylor's leading textbook "Sport: Law and Practice" and his commentary on governance reform at FIFA and the UCI has been published by the Telegraph, the Times, FourFourTwo and Perform, and also aired on the radio in South Africa.

Tom "has almost single-handedly helped to modernise the governance of many sports organisations". Legal 500.