My journey Greg Ellison CDir and Anthony Long DipIoD of Capital International

Described by the Isle of Man news as “without question one of the Island’s most experienced and highly regarded senior executives,” Greg Ellison CDir sits on a board where over half of the members are on their way to becoming chartered directors, with Greg and a colleague already holding the qualification.

Greg Ellison CDir, Group CEO of Capital International

When did you qualify as a chartered director?

I took the Certificate in Company Direction and the Diploma in Company Direction courses in 2009, before qualifying as a chartered director in December 2015.

What inspired you to take the course and to continue your professional development with the IoD?

At the time I was managing director of Barclays for the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey and we were tackling the challenges of the banking crisis. I sponsored all of the executive directors to complete the qualifications to support the good governance of the bank.

What is your biggest takeaway from the programme?

Throughout the course and my journey towards becoming a chartered director, my eyes were opened to the importance of diversity on the board and in the wider business environment at the time.

How have your role and responsibilities changed since becoming chartered and what impact has that had?

Since taking the course I moved from Barclays to become CEO of Boston Group and more recently CEO of Capital International. Both Boston and Capital have been through significant strategic change during my tenures and the IOD qualifications, coupled with my MBA, have been very useful in framing the strategic planning, implementation and delivery phases of those plans.

Alongside chartered director representation, what else is key to a great board?

I think it’s helpful if you have it but more important is a good, diverse mix of skills amongst the directors and an open culture to ensure there is a suitable level of challenge in the board room.

How often do you engage with IoD Isle of Man?

Not as much as I’d like to, but I will try harder this year! But I do use the wider IoD facilities and in particular use 116 Pall Mall when I’m in London for meetings or work in between meetings.

Anthony Long DipIoD, chairman of Capital International

When did you complete the Diploma in Company Direction?

June 2010. I’m not chartered (yet)!

What inspired you to take the course and to continue your professional development with the IoD?

With the growth of our business accelerating rapidly at the time, I wanted to formalise my knowledge and understanding of company direction, and seek a formal qualification to support this learning and development.

What is your biggest takeaway from the course?

Managing business is not easy and covers many, many facets of knowledge and experience.  Successfully managing change in business is even harder!  Team work, and a balanced board of committed executive and non-executive directors, who are passionate about delivering a successful blend of governance and commercial realism to the business, is essential.

How have you improved as a director since taking the course? 

The technical knowledge and learning provided by the course has given me the confidence to implement many of the changes necessary to enable our business to grow and prosper through the difficult economic and geo-political times that we have operated in over recent years.

How often do you engage with IoD Isle of Man?  

Not often enough, I’m afraid, and having now relocated to Cape Town in South Africa, my local engagement will diminish further.

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