The Next50 Non-Executive Directors of 2022 reveals that the flow of executives from C-suites to Supervisory Boards has clearly resumed, increases in the number of women have stalled and demand for tech and HR talent is on the rise.
The leader of the Next50 2022 is Roderick Munsters. Robeco’s former boss has an impressive supervisory track record, both in the Netherlands and abroad, with asset management as a recurrent theme. As stock markets boomed in the past year, so did Munsters’s performance as a non-executive director. Previously an investing superpower, he may develop supervisory superpowers as well if he proves willing to look beyond the financial sector and diversify his “basket”. After all, public companies are just as likely to benefit from a non-executive director who is familiar with the ins and outs of domestic and international capital markets.
The list’s runner-up, Johan van Hall, also comes from the world of finance, but with an emphasis on traditional banking in his case. He has worked at ABN AMRO for 35 years and was their COO and Deputy Chair until his departure in 2018. Van Hall has experienced it all; the financial crisis, nationalization and unbundling, which he led. He has now traded the green and yellow shield for Rabobank’s blue and orange manikin. As a non-executive, not an executive director this time around.
In third place we find Gert-Jan van den Akker. He, too, accepted a supervisory role at Rabobank last year. Van den Akker’s roots are in agriculture. A one-company man, he spent his entire career working for Cargill, an American corporation, all over the world. His final role there was as the company’s CRO. No wonder he ended up on Rabobank’s risk committee, among other duties. In addition, Van den Akker’s food & agriculture experience and network make him a fine strategic sparring partner for the executive board.
Unilever is clearly a preferred supplier in this year's Next50, with two people landing supervisory positions at top Dutch companies after time at this “school of marketing”. Last year, Unilever veteran Jan Zijderveld, number 4, joined Supervisory Boards at both supermarket chain Ahold Delhaize and Pandora, a Danish jewelry chain. Zijderveld spent the three years prior immersed in crisis management as CEO of American cosmetics concern Avon and non-executive director of Hema, which was in dire straits due to debt and the effects of the pandemic.
The other Unilever veteran in the top 10 can be found at number 5; Nitin Paranjpe. Originally from India, he is this purveyor of food and care products’ COO and as of last year, holds a supervisory position at Heineken as well. That makes him the highest ranked of the four foreign non-executive directors on the list.
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