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Whither the lead independent director?

Of the 537 listed firms that should have appointed a Lead ID as recommended by the Code, only about half have done so.

Lim Chee Onn, former Keppel executive chairman and CEO, found the position of Lead ID on Keppel's board to be "an effective and useful one". In his view, the Lead ID should "be diligent, experienced and command the respect of the other IDs. He should be a sounding board for the chairman to bounce off ideas so that blind spots are eliminated".

Ong Kian Min, who is Lead ID of BreadTalk Group and Penguin International, feels the Lead ID's role is more of a moderator between the IDs, and the chairman and management. His experience is that when there are sensitive issues to be resolved, the Lead ID can help find common ground and broker an understanding.

THERE are many different types of directors, among them shadow directors, alternate directors, and lately, the digital director. One of the least understood ones is the lead independent director (or Lead ID).

The term was first introduced in Singapore in the 2005 Code of Corporate...

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