Horst Finkbeiner become the first Bermudian to receive the Chartered Director designation in Bermuda. He is also a director and COO of Bermuda Commercial Bank. *Photo supplied
Horst Finkbeiner become the first Bermudian to receive the Chartered Director designation in Bermuda. He is also a director and COO of Bermuda Commercial Bank. *Photo supplied

“There is no room for the amateur in the boardroom”.

Horst Finkbeiner drove that theme home on Friday at an Institute of Directors presentation at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess.

Last November Mr Finkbeiner became the first Bermudian to receive the Chartered Director designation in Bermuda. He is also a director and COO of Bermuda Commercial Bank.

The BCB COO said: “As business regulatory environment continues to refine, expand and grow — and necessarily so given the issues we’ve seen around the world — there’s an increased requirement to understand the regulations, understand what’s needed and comply with the regulations.”

He added there is also a need to “understand the increase in risk to the business not only because there’s more regulation to cover, but also because the business environment has become more complex and dynamic.”

He said as the world has become more complex and faster paced, the directors must be able to respond quicker. What once was a 30-day cycle, may need hour-to-hour monitoring today.

He became a director at BCB in 2008 and worked on the board to steer the bank through a sale. When that was completed in 2010, BCB revamped its board and governing structure.

“I was feeling good about myself at that point. One of the new directors made the comment ‘there is no room for the amateur in the boardroom’ and I suddenly realized I really wasn’t a professional director. Despite the experience I had gained, I still had a long way to go.

“Knowing the regulatory environment was becoming a lot more complex, and recognizing the liability on directors was without limit, I realized I had to do something. I just couldn’t be the talented amateur, I had to be a professional. The business demands it; the environment demands it; the regulators demand it. I felt I needed to step up and meet that challenge.”

Mr Finkbeiner said having completed the Chartered Director course has helped him confirm the knowledge base he had acquired but delved into subjects deeper and then helped integrate the various topics.

“You go through having six separate subjects covering six separate core topics to spending three days using that on an integrated basis for case studies and role play to demonstrate that you can integrate that as a director because you have to.”

Rochelle Simons, vice president of the IoD in Bermuda, said the feedback from Friday’s meeting showed “People are interested in the Chartered Directors programme starting with the certificate in the A Company Direction. The feedback we received is that people are interested in becoming a certified director, which is the first step.

“Many have indicated they are interested in the accelerated programme, which is quite interesting because that’s an intense study.”

She expects in 2013 there will be a move towards more residents taking the IoD courses.

Mr Finkbeiner added Bermuda is competing in a global market and “this is really a good way to get those skills at the top level.”

Anyone interested in taking the courses may contact Ms Simons at 336 2447 or via e-mail Rochelle.simons@logic.bm.