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Programmes with Partners


Modern Governance in Banking

Developing Effective Governance for Banks


In today’s global economy, the banking sector is under heavy scrutiny from regulators, shareholders and society, who are all searching for both improved governance and performance. Bank boards and senior executives must deliver performance while complying with stricter regulations, avoiding sanctions at all costs, and navigating risks in an environment that remains turbulent and unpredictable. Tensions are present of course in all sectors, but they are particularly severe in banking, where compliance and ethics, long-term versus short-term trade- offs, and product and organisational complexity abound. And if all this was not sufficient, digitalisation and fintech are expected to cause fundamental changes.


To navigate this most challenging environment, bank directors, supported by executives, need to review and update their corporate governance practices. They also need to shape their corporate culture going forward, anchoring it in both effective governance and performance.


All this is more easily stated than achieved. INSEAD, through its Corporate Governance Initiative, has decided to support executives, directors and bank boards in this challenging environment by proposing a programme that focuses on how to execute effective governance in today’s unforgiving digital economy, and allows participants to exchange views on their governance practices and challenges. INSEAD is already known for a number of offerings in banking, including the Strategic Management in Banking and the Risk Management in Banking programmes. In addition, it offers a leadership programme for the Interalpha consortium of banks. The first version of this programme will be offered, with the active sponsorship of the Hellenic Bank Association, in both Greece, a nation that has borne the full brunt of poor governance, and France, where INSEAD’s European campus is located. Future versions of the programme could be offered in other European locations.


A collaborative effort          


The programme was developed with the support of the Hellenic Bank Association (HBA), which aims to ensure that common regulatory and policy goals are well understood and adhered with. It is the result of a collaboration between Peter Nathanial, governance expert and former Group Chief Risk Officer at Royal Bank of Scotland, and Professor Ludo Van der Heyden, Academic Director of the INSEAD Corporate Governance Initiative and Co-Director of the INSEAD Directors Programme, and INSEAD Executive Education.

Key Benefits

  • Develop an understanding of the fundamental principles of corporate governance and the broader context in which banks operate
  • Learn about the inherent tensions and pitfalls associated with governance in the banking sector
  • Gain a clear understanding of the governance roles and responsibilities of bank board members and executives, and how they collaborate to execute their mandate
  • Learn how bank executives and directors can work effectively with external auditors, regulators, shareholders and other stakeholders
  • Prepare for and execute governance in times of crisis and distress
  • Grasp how to govern across multiple subsidiaries and geographies





Peter Nathanial

Strategic Advisor to financial institutions, former Group Chief Risk Officer at Royal Bank of Scotland







Ludo Van der Heyden

Chaired Professor of Corporate Governance, Director, INSEAD Corporate Governance Initiative


Peter Nathanial provides strategic advice to major

financial institutions, central banks, governments and other organisations around the world. He is an internationally recognised expert with executive experience in governance, restructuring, risk management and strategic business issues. He has been a partner in the boutique merchant banking firm Impala Partners since late 2009. From 2007 to 2009, Mr Nathanial was the Group Chief Risk Officer and a member of the Executive Committee of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group.


Prior to that, he spent more than 16 years at Citigroup, holding various senior business management roles in New York, Zurich, London, Moscow and Warsaw. In his last role at Citigroup, Mr Nathanial was based in New York, where he was Senior Corporate Officer, Managing Director and Head of Global Risk Oversight and Investments. He oversaw Citigroup’s asset management, insurance, alternative investments businesses, employee pension plans, country risk and proprietary M&A activities.


He also serves on several private advisory boards and boards of directors around the world. Mr Nathanial is based in the United States. He is Australian, born in Canada and has a Bachelor of Arts from Macquarie University in Sydney.



Ludo Van der Heyden is the founding Director of INSEAD’s Corporate Governance Initiative and is co-Director of the International Directors Programme and Value Creation for Owners and Directors. He lectures on leadership, team dynamics and business model innovation. Prof Van der Heyden was the first person to hold the Wendel Chair in the Large Family Firm and the Solvay Chair in Technological Innovation. He has also directed the Advanced Management Programme and the INSEAD Zentrum Leipzig, and was INSEAD Dean (1990–95). He has earned several Outstanding MBA Core Teacher Awards and an Outstanding Service Award in Executive Education.


Before joining INSEAD, Professor Van der Heyden was on the faculty of Yale University (1980–88) and Harvard University (1978–80). He holds an engineering degree in applied mathematics from the Université Catholique de Louvain and a PhD from Yale University. He has published in many journals. His latest paper, Fair Governance: Setting a tone of Fairness at the Top, was published in the Journal of Business Compliance. He is a member of the Advisory Board of Bencis Capital Partners and of the supervisory boards of two start-ups, Celpax and Seisquare.

Programme content

The programme is organised around three modules – Effectiveness, Efficiency and Excellence

– covering areas that are vital for modern governance in the banking sector.


The programme starts by looking at global financial affairs, in particular examining today’s banking environment. Next, it looks at the pressures faced by banks and their leadership. Participants learn why it is vital that corporations regularly review and redefine their mission. Each financial institution’s mission is distinct and varies with circumstances.


We then examine governance and review business models in banking and operational arrangements used to avoid value erosion or destruction, and to manage stakeholders and deliver sustainable value.


The programme ends with a strong focus on the financial actor (whether it is an executive, director or regulator) as a person, to define how best they can exercise their responsibilities in

today’s challenging environment, and particularly in crisis settings where governance regimes are particularly tested.

Modules content

INSEAD faculty and experts in banking offer the following modules:


  • Governance Effectiveness: This module covers the fundamentals of corporate governance, centered on mission, vision, strategy and risk. We review common pitfalls that hinder governance effectiveness. We also stress the need for clarity on what governance ought to deliver and to whom. The module provides a global governance framework for responsible banking (July 10–12, 2017)


  • Governance Efficiency: This module focuses on governance methodologies with an eye towards both effectiveness and efficiency. It is for these reasons that governance is typically organized around a number of main committees: nomination and ethics, audit, risk, strategy, and the evaluation and remuneration of senior executives. (September 11-13, 2017)


  • Governance Excellence: This final module examines crisis, which typically is when governance arrangements and practices are truly tested. Furthermore, crises are hard to manage, and it is best to be prepared as improvisation only fuels errors. The second part of the module is more personal and consists in the realization that we are not indifferent to the board we join: one chooses one’s board, one selects a personal mission on a board and one commits to a team. These are important issues participants will be asked to reflect upon. Participants will get individual assessments of their director’s profile, they will experience an actual board simulation and experience group coaching (15-17 January 2018)


Module 1: Governance Effectiveness

  • Governance fundamentals: purpose, good/bad governance, self-assessment
  • Inherent tensions of governance: shareholders, ethics, conflicts of interest, the long term versus the short term
  • The importance of mission and strategy
  • Risk oversight versus risk management, and risk appetite
  • Behavioural issues: biases, black swans and today’s challenges
  • Examples and case studies

Module 2: Governance Efficiency

  • Operational efficiency: business models, goal setting, sharing and cascading
  • Fair process leadership in banking
  • Auditing and compliance, and fraud
  • People management: nomination, evaluation, remuneration and succession of senior talent
  • Values and ethics

Module 3: Governance Excellence

  • Crisis management and the role of the Board
  • Board simulation with coaching; for example, capital raising and mergers and acquisitions (M&A)
  • Personality: audit and implications
  • Group coaching: what type of director can you be, do you wish to be, and are happy to be?

Participant profile

  • Board members /directors in banking
  • Senior bank executives with governance experience
  • Members of nomination committees
  • Auditors and legal counsels of financial institutions working with banks and their boards
  • Regulators and supervisors

Location and dates

Module 1 (3 days)

INSEAD Europe Campus, Fontainebleau, France, 10–12 July 2017

Opening with dinner on 9 July 2017


Module 2 (3 days)

Athens, Greece, 11-13 September 2017


Module 3 (3 days)

INSEAD Europe Campus, Fontainebleau, France, 15-17 January 2018

Tution fee *

€15,000 for the full programme

(special fee for the first run of this programme)


(*) Fee subject to change. For programmes delivered in France, VAT (20%) to be added for companies based in France, or for European companies where no VAT  number is supplied. Accommodation   is not included in the tuition fee and will be reserved by INSEAD either on campus or in nearby hotels

Application Form

Download the application form to register for the programme

Contact us

For more information on the programme, contact the Corporate Governance Initiative:


Muriel Larvaron

Assistant Director, INSEAD Corporate Governance Initiative

Tel: +33 (0)1 60 72 90 89


Stéphane Grand-Chavin

Director Partner Development, INSEAD Executive Education

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