UCL Faculty of Laws


POSTPONED: Fund Governance and the Role of the Independent Director

28 April 2020–29 April 2020, 9:00 am–4:00 pm

Multi sided platforms


Event Information

Open to



UCL Laws Events


UCL Faculty of Laws
Bentham House
Endsleigh Gardens


About the course

An effective board of directors is increasingly regarded as an important feature of investment fund governance.

Although independent boards have long served as an intrinsic feature of governance oversight in the investment trust sector and in some non-UK jurisdictions, the FCA is now substantially extending their role to open-ended UK funds. Independent director oversight of the portfolio managers operating a fund is therefore emerging as an increasingly vital means by which the interests of investors and other fund beneficiaries can be properly safeguarded and enhanced.

This two-day programme offers a comprehensive, practitioner-oriented introduction to the role of fund boards in the oversight of a wide range of investment funds. In particular, it considers how the expanding role of independent fund director can be deployed to best effect in the interests of investors whilst also adding value to the asset management process and enhancing relationships with regulators and other key stakeholders.

Programme modules explore the responsibilities of the fund director from both a legal/regulatory perspective and in terms of the behavioural dynamics of an effective board.

Uniquely for a course of this nature, the programme considers the wider implications of the fund director’s role – including the need to take into account societal expectations in respect of investor stewardship and ESG issues. The implications of recent scandals in the asset management sector for fund governance and public policy are discussed.

The programme is intentionally hands-on in nature, consisting of a mixture of lectures, group exercises, and discussions with expert external speakers. In addition, the programme culminates in a simulated board case study - where participants apply their practical knowledge and skills in a safe but intellectually challenging boardroom space, and receive feedback from expert observers.

The tutors

This course is taught by:

  • Dr. Roger Barker, Head of Corporate Governance, Institute of Directors (UK) and Managing Director of Governomics Ltd
  • Tamara Dupree, Director of Business Development, Nurole
  • Professor Iris H-Y Chiu, Professor of Corporate Law and Financial Regulation at UCL
  • Dr Daniel Summerfield, Head of Corporate Affairs, USS Ltd

See full biographies in the drop down box below.

Who is this course for?

The course is primarily intended for Existing and Aspiring Directors of investment funds – particularly those with an interest in becoming Independent Directors.

In addition, it will also be of interest to:

  • Managers and Directors of asset managers
  • Managers and Directors of service providers
  • Lawyers, Auditors and Compliance professionals specialising in funds
  • Other relevant professionals with an interest in the governance of investment funds
View the programme
DAY 1 - 28 April 2020
08:30Registration and refreshments
09:00Introduction and welcome. Overview of the programme; Introduction of the course leaders and course participants; Start of course quiz
09:30Session 1:  Introduction to corporate governance, company law and directors’ legal duties
11:00Refreshment Break
11:20Session 2: Overview of the UK and global funds industry, funds structures and the investment chain
13:30Session 3:  Fund law and regulation, and the emerging role of Independent Director
15:00Refreshment Break
15:20Session 4:  Fund director’s responsibilities in practice – what really matters
16:00Session 5:  Investor stewardship, ESG, and the role of fund management in society
16:55Summary of Day 1
17:00End of Day 1
Overnight reading: Board Simulation Briefing Paper
DAY 2 - 29 April 2020
08:30Registration and refreshments
09:00Session 6:  Board meetings and boardroom behaviour
10:30Session 7:  The market for fund directorships – how to win your first board mandate
11:00Refreshment break
11:20Session 8:  Roads to Ruin:  What can we learn from the Woodford affair and other recent governance scandals?
12:20Session 9:  Board Simulation based on an Assessment of Value exercise – introduction to the case study, allocation of roles and objectives
12:45Working Lunch (in boardroom groups)
13:30Observed board simulation
15:00Discussion: Presentation of results, board evaluations and observer feedback
15:45Concluding session: Summary of the programme and re-visiting of the start of course quiz
16:00End of Programme
About the tutors

Dr. Roger M. Barker
Dr. Roger Barker is Head of Corporate Governance at the Institute of Directors (UK) and Managing Director of Governomics Ltd, a corporate governance advisory firm which specialises in board evaluations. Dr. Barker previously served as the IoD’s Director of Corporate Governance and Professional Standards between 2008 and 2016. He is Honorary Associate at the Centre for Ethics and Law at University College London and a visiting lecturer at Saïd Business School, Oxford, and Cass Business School, London. Dr. Barker is the holder of a doctorate from Oxford University and the author of numerous books and articles on corporate governance and board effectiveness, including: ‘Corporate Governance and Investment Management: The Promises and Limitations of the New Financial Economy’ (Edward Elgar, 2017), ‘The Effective Board: Building Individual and Board Success’ (Kogan Page, 2010), and ‘Corporate Governance, Competition, and Political Parties: Explaining Corporate Governance Change in Europe’ (Oxford University Press, 2010). A former investment banker, Dr. Barker spent almost 15 years in a variety of equity research and senior management roles at UBS and Bank Vontobel, both in the UK and Switzerland.

Tamara Dupree
Tamara joined Nurole in 2017 and leads the investment management practice. Nurole is the world's largest board-level hiring platform and ranks in the Financial Times’s Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies in Europe. The Nurole platform uses a vetted talent network, smart technology and professional experts to connect the world's organisations with the most talented leaders. Great talent is broadly distributed, the best opportunities are not. Nurole are revolutionising that. She has overseen a number of main board, fund board and subsidiary board hires for UK asset management clients. She previously spent several years as a traditional headhunter working in the investment management sector.

Professor Iris H-Y Chiu
Iris is Professor of Corporate Law and Financial Regulation at UCL, where she has been since 2009. Prior to joining UCL, she was a lecturer at King’s College London (2007-9) and the University of Leicester (2003-2007). Iris teaches on the International Banking and Finance Law specialism on the UCL LLM (Masters of Law) programme, convening the courses of Banking Law and Regulation as well as Regulation of Financial Markets that covers the regulation of investment firms and funds. She has published extensively in banking, capital markets and investment regulation, such as the monograph The Legal Framework for Internal Control in Banks and Financial Institutions (Hart 2015), the jointly authored book Corporate Governance and Investment Management (Edward Elgar 2017) and an authoritative textbook Banking Law and Regulation (Oxford University Press 2019). Iris is also Research Fellow at the European Corporate Governance Institute and Director of the UCL Centre for Ethics and Law.

Dr Daniel Summerfield, Head of Corporate Affairs, USS Ltd
Daniel is Head of Corporate Affairs at the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) - the UK's largest pension fund with assets of around £75 billion. He is responsible for USS’s public affairs and public relations, including government engagement and corporate communications, for both the pension and investments businesses. He also oversees internal communications and USS’s Corporate Responsibility programme.
Previously, Daniel co-headed the Responsible Investment Team at USS Investment Management where he was responsible for the stewardship of the companies, funds and assets in which USS invests by engaging on key governance issues and market-wide risks as part of the internal investment process
Daniel serves as a member of a number of committees in the UK and overseas, including the Investment Association’s Governance and Engagement Committee, and Co-Chairs the European Governance Council of the Conference Board.
Prior to USS, he was the Head of Corporate Governance at the Institute of Directors.
Daniel also currently serves as a trustee of two local schools.



This course has been postponed to Spring 2021

Early bird rate (for bookings made up to 5 April 2020): £1995 + VAT
Full rate (for bookings made from 6 April 2020): £2475 + VAT

UCL Alumni will receive a 15% discount on the course fees.

Delegates will be invoiced for the course fees once they have been accepted onto the course.


Interested in attending

If you would like to register your interest in attending this course in Spring 2021 please contact Lisa Penfold (Events & CPD Manager, UCL Laws) on lisa.penfold@ucl.ac.uk