Up-to-date board papers can be accessed anywhere with a wi-fi connection
The collections of papers circulated to directors ahead of board meetings are frequently lengthy and unwieldy, particularly for public and larger private companies. These “boardbooks” or “board packs” are time-consuming for company secretaries and others charged with supporting the board to compile and circulate – particularly when an already-issued paper has been updated ahead of the meeting – and cumbersome for directors to carry around.
Various providers have developed app-based products that enable board packs to be accessed by directors on a tablet computer, generally the Apple iPad. These products remove the need to carry physical copies of board packs, and enable the latest versions of papers to be uploaded and accessed online.
One of these providers is the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, with their “Blueprint BoardPad“, described by ICSA as “a fully-packaged application for the iPad, allowing users to read and annotate board meeting agendas, minutes and documents, automatically generate board packs and much more, from any location, online or offline”.
The market leader, judging from press reports and anecdotal evidence, seems to be Diligent Boardbooks.
These board pack apps will be useful not only for directors of publicly-traded companies and their company secretaries, but also for other legal and compliance teams – for example, private equity in-house teams supporting directors and other professionals who attend the boards of portfolio companies as well as being members of in-house committees.
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