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Noel Brady: importance of non-executive directors in public and private sectors


Noel Brady

Noel Brady

Noel Brady

Noel Brady’s some 45 years of experience in both the public and private sectors have seen him working with a host of major organisations and businesses right across industry and government.

He has just been appointed by caretaker Economy Minister Gordon Lyons as chairman of the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB NI) – the organisation which trains and aims to imrpove the skills of those working across our construction sector.

And Noel says the role of a non-executive director (NED) continues to be a key strand and resource for organisations across Northern Ireland and in all sectors.

“I’ve been an executive director, non-executive director and chief executive in my years working across both the public and private sectors,” Noel says.

“The role of non-executive directors is of great importance to organisations and businesses across the sectors, working as an independent arm in the organisation.

“It’s a key responsibility to help steer and mentor the company directors, focusing the company on its strategy. You are working to help keep the boards operating efficiently. That includes areas such as law, strategic guidance and providing assistance through your experience.

“The independence and mentoring in terms of helping the executives is important – forging strong relationships between the chairman and the chief executive, and the rest of the executive team.

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“Public sector roles have to abide by the Nolan principles. That’s a focus on integrity, selflessness, objectivity, accountability, openness honesty and leadership.

“Meanwhile, private sector roles tend to be more business oriented. Companies are looking for people who can understand strategic investment, build relationships and have specialist knowledge to assist the board when issues arrive.”

Noel’s own company Nb1 was formed in July 2004 to meet a developing need in the UK public and private sector marketplace for expert and experienced executive support services.

Some of his other current roles include finance non-executive director with the South Eastern Health & Social Services Trust, chairman of Continu Group Ltd, as well as his key work as an experienced public sector tender writer.

In his newly appointed role with the CITB NI, Noel says his job is to chair the board of directors for the organisation and look at a range of key areas such as its budget, monthly accounts, new schemes and programmes and liaise with other sections of construction.

As an industry training board and sector skills council the role of the CITB is to encourage the adequate training of those employed, or to be employed in the construction industry, and improve their skills.

Noel says he’s also continuing to help bring in and grow existing businesses here. “There really is a great interest in NI and a substantial number of companies looking at the market here, across all sectors.”

“The other side of my business is writing public sector tenders on behalf of clients. That continues to be one of my favourite things to do – I look at it as an art form.” 

Find out more at www.nb1.co.uk or email noel@nb1.co.uk