ILA Leadership profile: Anne Kayser

Recently elected ILA board member Anne Kayser’s experience in this role exemplifies the growing ambitions of the association. In particular she is focusing on promoting expertise and understanding of best practice, as well seeking to raise ILA’s profile driving thought-leadership in Europe. 

After a career leading in the fields of legal, compliance and audit, including being a member of the Executive Committee of BGL BNP Paribas in Luxembourg, Anne became an independent director and an independent consultant in the spring of this year. It wasn’t long before her application to join the ILA board was accepted in May. “I was happy to join the ILA board to work on helping the association reach its goals, bringing to bear my long standing experience with a key financial actor, a systemic bank in Luxembourg.”

Distilling best practice

Her background led her to join the Integrity Committee, which has taken a broad remit, particularly in the face of the on-going challenges with the consequences of the virus. she said. Although inspired by experience of the health crisis, these insights can be used in many circumstances, as they touch on financial topics, ethics, human resources, supply chains, digitalization, communication, legal considerations, and more. 

This was a collaborative effort, working with ILA committees to distill best practice experience from many sources; teamwork Anne found to be inspiring. “We saw that the ability to adapt and be agile is hugely important, but at the same time there needs to be awareness of the potential for negative consequences such as fraud or cyber attack,” she noted. “It's the responsibility of the board to strengthen controls to be in charge of events as far as possible, while ensuring that the board can adapt to a fast-moving situation.”

European thought leadership

Anne has also contributed to ILA’s work to provide thought leadership on corporate governance, particularly from a pan-European perspective. She recently contributed to the JurisNews magazine with an in-depth article analysing the roles and responsibilities of board members of Luxembourg public limited companies with a study comparing the situation in Belgium, France, and Germany. “There is a tremendous amount of varied experience that we can learn from, to see how different cultures address similar challenges,” she noted. 

For example, she mentioned how in Belgium a major company law reform last year introduced numerous important changes, such as a financial cap on director’s liability. In France, directors’ responsibilities regarding ESG have been introduced into the civil code. These developments should be observed carefully, as regards their impact on both corporate culture and results.

Next projects

As well, Anne is intrigued by future projects within ILA. “There are so many topics that need considering from different angles, and I hope to contribute, based on my areas of expertise in legal, compliance and corporate governance,” she said. 

However, she has found social distancing restrictions frustrating, as it has limited her ability to network and so made it harder to launch this next phase of her career. She has participated in and moderated online sessions, and valuable though those these have been, she looks forward to the time when in-person meetings can resume. “I am very keen to be active, to meet members, and to learn from others about their directorship expertise. Furthermore, I also hope my experience can be useful more widely.”