Our Volunteers in Action: Getting to Know Our Governance Committee with Sandy Poiré, CFA
Sandy Poiré, CFA, talks about her experience as a member of the CFA Montréal Governance Committee with an enthusiasm that is downright contagious. She has been serving on the committee since its inception in 2020. Read on to find out more about why she does it, what the committee’s role is, and how it has achieved everything it has.
Tell us a little more about CFA Montréal’s Governance Committee.
The Governance Committee comes up with processes and practices aimed at making the Board of Directors run more efficiently. It also helps Board members prepare to face the challenges and issues inherent in their position.
Since its creation, our committee has proactively identified and drawn inspiration from notable trends in corporate governance. This has been a key factor in being able to develop relevant recommendations, monitor our Board’s performance and, more broadly speaking, help the Society achieve the goals it has set out.
What prompted you to volunteer with the Governance Committee?
Getting my CFA designation wasn’t easy. That’s part of the reason I’m so proud to be a charterholder now. Once it was behind me, I wanted to do something to help those who were going through, or would soon be going through, the same thing. I know how hard it can be and the personal sacrifice it takes.
So that was the thinking behind my becoming a volunteer six years ago. I was also inspired by the CFA Institute’s Women in Investment Management initiative, the purpose of which was to incorporate more women and diversity into the profession.
I joined the CFA Montréal Board in 2018, and the Governance Committee was created two years after that. I was on board from day one. Governance is not a subject that everyone is familiar with, but it’s something that can always stand to be improved as business practices evolve. Adaptability is an important factor here, and that’s what really resonates with me, keeps me on my toes and pushes me to always go the extra mile.
What is one of the initiatives you are particularly proud of?
In the past two years, we were involved in two major undertakings. The first was the overhaul of the Society’s bylaws, which hadn’t been updated in over a decade. The second was the development of a governance policy, which sets out the internal practices to be followed to ensure the long-term viability of the Society, guide the Board in its decisions and ensure continuity from one leadership team to the next.
Heading up projects like these requires a high level of integrity, transparency and ethical standards. Our committee members have to remain impartial and subtract their personal interests from the equation so they can thoroughly examine the issues and practices it takes to ensure the best possible governance framework is in place. A truly effective board is one that sees to it that its members have everything they need. That’s how we can be sure that our efforts will help secure the Society’s longevity.
What would you say to anyone who would like to join the Governance Committee?
The people sitting on the Governance Committee are also Board members. That is why we are always on the lookout for new blood — professionals who are committed to giving back to the CFA community and who come from a wide range of backgrounds, organizations and industries. That way, our strategic committees will continue to be the point where various viewpoints converge.
Serving on the Governance Committee is about working to constantly raise the bar and shine the spotlight on the 10th largest CFA society in the world. That’s pretty exciting!