The Levant Family Business Podcast – Non-Executive Directors – Adding Talent for Growth?

Episode 6 – Independent Board Members, A Useful Asset Or An Unnecessary Complexity?

Inviting independent members to join the family business board is often seen as a key element of board best practices. There are many advantages to having an independent director, however, this decision is not always easy or straightforward. Research shows, many family businesses are very successful without independent directors, and most owners want to retain the ability to make fast and autonomous decisions about their business without having to involve too many people in the process.

In this episode of the podcast, we will discuss the advantages and challenges of having truly independent board members, analyse the practises observed in family businesses across the region and propose an outlook for the future.

So what exactly is an independent director? 

An Independent director is an outsider, completely independent from the organisation, as well as from the owning family. They have no social ties nor business ties with the owning family, their relationship with the organisation begins and ends with the directorship.

– Farida El Agamy


  • Do family businesses need independent directors?
  • What would independent board members bring to the table?
  • How do you choose the right independent director?

You can listen to the full series of The Levant Family Business Podcast on

The Podcast is hosted by Cherine Debbas – co-founder of AGW Family Business Advisory and Farida El Agamy – General Manager of The Tharawat Family Business Forum.

This podcast series is designed by The Tharawat Family Business Forum and produced in collaboration with AGW Family Business Advisory. More information on and