The St.Gallen Board Retreat is a joint initiative by the University of St.Gallen and Egon Zehnder. The Retreat has been designed for Europe’s leading chairs and non-executive directors to engage in discussion and advance boardroom excellence.
We invite you to experience a novel opportunity to liaise with your peers in a trusted and intimate environment outside your own boardroom. The St.Gallen Board Retreat provides a platform carefully curated by renowned governance scholars, global leaders in board consulting and the Retreat’s high-profile Advisory Board (see below). All content is strictly tailored to the challenges facing your board. Overall, the Retreat aims at facilitating peer exchange, sparking inspiration, conveying new insights and creating a positive impact in your boardroom.
Note: If you are not yet a chair or senior board member at a large company and seek to prepare yourself for taking up your first non-executive mandate please consider the Retreat’s sister programme, the St.Gallen Board Academy.
Learn more about the programme in a personal conversation.
Prof. Dr. Georg Guttmann Director of Board Programmes
The St.Gallen Board Retreat is open to chairs and senior non-executive directors from large European companies with revenues typically above EUR 2 billion. The Retreat promotes the diversity of thought and experience:
All industries are welcome.
All ownership types are welcome (e.g. publicly held, private equity-owned, family-controlled).
The Retreat should reflect Europe’s plurality of nationalities.
Only one member per company board will be admitted.
Engage with peers from Europe’s most important boardrooms: At the St.Gallen Board Retreat you will meet your peers from boardrooms across Europe to discuss, reflect on and resolve challenges facing your board. Selective admission criteria will ensure that you meet relevant peers who can offer novel perspectives on your situation.
Obtain tailored solutions that will generate a positive impact in your boardroom: All the Retreat’s content will be tailored to the challenges facing your board. Before the programme, we will ask you for your specific priorities and expectations. Based on these inputs the St.Gallen Board Retreat will be designed to address the challenges that are most relevant to you.
Get inspired by personal experiences and hear new evidence-based insights: Learn from the experiences of our Advisory Board Members, who will share their personal stories on how they overcame major obstacles. In addition, you will benefit from the governance expertise of leading academics and the hands-on boardroom insights of seasoned consultants.
Our Advisory Board members have a strong commitment to advance boardroom leadership and effectiveness:
Based on the needs and priorities of the Retreat’s participants, we will source leading faculty from an exclusive pool of academics and board experts in order to deliver the solutions to your board challenge. Potential speakers include:
Simon Evenett, Professor of International Trade and Economic Development
Karolin Frankenberger, Professor of Executive Education
Frank Heckner, Partner at Egon Zehnder
Jan Marco Leimeister, Professor of Information Systems
Kati Najipoor-Smith, Partner and Leader of Egon Zehnder’s Global CEO Practice
Winfried Ruigrok, Professor of International Management
The St.Gallen Board Retreat is a joint initiative by the University of St.Gallen and Egon Zehnder with the objective to increase board effectiveness. Using an innovative design in an intimate setting, chairs and senior board members from large companies across Europe will work together with academic thought leaders and members of our high-calibre Advisory Board in order to exchange insights and explore new board practices and solutions.
Our highly experienced Advisory Board members will share personal experiences as part of an initial inspiration stream. These experiences will be complemented by an insight stream where scholars provide novel tools and concepts to strengthen boardroom excellence. Finally, a large part of the Retreat will consist of small group discussions within the highly tailored impact stream. The impact stream will draw on participants’ collective insights and will be closely facilitated by St.Gallen’s faculty, Egon Zehnder’s board experts and the Retreat’s distinguished Advisory Board members.
«Effective governance relies on succession planning and on anticipating how new appointments will affect boardroom dynamics. Getting succession right is both fundamental and challenging.»
Paul Polman, Fmr. CEO and Board Member Unilever N.V.
«Boards need to become more mindful due to increasing regulatory demands, shareholder activism, digitisation and other mega trends. Non-executives must be both diligent watchdogs and forward-looking strategists.»
Peter Voser, Chair, ABB Ltd
«Boards should support organisations in making a difference, both in financial terms and in infusing a sense of purpose and broader societal responsibility.»
Christoph Franz, Chair, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd
How to apply
Please click on the application button on the bottom of this page to apply. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis within 10 business days. After you have been admitted we will schedule a short pre-programme interview where you can indicate your priorities and preferences. The final curriculum of the St.Gallen Board Retreat 2023 will be strictly tailored to what matters most to your board.
Do you require further information?
I am gladly available for you and look forward to hearing from you.
Prof. Dr. Georg Guttmann Director of Board Programmes
The HSG - your partner for first-class executive education in Switzerland
At the University of St. Gallen (HSG), you can choose from one of the largest executive education portfolios in the German speaking region – the right programme for your needs and career objectives. The renowned quality and practical relevance of the learning experience convinces more than 6000 participants per year. Profit from an Executive Degree from St.Gallen – the best business school in the German-speaking world – and get ahead in your career!
For high-quality teaching and executive training by top researchers