2024 Governance Outlook Report: Projections on Emerging Board Matters



NACD and Leading Governance Partners Publish 2024 Governance Outlook Report with Top Priorities and Trends Driving Changes to Board Agendas and Governance Practices 

Report Includes Insights from NACD Partners on M&A Market Uncertainties, AI and Audit Committee Oversight, Latino Boardroom Inclusion, Lessons Learned from Universal Proxies, and the Top 10 Issues for Directors in 2024 

WASHINGTON, DC (December 13, 2023) – The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), the authority on boardroom practices representing approximately 24,000 board members, today released its 2024 Governance Outlook Report: Projections on Emerging Board Matters, an annual forecast of trends and issues that directors and senior executives are likely to face in the coming year. 

The report includes data from the latest NACD Board Trends and Priorities Survey of more than 500 directors nationwide. The survey revealed that economic conditions still top the list of director concerns for the coming year, followed by increased regulatory requirements, cybersecurity concerns, and more competition for talent.  About half (50.1%) of respondents cited the threat of a recession as the top-ranked issue, down from nearly two-thirds (64%) of respondents who selected it as a concern in last year’s survey. Similarly, 62 percent of respondents believe the US economy is heading toward a “soft landing”—a cyclical slowdown in economic growth, avoiding recession—while only 29 percent of last year’s respondents anticipated a soft landing.  

The Governance Outlook Report includes NACD key findings about these topics: 

  • Boardroom Concerns for 2024: Key trends include threat of a recession (50% said it was a top concern for 2024), increased regulatory requirements (a top concern for 43%), cybersecurity issues (41%), and more competition for talent (38%).  
  • The Rise of Artificial Intelligence: On the technology front, AI appeared for the first time on the list of top trends that will impact businesses over the next 12 months, with 33 percent of respondents citing it. Nearly two-thirds (66%) of respondents indicated they have experimented with generative AI technologies over the past year. Slightly more than half (51%) of respondents indicated that AI presents more opportunities than risks to their organizations.  
  • Eyes on the Economy: While more directors expect the US economy to head toward a soft landing in 2024 than they did a year ago, only 29 percent of this year’s survey takers anticipate a recession in the coming year, down from 65 percent last year.  

“The trends and insights uncovered in the 2024 Governance Outlook Report reflect how the boardroom is responding to rapid developments in the business landscape,” said Peter Gleason, NACD president and CEO. “Unsurprisingly, directors are most concerned with talent, technology, and the economy and how these trends amplify each other. Directors need to anticipate their cascading effect rather than view them in isolation.” 

Partner Insights 

Part two of the report captures insights and guidance from NACD partners Deloitte & Touche LLP, FGS Global, Latino Corporate Directors Association (LCDA), Protiviti, Risilience, and Sidley Austin on the following hot topics:  

  • AI: An Emerging Responsibility for Audit Committees? (Deloitte & Touche LLP) 
  • Navigating M&A in an Uncertain World (FGS Global) 
  • The Invisible Struggle for Latino Inclusion in the Boardroom (LCDA) 
  • Ten Topics Board Agendas Should Address in 2024 (Protiviti) 
  • Business Transformation for the Era of Climate Disruption (Risilience) 
  • Lessons from the First Universal Proxy Card Campaigns (Sidley Austin)

About NACD 

The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) is the premier membership organization for board directors who want to expand their knowledge, grow their network, and maximize their potential. As the unmatched authority in corporate governance, NACD sets the standards of excellence through its research and community-driven director education, programming, and publications. Directors trust NACD to arm them with the relevant insights to make high-quality decisions on the most pressing and strategic issues facing their businesses today. NACD also prepares leaders to meet tomorrow's biggest challenges. The NACD Directorship Certification® is the leading director credential in the United States. It sets a new standard for director education, positions directors to meet boardroom challenges, and includes an ongoing education requirement that prepares directors for what is next. With an ever-expanding community of approximately 24,000 members and a nationwide chapter network, our impact is both local and global. NACD members are driven by a common purpose: to be trusted catalysts of economic opportunity and positive change—in business and in the communities we serve. To learn more about NACD, visit nacdonline.org

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