Global leadership advisory firm Russell Reynolds Associates (RRA) announced that Gaurdie Banister, Jr. has been appointed as chairman of the board.
Serving as RRA’s first independent chair, Mr. Banister will lead the board and provide oversight to guide the firm’s strategic goals and objectives, including governance best practices and diversity, equity and inclusion which is a critical focus area for the firm.
Banister joined the board in early 2018 and has served as lead director, according to a LinkedIn post.
“We are honored to name Gaurdie to this pivotal role,” said RRA Chief Executive Officer Constantine Alexandrakis.
“Since our founding as a private company, strong governance has been one of our guiding principles. Appointing Gaurdie as our first independent chair reinforces our commitment to the long-term success of our business, our employees and our clients. Gaurdie has already demonstrated exceptional leadership on our board and on a number of other high-profile boards over the years, and I am confident that we will continue to benefit from his leadership as our business and our industry transform to serve the changing needs of our clients.”
Banister retired in 2015 as CEO of Aera Energy, an oil and gas exploration and production company owned jointly by Shell Oil and ExxonMobil. Prior to Aera Energy, Banister served in executive-level positions at Shell Oil. He currently serves on the board of Dow, Inc. and Enbridge Inc. He has served on the boards of Tyson Foods, where he spent five years as Lead Director, Marathon Oil and the Bristow Group. He has also served on RRA’s Compensation Committee and Audit and Risk Committee.
“I am grateful for the board’s confidence in my taking on this additional responsibility at such an exciting time for Russell Reynolds Associates,” said Banister.
“We have made great strides in this evolving business, and I look forward to maintaining focus on the firm’s strategy and to fostering a dialogue that keeps RRA at the leading edge.”
Mr. Banister holds a bachelor’s degree in metallurgical engineering from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and in 2007 was presented an honorary doctorate degree. Banister also received an honorary doctorate degree in 2002 from Fort Valley State University in Georgia.