Definitions

Managing director

Managing director

Managing director is the term used for the chief executive of many limited companies in the United Kingdom, Commonwealth and some other English speaking countries. The title reflects his role as both a member of the Board of Directors but also as the senior manager.

At investment banks and other financial institutions, "managing director" does not refer to the chief executive but can rather refer to the head of a major business unit.

The term Chief Executive (or in other countries Chief Executive Officer or just "CEO") is in general usage in the United Kingdom for the senior executive of public limited companies, charities and Executive Agencies. At subsidiary companies usage is more variable, with managing director often preferred.

Roles and Responsibilities

The role of a Managing Director (MD) is to design, develop and implement the strategic plan for his company in the most cost effective and time efficient manner.

The Managing director is responsible for both the day-to-day running of the company and developing business plans for the long term future of the organisation. The Managing director is accountable to the board and the shareholders of the company. It is the board that grants the Managing Director the authority to "run" the company.

In addition to the Managing Director, most companies have a Board of Directors. This board usually consists of such posts as: Finance Director, Sales Director, IT Director, Marketing Director, Technical Director and Chairman. In addition to these posts there may be a number of other directors including non-executive directors.

The Managing Director is a leadership role for an organisation and he fulfills a motivational role for his workers in addition to his more office-based work. MDs motivate and mentor members of the management team and chair meetings. The MD leads the company and develops the corporate culture for the organisation.

As the title suggests, the Managing director needs to manage everything. This includes the staff, the customers, the budget, the company's assets and all other company resources to make the best use of them and increase the company's profitability.

The MD or Senior MD reports to the Board of Directors on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, annual or every decade basis to keep them informed of how the company is doing. The board will offer suggestions and ideas about how to improve the company to the Managing Director. It is the MD's responsibility to implement, improve upon or ignore these ideas.

The MD is legally responsible for the company's affairs, so he must comply with the appropriate rules and regulations set out in corporate law. These include following the proper audit procedure and not allowing the company to break any trade embargos or deal in any illegal goods.

Role in Great Britain

In the United States, the term refers to a person in charge of a specific aspect of a business. This can be an officer or Director of the corporation in which the individual is employed.

In some businesses, a General Manager (GM) can share many of the same roles as an MD, but is not a Director, and a GM is not a member of the Board of Directors.

See also

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