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Nicole Sandford

Executive Vice President - Ellig Group


Nicole Sandford is a seasoned professional and qualified audit committee financial expert with extensive experience advising boards and senior executives in their most challenging times. Over the course of her nearly three decades at Deloitte, Nicole demonstrated a strategic mindset and uncommon leadership which resulted in her appointment to roles with increasing responsibility. She ultimately led the firm’s nearly $600 million regulatory and operational risk practice during a period of strategic transformation. She integrated more than 2,000 professionals in the U.S. and India to form the largest regulatory advisory practice in the industry. She also led the acquisition of Huron Consulting’s life sciences practice, one of the many strategic initiatives that allowed the practice to grow during a period of regulatory retraction. Her client work at Deloitte focused on governance, crisis response and regulatory risk management across sectors but with a focus on regulatory remediation in the banking sector. She has helped dozens of public and private companies – including several of the largest global banks - transform governance, risk and compliance programs. She also served as the audit partner for complex public companies where her experience included M&A, securities offerings, LBOs and other complex transactions. Nicole wrote the firm’s response to the governance aspects of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and was the architect and founding member of Deloitte’s award-winning Center for Board Effectiveness. In addition to creating the Center’s strategic vision, Nicole also wrote many of its most important publications including The Deloitte Corporate Governance Framework; The Art and Science of Choosing Directors; Creating a World-Class Ethics and Compliance Program; The Audit Committee Resource Guide, Diversifying the American Board, and many others. She has published articles in Directorship, Directors & Boards, Corporate Secretary and Corporate Board Member magazines and whitepapers with CFA Institute, FEI, IIA and The Society for Corporate Governance. She has extensive relationships with directors, institutional investors, proxy advisory firms, and other governance thought leaders. In 2020, Nicole joined the Ellig Group as its Executive Vice President and Global Board Services Leader. In this role, she advises boards and senior executives on matters related to governance, particularly those related to board competency and diversity. Nicole is a frequent speaker on governance, risk and culture. She has spoken at Stanford, Notre Dame, Columbia, Yale, NYU, Rice University, the University of Delaware, the American Bar Association, NACD, The Society for Corporate Governance, The International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN), Compliance Week, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), and The Conference Board. She has received numerous awards including Millstein Center’s “Rising Stars of Corporate Governance” and The International Alliance for Women’s “World of Vision” Award. Nicole has extensive board experience including her current roles as Chairman of Girl Scouts of Connecticut and board member of the Stamford Public Education Foundation. She is an Emeritus Member of the Advisory Board of the John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware. She previously served as the audit committee chair and member of the CEO selection committee for the Society for Corporate Governance and The Global Partnership for Afghanistan. She was also the chair of the Corporate Governance Committee of the Financial Women’s Association. Nicole is passionate about helping people with cancer as a volunteer driver for the American Cancer Society and the patient representative on the Greenwich Hospital Breast Center Leadership Committee.

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