The main difference between a board adviser and a non-executive director (NED) is the level of responsibility and authority they have within a company. A board adviser is typically a consultant or external expert who provides advice and guidance to the board of directors on a specific issue or area of expertise. They do not have any formal decision-making power or responsibility for the company's operations.
Being a board adviser allows you to provide valuable expertise and insights to the board without the time and commitment required of a non-executive director. This can be a good option if you want to contribute to a company's decision-making process without the added responsibility of being a full-time board member.
Additionally, being a board adviser can be a steppingstone to a non-executive director position. By working as a board adviser, you can gain valuable experience and insights into the role and responsibilities of a NED, which can help you prepare for a future position on the board.
However, there are also some disadvantages to being a board adviser. It might mean that you do not have as much influence or impact on the company's decision-making process, as you are not a formal member of the board, your advice and recommendations may not carry as much weight and you may not have access to the same information and resources as a NED. You may not be privy to the same level of information and data that is available to NEDs, which can limit your ability to provide meaningful advice and guidance.