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There are numerous studies on the effectiveness of boards that primarily focus on legal formalities, including gender diversity, board size, remuneration, board evaluation and the role of the chairman of the board. While attempting to design a one-size-fits-all framework, scholars approaching board independence from an agency cost perspective have been less concerned with analyzing board structures that contribute to strategic decisionmaking and corporate performance. We examine the factors and board strategies that are associated with value creation and innovation by analyzing the composition of highperformance and high-growth companies. The paper shows that venture capitalists, with their specific expertise and experience, continue to play an important role as independent board members in the post-IPO period. We specifically investigate the importance of diversity, showing that there are significant differences between the companies in terms of age, gender diversity and business expertise (which is dependent on the stage in the company life-cycle).

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