Agency-based studies of boards of directors address factors relevant to board vigilance with respect to the monitoring of senior managers. We argue that relying solely on director vigilance may be limiting because vigilance without relevant experience is unlikely to ensure board effectiveness. Our contention is that boards comprising vigilant directors, as well as directors with appropriate knowledge gained through experience, not only will be better monitors, but also more useful advisors to top managers. The focus of our study is on the effect on acquisition outcomes of the interaction of board vigilance and director experiential learning. Consistent with our expectations, the empirical findings indicate that vigilant boards rich in appropriate experience are associated with superior acquisition outcomes. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.