Winners

The ICSA Annual Awards 2017

Award categories

Congratulations to all the winners and finalists of the ICSA Awards 2017.

The winners have been announced.

All winners and finalists can be viewed below.

The One to Watch

The award for the stars of tomorrow.

Sponsored by DMJ Recruitment

Winner announced – read more

Shortlist

  • Winner: Natalie Gracey – Scottish Widows
  • Highly commended: Naomi Rogers – Janus Henderson Investors
  • Jay Bains – BNY Mellon
  • Simon Blackburn – Pension Protection Fund
  • Kelly Gabriel – PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
  • Grace Parsons-Hann – Cushman & Wakefield LLP

The One to Watch recognises rising stars – colleagues who have less than five years’ service who are already making a strong contribution to overall performance. Nominees should be people you consider are destined to become top company secretaries or governance professionals and whose recent achievements show their high future potential.

Nominees should have already developed high levels of professional skill, and demonstrated real energy and enthusiasm for their role. The judges are particularly interested in the way nominees have managed their work and made a significant contribution to their organisation, including why this year is the year you feel they should win an award.

The nomination form should cover:

  • Why you feel the nominee is destined to get to the top of the profession
  • How the nominee already has demonstrated significant proficiency in the way they manage their responsibilities
  • How the impact they have made has contributed to the overall performance of the organisation
  • Any specialist knowledge and expertise the nominee is developing outside the day-to-day
  • Anything else relevant to why you feel the nominee deserves to win this award

Governance Project of the Year

The award that recognises transformation, innovation and results.

Sponsored by Morrow Sodali

Winner announced – read more

Shortlist

  • Winner: Coca-Cola European Partners plc – Project Apollo
  • National Grid plc – Restructure
  • Rolls-Royce Holdings plc – Employee engagement programme
  • SWAP Internal Audit Services – Healthy Organisation and Combined Assurance

This award recognises transformational governance projects that are significant in terms of their size, nature or the value they created for the organisation. Nominees can be individuals, teams or companies, and the project must have been completed in the 12 months to 31 August 2017.

The judges are interested in innovative solutions to projects such as the restructure of governance arrangements in an organisation, a major corporate action such as a takeover or rights issue, a review of subsidiary governance, or a new approach to risk recognition. The impacts of those projects might include risk reduction, greater transparency, operational efficiencies, or improved visibility of issues to the board.

The nomination form should cover:

  • The nature of the project, its purpose and its significance for the organisation
  • Why you feel the project is unusually worthy of recognition
  • What you did that was innovative or unique
  • The degree to which the project has added value and/or been transformational – and the practical results that illustrate this
  • Legacy – the potential impact it may have on the work of other organisations or the wider profession

Governance Professional of the Year

The award for colleagues who go above and beyond what is expected in their role.

Sponsored by Computershare Governance Services

Winner announced – read more

Shortlist

  • Winner: Katie Hollis – Pension Protection Fund
  • David Martin – Financial Services Compensation Scheme
  • Alice Morgan – National Grid plc
  • Kerrie Waring - ICGN

This award celebrates individuals who have built and sustained strong relationships with their stakeholders, and demonstrated innovative and effective approaches to good governance. Nominees should be people who add measurable value to their organisation, making a significant contribution to achieving departmental and organisational objectives, and improving governance.

This category is open to anyone in a governance or company secretarial role who isn’t a company secretary proper – for example, deputies and assistants would qualify. The judges are particularly interested in individuals who can demonstrate an impressive range of achievements during the year.

The nomination form should cover:

  • How the nominee has developed their role and contributed towards achieving both departmental and organisational objectives
  • How the nominee has improved the governance of their organisation
  • Additional responsibilities the nominee has taken on, and any high-profile projects that have had a materially positive impact
  • How the nominee has demonstrated effective team and thought leadership, and excelled in dealing with legal and regulatory compliance
  • How the nominee has added value to the organisation by developing and sustaining strong relationships internally and externally, and with the company secretary and more junior members of the group
  • Anything else relevant to why you feel the nominee deserves to win this award

Company Secretary of the Year

The award for company secretaries who add value both to their organisation and the profession.

Sponsored by Diligent & Blueprint Oneworld

Winner announced – read more

Shortlist

  • Winner: Sarah McLaughlin - Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c.
  • Highly commended: Tabitha Kassem – Network Homes Limited
  • Pamela Coles – Rolls-Royce Holdings plc
  • Derek Woodward – Worldpay Group plc

This award recognises company secretaries who demonstrate effective team and thought leadership, and who have mastered the complex legal and regulatory environments in which they work. Nominees should be people who play an added-value role in the governance of their organisations and undertake initiatives that contribute to emerging best practice.

Nominees should hold a senior company secretarial role. The judges are particularly interested in individuals who have led their team through a challenging period and/or delivered results beyond the expectations of their role, at the same time as continuing to develop their team.

The nomination form should cover:

  • How the nominee has demonstrated effective team and thought leadership
  • How the nominee has excelled when dealing with their legal and regulatory compliance obligations
  • The contribution the nominee has made to improving the governance of their organisation
  • Evidence of a strong working relationship with the board
  • Anything else relevant to why you feel the nominee deserves to win this award

Team of the Year

The award that celebrates teamwork.

Sponsored by Brainloop

Winner announced – read more

Shortlist

  • Winner: LV=
  • Highly commended: Standard Life Aberdeen
  • Pension Protection Fund
  • Rolls-Royce Holdings plc
  • Scottish Widows
  • Westpac Banking Corporation

This award recognises company secretarial and governance teams who demonstrate excellent collaboration in the creative and effective ways they discharge their responsibilities. Nominees will have delivered an outstanding performance this year, and are likely to have faced a variety of atypical challenges in addition to their normal daily work.

The judges will be looking for teams that have demonstrated the ability to meet the challenges of exceptional projects and transactions, and have developed innovative solutions that contribute to emerging best practice. The winning team will have collectively driven departmental efficiencies or significantly exceeded normal expectations of a company secretarial or governance function.

The nomination form should cover:

  • How the team has demonstrated excellent, creative teamwork in improving the management of their more routine duties and tasks
  • How the team met and overcame the challenges of dealing with more exceptional circumstances, projects or transactions
  • When and how the team has developed an innovative solution that has contributed to best practice within the organisation
  • Anything else relevant to why you feel the nominee deserves to win this award

Service Provider of the Year

The award for teams and individuals who deliver governance services to clients.

Winner announced – read more

Shortlist

  • Winner: Prism CoSec Limited
  • Highly commended: Burness Paull LLP
  • FirstPort
  • Independent Audit
  • Intertrust (UK) Limited

This award is open to individuals or companies providing company secretarial or governance services to other organisations. It recognises providers that have gone significantly beyond typical service levels and have been passionate about delivering a valued, and valuable, contribution to the client’s business.

Nominations should demonstrate high-quality client service backed up by glowing testimonials. You can self-nominate, or your clients can nominate you on your behalf. The judges will be looking for ways the nominee has gone above and beyond their contractual obligations to the client, and the value they have created as a result.

The nomination form should cover:

  • How the nominee exceeded client expectations over the past year and delivered measurable value
  • Examples of how the nominee has used technology in new and creative ways to improve the efficiency and performance of their clients’ businesses
  • Examples of where the nominee has met and overcome the challenges of dealing with exceptional projects or transactions
  • Anything else relevant to why you feel the nominee deserves to win this award

Annual Report of the Year - Small Cap and AIM

The award for the best-written annual report in the Small Cap and AIM category.

Sponsored by Jordans

Winner announced – read more

Shortlist

  • Winner: Dialight plc
  • De La Rue plc
  • EMIS Group plc
  • McBride plc
  • U and I Group PLC
  • The Vitec Group plc

Nominees may hail from different parts of the corporate community, but each will tell the company’s story vividly, honestly and in their own unique way. No material will be omitted, and the temptation to use boilerplate comprehensively avoided.

The judges are looking for reports that maintain the same high standard of commentary throughout. They are interested in reports that describe the business with thorough and relevant information, and that have a clear and logical flow. Winning reports offer real insight into the workings of the company at its highest levels.

Evidence considered by the judges will include:

  • Clear and relevant links made between strategy, risk, KPIs, sustainability and remuneration
  • The level of Insight provided into how the board works, including how it manages risk, its approach to diversity (including gender), and attempted engagement with shareholders
  • Whether the report an interesting and enjoyable read, and easy to comprehend
  • Whether the report truly sets the tone from the top and accurately describes the board’s work in providing leadership and oversight
  • Whether the report provides an honest ‘warts and all’ appraisal of the year, with no material omitted
  • Whether the report makes intelligent and helpful use of photos and graphics, and judicious use of case studies

Best Investor Engagement

The award that celebrates the most constructive stewardship engagement.

Winner announced – Read more

Shortlist

  • Winner: Legal and General Investment Management
  • Highly commended: Columbia Threadneedle Investment
  • Aberdeen Standard Investment
  • Aviva Investors

The Best Investor Engagement award is presented to the investor that FTSE350 company secretaries consider was responsible for the best stewardship engagement during the year.

Recognising the difference the Code has made to the quality and quantity of investor engagement, company secretaries of all FTSE 350 companies nominate the investor or investment manager they consider to have undertaken the most constructive stewardship engagement in the past year. The five with the highest numbers of votes are shortlisted, and the nominee with the most votes wins the award.

Nominations are not taken for this award.

Strategic Report of the Year

Recognising clarity and focus in strategic reports.

Sponsored by Addleshaw Goddard

Winner announced – Read more

Shortlist

  • Winner: Vodafone Group Plc
  • Anglo American plc
  • Babcock International Group PLC
  • Land Securities Group PLC

This award goes to the organisation that has best demonstrated the essential objective of the strategic report: ‘to provide information for shareholders that will enable them to assess how the directors have performed their duty to promote the success of the company’. Companies will typically need to present strong forward-looking commentary alongside a comprehensive review of the previous year.

The judges will be looking for:

  • A description of what the company does and why, and how it differs from its competitors
  • Clear links between strategy, objectives and business model
  • A business model description that sets out how value is generated or preserved over the longer term, and how that value is captured
  • A description of the main trends, opportunities, risks and uncertainties affecting the entity, how they are managed, and whether they are increasing or decreasing
  • The use of financial and non-financial KPIs in analysis
  • Disclosures on diversity, the environment, social responsibility, community and human rights issues, where material

Nominations are not taken for this award.

Remuneration Report of the Year

The award for clearly structured reports, with transparent analysis of remuneration.

Sponsored by New Bridge Street

Winner announced – Read more

Shortlist

  • Winner: BAE Systems plc
  • Highly commended: Berendsen plc
  • Polymetal International plc
  • Spectris plc

This award recognises high-quality remuneration reports that don’t shy away from difficult issues, and that make the rationale for key decisions clear. Reports considered for this award will offer an incisive view of best practice, describing how remuneration is considered alongside strategy and the long-term interests of shareholders, and how remuneration policy affects positive change in organisational culture.

The judges will be looking for evidence of reports that have presented real insights into the work of the remuneration committee and that demonstrate innovative thinking and stakeholder engagement.

Evidence considered by the judges will include:

  • A clear explanation of how remuneration policy is legally compliant and explicitly linked to delivery of strategy
  • Acknowledgement of the external and internal economic environments, and how these are factored into remuneration policy and practice
  • Disclosure of targets and a willingness to explain why those targets were deemed the most appropriate for the company
  • A description of how the desired culture throughout the organisation is achieved through remuneration
  • Clear explanation of any changes in policy and practice

Nominations are not taken for this award.

Sustainability Disclosure of the Year

Sponsored by Deutsche Bank

The award for companies that demonstrate clear leadership in sustainability.

Winner announced – Read more

Shortlist

  • Winner: GlaxoSmithKline plc
  • Winner: Unilever Group
  • Intertek Group plc
  • Taylor Wimpey plc

This award recognises companies that understand the relationship between sustainability and strategy, and that focus their efforts on what will keep their business in operation in years to come.

The judges are interested in companies that show throughout their report that sustainability is at the heart of their business. The judges are particularly interested in reports that show the board’s commitment to sustainability, combined with excellent case studies and data that demonstrate sustainability in practice.

The judging criteria include:

  • Recognition and evidence that long-term stakeholder interests and non-financial factors are critical and inextricably linked to strategy, objectives and sustainability
  • Identification of value chain and value drivers, together with an explanation of how the company creates its future in terms of vision, values and behaviours
  • Insight into how the company accounts for itself on environmental, social and governance matters
  • Evidence that sustainability is centred on risk management and opportunities, with a link to strategy and an effective discussion around choice of, and performance against, non-financial KPIs
  • Demonstration of engagement with the most important stakeholders in the business and how this drives improvements in performance

Nominations are not taken for this award.

Board Disclosure of the Year

Sponsored by Prism Cosec

The award for reports that provide real insights into executive performance.

Winner announced – Read more

Shortlist

  • Winner: Marks and Spencer Group plc
  • Hammerson plc
  • Spirax-Sarco plc
  • SSE plc

Winners of this award will have offered great detail on the skills of the board, succession planning and induction, and a real sense of the personality of the chairman. Reports will be well presented and clearly written.

The judges look for reports with a strong chairman’s statement and that provide a good explanation of the issues the board faced during the year. The judges are particularly interested in reports that demonstrate how the chair is taking personal responsibility for leading the company, and explain how they lead the board and ensure that the company culture is appropriate.

Evidence considered by the judges will include:

  • Board activities during the year, and a discussion on how the tone from the top is cascaded throughout the organisation
  • Description of the process around, and outcomes and actions arising from, board evaluation
  • Description of attributes required and/or obtained in the course of board refreshment, why these are important to the board and company’s strategic purpose, and clear evidence of succession planning
  • Consideration of the mix of skills and other attributes on the board, how any gaps are likely to be filled, and what is being done to equip the board with the requisite skills to deliver future strategy
  • Evidence that diversity is reported in its widest sense

Nominations are not taken for this award.

Audit Disclosure of the Year

The award for companies that have got to grips with the audit function.

Winner announced – Read more

Shortlist

  • Winner: Barclays PLC
  • BAE Systems plc
  • Marks and Spencer Group plc
  • Tesco PLC

This award gets under the bonnet of company auditing, looking at how audit committees go about their work, how companies handle their external auditors, and how the provision of non-audit services is managed. Shortlisted companies will have published reports offering quality discussion on all aspects of the audit.

Judges look for reports that provide detailed insight into how the board satisfies itself on auditor independence, and oversees the delivery a high-quality audit for shareholders. Judges also consider the extent to which the report presents the significance of the audit function to shareholders.

Evidence considered by the judges will include:

  • A view on audit rotation, and an explanation of why this was or was not appropriate
  • How the audit committee satisfied itself about the external auditor’s independence, and how relations are managed
  • Confirmation that the audit committee challenged the external auditor on its work in the areas that drive audit quality
  • Discussion of how the audit committee obtained comfort that the approach taken by management to specific issues was appropriate, and how it assured itself that the annual report was fair, balanced and understandable
  • The work carried out to inform the board’s view that the company is a going concern, and inputs to the board’s viability statement

Nominations are not taken for this award.

Risk Disclosure of the Year

The award for the best reporting on risk management.

Sponsored by Institute of Risk Management

Winner announced – Read more

Shortlist

  • Winner: Standard Chartered PLC
  • Antofagasta plc
  • BP plc
  • International Consolidated Airlines Group

This award is given to reports that recognise that good risk management is not a static thing; it responds to internal and external pressures, and is inextricably linked to strategy. Nominated reports will give a meaningful description of the business and the risks it faces, and show why each risk is incurred and how the board committees in particular are playing their part in managing them.

Judges look for reports that provide meaningful discussion of the risks arising out of its strategy and operations, detailed description of the process of risk governance within the organisation, and how the effectiveness of this is tested. Judges are particularly interested in reports that offer great insight into the issues facing the business and give confidence that risk is well managed.

The judging criteria include:

  • How the report demonstrates that risk management is integral to strategy and operations
  • How the report shows that risks are managed appropriately, and that risk management is dynamic
  • A description of what the risk or audit committee did during the year, how remuneration is used as a risk management tool, and how unintended consequences are minimised
  • Where applicable, a description of how controls have been improved, and of how risks that have grown in importance are being managed

Nominations are not taken for this award.

Annual Report of the Year - FTSE 100

Annual Report of the Year (FTSE 100) Sponsored by AWCS- Association of Women Chartered Secretaries

The awards for the best-written annual reports.

Winner announced – Read more

Shortlist

  • Winner: Land Securities Group PLC
  • Highly commended: Marks and Spencer Group plc
  • Legal and General PLC
  • Vodafone Group Plc

This award is divided into two categories: FTSE 100 and FTSE 250. Although the size of the companies may differ, the clarity of the reports and the insight they give into the workings of the company and the board will not. Nominees may hail from different parts of the corporate community, but each will tell the company’s story vividly, honestly and in their own unique way. No material will be omitted, and the temptation to use boilerplate comprehensively avoided.

The judges are looking for reports that maintain the same high standard of commentary throughout. They are interested in reports that describe the business with thorough and relevant information, and that have a clear and logical flow. Winning reports offer real insight into the workings of the company at its highest levels.

Evidence considered by the judges will include:

  • Clear and relevant links made between strategy, risk, KPIs, sustainability and remuneration
  • The level of insight provided into how the board works, including how it manages risk, its approach to diversity (including gender), and attempted engagement with shareholders
  • Whether the report is an interesting and enjoyable read, and easy to comprehend
  • Whether the report truly sets the tone from the top and accurately describes the board’s work in providing leadership and oversight
  • Whether the report provides an honest ‘warts and all’ appraisal of the year, with no material omitted
  • Whether the report makes intelligent and helpful use of photos and graphics, and judicious use of case studies

Nominations are not taken for this award.

Annual Report of the Year - FTSE 250

The awards for the best-written annual reports.

Winner announced – Read more

Shortlist

  • Winner: Spirax-Sarco plc
  • Berendsen plc
  • Jupiter Fund Management plc
  • Meggitt PLC

This award is divided into two categories: FTSE 100 and FTSE 250. Although the size of the companies may differ, the clarity of the reports and the insight they give into the workings of the company and the board will not. Nominees may hail from different parts of the corporate community, but each will tell the company’s story vividly, honestly and in their own unique way. Nothing material will be omitted, and the temptation to use boilerplate comprehensively avoided.

The judges are looking for reports that maintain the same high standard of commentary throughout. They are interested in reports that describe the business with thorough and relevant information, and that have a clear and logical flow. Winning reports offer real insight into the workings of the company at its highest levels.

Evidence considered by the judges will include:

  • Clear and relevant links made between strategy, risk, KPIs, sustainability and remuneration
  • The level of insight provided into how the board works, including how it manages risk, its approach to diversity (including gender), and attempted engagement with shareholders
  • Whether the report is an interesting and enjoyable read, and easy to comprehend
  • Whether the report truly sets the tone from the top and accurately describes the board’s work in providing leadership and oversight
  • Whether the report provides an honest ‘warts and all’ appraisal of the year, with nothing material omitted
  • Whether the report makes intelligent and helpful use of photos and graphics, and judicious use of case studies

Nominations are not taken for this award.

Outstanding Achievement

The award that recognises outstanding service to governance.

Winner announced - read more

  • Winner: Paul Druckman

This prestigious award is presented by ICSA in recognition of a significant and long-lasting contribution to the governance and company secretarial profession. Recipients have led by example and have continually added value to their organisations throughout their careers. They combine technical expertise in law, practice and governance with the skills necessary to manage and influence a diverse range of stakeholders. They inspire others to follow in their footsteps.

Previous winners include Julia Unwin, Richard Carter, Guy Jubb and Craig Hunter

Nominations are not taken for this award.

Awards Highlights

Take a look through the Awards 2017 highlights

Get involved

Winners announced

View the ICSA Awards 2017 list of winners.