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The ICSA Company Secretaries Conference 2014

8 October 2014, ExCeL London

Speaking truth to power

Duration: 09:00 - 16:30       CPD: 5.5 hours              


The ICSA Company Secretaries Conference 2014 was held on 8 October 2014 at Excel, London.

We would like to thank you to those who attended the summit. And a special thank you goes to our sponsor and speakers who helped shape this event to be a huge success.

The date for the 2015 summit will be announced soon. Register for updates.

“High quality delegates and venue.”
Neil Stanfiled, Finance Director and Company Secretary
“Stimulating start, good panel debate and good technical session options.”
Adrian Gordon, Governance Manager
“Keynote addresses were entertaining, thought provoking and informative.”
Administrator (Student CSQS)

2014 Programme

09.00   Conference opens, registration and tea/coffee

09.25   Introduction
Conference chair: Siân Jones, Presenter, Facilitator & Trainer

09.30   Morning keynote address
In this session, Andrew will draw on his brand new international research into how top teams deliver value for organisations. Referring to his recent ICSA report, Building trust through governance, he will also outline what role the company secretary can play in facilitating this vital function.
Andrew Kakabadse, Professor of Governance and Leadership, Henley Business School

10.00   A choice of workshop sessions

Company Secretary career surgery: standing out from the crowd
Is your career going in the right direction? In this workshop, through a combination of presentation and small group discussions, delegates will be encouraged to discuss the ways and means that company secretaries can use to advance their careers. 

Lorraine Young FCIS, Managing Director, Lorraine Young Company Secretarial Services
Katherine Sparkes
, Chief Executive, Getting on Board
Jennifer Palmer FCIS, Deputy Head, Assurance, RBS
David Press, Director, DMJ Recruitment

Beyond the technical: what makes a good company secretary great?

As the effectiveness of boards continues to come under the spotlight, how can company secretaries continue to add value beyond providing technical guidance and administrative board support? Led by a panel of experienced company secretaries, this session looks at those soft skills required to positively influence the performance of the board.
Chaired by Julie Bamford FCIS, Joint Head of Policy, Corporate, ICSA
Susan Swabey FCIS, Company Secretary, Smith & Nephew
Jeremy Small FCIS, Company Secretary, AXA
Rob Bellhouse FCIS, Company Secretary, Lonmin PLC

10.50   Tea/coffee

11.15   Companies House update: what’s new and future developments
With online annual returns now at 98% and with further changes in the pipeline to improve the transparency and accessibility of company information, the ways that Companies House interacts with its customers continues to develop. Here, we get the inside track on what’s happening.
Tim Moss, Registrar of Companies for England and Wales and Chief Executive of Companies House

11.40   A choice of technical sessions

Director indemnification: liabilities and limits

Directors can find themselves personally liable in a range of circumstances. In this session, we look at the extent to which it is legally possible for companies to indemnify directors, and at the limitations which can be placed on such arrangements in practice, as well as the interaction with D&O insurance.
Walter Clark FCIS, Corporate Partner, Burness Paull LLP

Use of committees: just the basic three?
Are your committees adding real value to the organisation? Are there too many? Not enough? Is there effective oversight of the work they do and the decisions they make? This session will examine how to optimise both committee structures and the contribution of the people that sit on them.
Mark Wearden FCIS, Director, MBS - challenging perception and Senior Lecturer, University of Lincoln

12.30 Lunch

12.45 LUNCHTIME SESSION: Live demonstration of ICSA’S Company Secretarial Practice online

ICSA would like to introduce CSPOnline, the new way to access Company Secretarial Practice, the leading resource for company secretaries, in-house counsel and governance and compliance professionals. It provides detailed explanation and commentary on all aspects of company law and corporate governance. Now available online, this session demonstrates some of the new features.

In this wide-ranging presentation, Digby will explore issues such as: how the business world is changing and how companies can remain competitive; what makes a business resilient and sustainable in the long-term; and what makes a high-performing board. He will also talk about the common characteristics of exceptional company secretaries he has worked with over the years.
Lord Digby Jones, Chairman, Triumph Motorcycles and Crossbench Peer, House of Lords

13.50 A choice of technical sessions

Cyber crime: managing the threat
With a few strokes of a keyboard, nation states, criminal gangs, and rogue individuals can launch a cyber-attack on your organisation from anywhere, at any time. So, what can your company do to reduce its exposure? Including a demonstration of how easily passwords can be hacked, this session will help raise awareness of these key cyber risks and how you can tackle them.
Matthew Parker, Senior Manager Business Risk Services, Grant Thornton

EU legislation and company law update: what’s on the horizon
Although the rapid pace of change in company law has thankfully abated over the past year, a number of significant new initiatives are likely to be implemented soon. In this session we wrap up what’s happening on several fronts including Insolvency, shareholder rights, remuneration and the company law action plan.
Vanessa Jones FCIS, Director, Corporate Legal Solutions Limited

14.40 Tea/coffee

15.00   Understanding risk: separating fact from fiction
For many, risk management can be a confusing combination of pseudo-science and blind guesswork. By challenging some popular areas of received wisdom on what constitutes an effective risk management philosophy, this presentation aims to debunk myths and provide new ways of thinking about risk.
Peter Bonisch, Founder and Managing Director, Paradigm Risk Consulting Ltd

15.25  Building board competence: care, skill and diligence

The shift from Executive-led Capitalism towards Stakeholder-led Capitalism, suggests that we should re-evaluate the prominence of boards and owners in the design and governance of future organisations. This session argues for the creation of a ‘Chairman’s Office’ which includes the chairman and company secretary as a distinct entity from the managing director and the executive team and re-defines both roles.
Prof. Bob Garratt, Director, Garratt Learning Services and Visiting Professor, Cass Business School

15.50   Panel session
The benefits of board diversity: examining the evidence.
Although there has been some positive movement towards reaching the targets set out in the Davies report, for some companies there is still a long way to go. In this panel discussion, we look at the debate from all angles and examine the latest evidence that shows the tangible benefits of a truly diverse board.
Dr Jeremy Cross, Leadership Psychologist and Director at Bailiwick Consulting Ltd
Patricia Cleverly, Director of Research, Strategy and Policy, Tomorrow's Company
Emma Howard Boyd, Member of the 30% Club Steering Committee and Chair of 30% Club Investor Group
Susanne Thorning-Lund, Partner at Odgers Berndtson’s Chair & NED Practice

16.25   Closing words
Simon Osborne FCIS, Chief Executive, ICSA

16.30   Close followed by drinks

Conference date

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Conference date

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