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Irish twins: the future face of governance?

Dublin, 26 February 2016 – Dubliners Ruth and Rebecca Keating took first and second prize respectively in a brand new competition designed to encourage fresh approaches to governance.

The Tom Morrison Essay Prize is the brainchild of ShareGift, a unique charity which specialises in accepting donations of shares to generate funds for charities, and ICSA: The Governance Institute, the professional body for governance. Essays demonstrating an original perspective were sought on the topic ‘Does good governance require a fresh approach?’

“We launched the prize in memory of ICSA Fellow Tom Morrison, a highly regarded and influential member of the share registration industry and an early supporter of ShareGift’s work. Tom was renowned for challenging received wisdom and we wanted a prize that encourages new thinking and recognises original approaches to governance,” says Simon Osborne, ICSA Chief Executive.

“Governance professionals are increasingly called upon to help organisations perform optimally and to achieve sustainability, and encouraging the next generation of governance professionals is a vital part of ICSA’s work,” adds Conor Ryan, President of ICSA in the Irish region. “Ruth wrote a fantastic essay about corporate governance needing to do better with significant investment, capital and jobs on the line, and I couldn’t agree more. Ruth’s twin sister Rebecca was a worthy runner up with an essay looking at security concerns for good governance in the cyber age. Ruth and Rebecca clearly have creativity in their veins with Clonmel-born artist John Keating as their father.”

“I am over the moon to have won the inaugural Tom Morrison Essay Prize,” says Ruth. “Governance has become a formality to be satisfied rather than something which can be hugely valuable and I truly believe that the approach that I propose is not so much a new one as much as governance as it should be. It was lovely to have my trophy presented to me at last night’s prize-giving ceremony in London by Tom’s widow Lindsay. I am very grateful to ShareGift for their generous donation to The Chartered Secretaries’ Charitable Trust in order to establish this prize.”

“I consider that a 21st century approach to good governance will not be achieved by a handful of key stakeholders,” says Rebecca. “Every player in a company needs to feel that they are custodians and there needs to be a more inclusive approach in seeking a collective plan of response. All end users need to feel empowered and educated in how best to protect their business.”

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Notes to Editors:

  1. ICSA: The Governance Institute is the professional body for governance. We have members in all sectors and are required by our Royal Charter to lead ‘effective governance and efficient administration of commerce, industry and public affairs’. With 125 years’ experience, we work with regulators and policy makers to champion high standards of governance and provide qualifications, training and guidance.
    Website: www.icsa.org.uk
  2. ICSA Ireland is the representative body of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) in the Republic of Ireland. The Irish region is governed by its own Council and sub-committees representing all areas of business in which the members work. ICSA Ireland has approximately 600 members and 200 students with many of its members working in the corporate and professional services sectors. 

    Through its Council and sub-committees it provides a range of services to members and students, including the organisation of educational and social events. Council also makes representations and submissions to Government Departments and Governance Forums on behalf of the ICSA members.
    Website: www.icsacharteredsecretaries.ie 
  3. Tom Morrison Essay Prize: Entry to the competition was restricted to recent ICSA, business or law graduates with a maximum of two years’ experience in a governance role or ICSA students and other students early in their career. Entries were judged anonymously and there were no geographical restrictions.

    Essays were judged on:

    • How much they challenged conventional thinking and approaches
    • Originality
    • Clarity of expression, including logical flow of content
    • Referencing
    • Correct use of the English language, including spelling and punctuation.

    The winning essays can be found at www.icsa.org.uk/tmep