Every week I read in the press about corporate scandals ranging from alleged bribery of public officials to public outcry against pay-for-failure remuneration packages and, less frequently, incidents of shareholder activism and wholesale failures of the board resulting from poor corporate governance practices. All of these issues are very delicate and complex, but risk serious damage to a company’s reputation if not effectively managed.
It is the broad skillset of the company secretary, who can don a number of different hats at once, which makes him or her such a reliable and versatile asset to an organisation.
Being legally trained, I appreciate the value I add to my company by having a good overarching knowledge of finance, business and governance – all acquired through my studies with the ICSA – and my day-to-day activities now range from annual reporting and market disclosures to compliance programmes, share schemes and benefits administration and legal projects.
A key challenge for any company secretary is finding the time to keep abreast of the very many legal and regulatory developments which impact upon our work. The ICSA magazine, Governance + Compliance, provides an excellent tool for receiving updates and commentary on important issues, whilst the many events in the ICSA calendar provide a valuable opportunity to discuss experiences with peers. With the help of the ICSA, I can keep up with the flow in a rapidly changing corporate environment.