In a recent event held by Genius Methods in May, the discussion in the plenary session at one point evolved around the title of the “Company Secretary” – is it fit for purpose?
The discussion came to a suggestion – Company Secretary is good for the department of which the head should be the “Chief Governance Officer”. This would be far more appropriate as the individual is fulfilling a Board role.
ICSA has released an article on this subject called “Elevating the Role of the Company Secretary”
The findings summarised “the uniqueness of the positon of the company secretary as the interface between the board and management”. It also states that the company secretary has “some way to go in gaining credibility amongst board members” as they are typically viewed as “administrators”. They invariably have a better relationship with the Chairman than the CEO which adds complexity to the role.
The key message is the “individual being able to demonstrate the ability to add value beyond administrative efficiency: sufficient commercial expertise will continue to be a benchmark for a company secretary to be considered at a more elevated position”.
The Linstock report has been launched in the House of Commons, so let’s watch this space. It does appear to be on someone’s “to-do” list!!