Guardians of Governance

ICSA Magazine – Governance and Compliance – September 2014

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Sharon chaired a roundtable debate on 4th July 2014 attended by David Swabey -Head of Policy at ICSA, David Jackson – Company Secretary of BP, Lawrence Dickinson – Company Secretary of Barclays, Jeremy Small – Company Secretary of AXA, Alison Horrocks – Company Secretary of Inmarsat, Charlie Helps and David Thompson.

The focus of the debate was to understand the pivotal role the Company Secretary fulfils as the  champion of corporate governance, the right hand person to the Chairman and an Executive of the company.

The debate covered responsibilities of the role but more the value brought as the person that “makes it happen” but is not “obviously there” but missed when not delivering effectively.  The Company Secretary is in the unique position of being at Board meetings, not being a Director but being the competent observer of the activities and the owner of the annual governance agenda.

 ICSA published “Guardians of Governance” in September 2014, picking up on the key themes – governance, being the bridge, and the company radar – the role of the Company Secretary is being “recalibrated” and is gaining prominence.

 The roundtable was in response to the ICSA’s 2014 report “The Company Secretary: Building trust through governance“.