According to the Confederation of British Industries (CBI), company secretaries across the UK need to engage more with the issues arising in the day-to-day running of the business, reports provider of company secretarial services London Registrars (http://www.london-registrars.co.uk/).

President of the CBI Sir Roger Carr has publically declared the need for the role of company secretary to include more direct engagement with key issues which arise in the general running of the business – issues such as shareholder engagement, transparency and diversity. ‘Company secretaries are key players and have an important part to play in improving the overall perception of business,’ he said. ‘Big business is very often viewed as bad business. That’s unhealthy – mostly unwarranted – and fails to recognise the key ingredient business plays in all our lives – as the engine of wealth creation. We have to change the perception of business through good governance and great performance.’

Sir Carr encouraged company secretaries to help facilitate corporate governance in general, along with providing some specific pointers:

  • encourage their chairmen to use an external facilitator for their board reviews;
  • ensure that annual reports are in a digestible and informative format;
  • get involved in government consultations;
  • pay heed to the recommendation of the Davies report on gender diversity in boards.

Addressing the need for the company secretary to help the business ‘to be good and look good’, Sir Carr stated that ‘Performance and governance must go hand in hand and you (as Company Secretaries) clearly are all key players….We all must remember that it’s not rules and regulation that make good business, it’s good people – operational, advisory, executive and non-executive. A diverse board, comprising members with integrity, enthusiasm and independence of mind served by a company secretary up to speed on the rules and willing to stand up for their enforcement. It takes skill, knowledge but most of all, it takes character.’

Businesses can ensure full compliance with corporate governance best practice, including these CBI guidelines, by securing the company secretarial services of London Registrars. Find out more at http://www.london-registrars.co.uk/.