In the wake of the global banking crisis, governance has taken on increasing importance amid claims that a lack of governance was a key contributor to the crisis. In the years since, regulatory bodies across the world have been anxious to show that good governance is among their highest priorities.
It is often the company secretary who is handed this heightened governance responsibility, and there can be little doubt that company secretaries are – contrary to the clerical connotations of the term ‘secretary’ – taking on an increasingly strategic role.
When a good company secretary is in place, the board does not have to spend so much time fretting about governance and compliance. It means that financial directors and other strategic members can devote more of their time to planning and the running of their business.
Few roles are as distinctive as the company secretary
The company secretary’s role is, in many firms today, a unique one. There is the tendency for a company secretary to have an ever-broader and growing remit, including leading the board on matters of governance.
There may sometimes be a need for the company secretary to challenge current practice, which can be difficult given the need to deal with board members or senior directors.
It is often the company secretary who is required to monitor and act as the voice of corporate integrity, which is why it is also frequently so important for the company secretary to be independent of the organisation itself.
What characteristics does the best company secretary possess?
Here at London Registrars, we are well-placed to recognise the importance of the most suitable company secretary – someone who has a keen eye for detail, for example, as well as an appreciation of the need for accuracy.
With a given company secretary’s responsibilities almost certain to encompass the effective management of board meetings, the collation of board papers and compliance matters arising out of the minutes, we know that the most capable company secretary possesses wide-ranging skills and characteristics.
Such an individual must embody such qualities as discretion, diplomacy and integrity. He or she must also offer ample business acumen, exceptional attention to detail, an ability to exert influence at senior levels and an understanding of the company’s regulatory environment and its implications.
Talk to London Registrars about our company secretary service
Company secretaries with the necessary skills in both ‘big picture’ and ‘detail-oriented’ thinking can be hard to come by.
Furthermore, with the typical company secretary role expanding and the demands on everyone’s time increasing, it has only become even more important for whoever holds this job to ensure that their firm can embrace these growing responsibilities, rather than being worn down by them.
Prioritisation has never been more crucial. Get in touch with London Registrars today to discuss how some of your firm’s ‘process’ tasks can be delegated to one of our company secretaries, so that your organisation can focus on the areas where you can really add value to your board and the firm as a whole.