Implications for Company Secretaries and Their Team
That’s all very well, I hear you say, but what has any of that got to do with the company secretary and their team?
Well, all of these examples have led to significant changes and challenges for the boards of those organisations. The expectations that are placed on boards by the public, politicians and regulators are perhaps greater than ever before, as are the different considerations that they need to factor into their decision-making. The governance arrangements they have relied on may no longer be entirely fit for purpose, as lines of accountability both within and outside the organisation become tangled or blurred.
It is the job of the secretariat to provide the board with the advice and support it needs to cope with all of this. It will be challenging for them, just as it will be challenging for the board itself. Boards may become even more reliant on the secretariat as they struggle to cope with the volume and complexity of the issues they have to deal with.
Company secretaries will still be called on by boards to provide expert advice on regulation, strategy, practice and procedure, and to ensure the effectiveness of the organisation’s governance and compliance processes. As regulation and compliance in particular becomes more complex and intrusive this advice will be needed more than ever, as will the technology and other tools the secretariat rely on to stay on top of the job.
While the balance of how the secretariat spends its time may shift, and the specific topics it has to get to grips with will evolve, I don’t expect the essential functions and responsibilities of the company secretariat to change in the future. It is a case of more of the same, and to an even higher standard than before.