Company secretaries – adding value to organisations

Corporate governance - GCCI column

David Jackson, the Company Secretary of British Petroleum said in 2008 ‘In today’s world, the role of the company secretary has no one meaning and covers a multitude of tasks and responsibilities. That said the role lies at the heart of the governance systems of companies and is receiving ever greater focus.’ 

This is truer today than it was in 2008 for whatever type of organisation the company secretary is operating within. Governance as we know is more than just compliance it is how an organization structures itself to perform effectively and efficiently in the long-term. There is a lot of empirical evidence that organisations, whether they are family owned, listed, state-owned or in the not for profit sector perform better and are more likely to be sustainable if they have good governance practices. 

There is often a misconception that the role of the company secretary is purely administrative, preparing and distributing packs for Board meetings, sitting quietly in the Boardroom taking notes of the proceedings of the meeting and thereafter producing a set of minutes. These days, however, this is only a small part of what they do. ….