LONDON, May 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
New research has revealed the corporate secretary to be one of the least recognised board members amongst UK firms, with just 15% of employees able to identify the company secretary in their organization.
Yet a new whitepaper by technology firm eShare - 'Under pressure: the company secretary and the growing need for effective governance' - has revealed that the role of corporate (company in the UK) secretary is becoming harder than ever before, and also growing in profile.
"The role of the corporate secretary is becoming one of the hardest roles in the organization," said Alister Esam, CEO, eShare. "Changes in the business landscape have meant more governance and compliance requirements, and the penalties for not meeting those are severe. The responsibility for this lies mostly with the CoSec."
The eShare white paper has contributions from CoSecs in the US and UK, and explores how the role has changed over the past decade, and what tools and technologies are available to help. The whitepaper finds that what was once a relatively low profile position, has become one of the most exposed, with overall responsibility for the organization's corporate governance.
"The biggest challenge for company secretaries is doing more with less," said James Menzies, Director EMEIA Tax Centre, Corporate Secretarial Support Services, Ernst & Young LLP. "The increasing profile of corporate governance, more reporting and more transparency, opposed by a steady pressure on budgets and headcount mean that the company secretary of the future will need to be able to work ever smarter, embrace change and new challenges in order to succeed."
With governance and good corporate behaviour increasingly important to business success, the role of the CoSec has broadened further still, according to eShare's Alister Esam:
"Good governance entails knowing what you are and why you exist and having internal values and behaviours that are perpetuated externally. Much of this stems from the CoSec role - if all this is addressed at a senior level it filters down through the organization much more effectively."
To download the whitepaper 'Under pressure: the company secretary and the growing need for effective governance', click here.