How The Role Of The Company Secretary Is Going To Evolve In FY22

The role of the Company Secretary continues to evolve. Legal executive search firms continue to be tapped to look for a new range of skills, and the ongoing disruption to businesses is both a challenge and an opportunity for forward-thinking and innovative professionals.

These were the insights provided by Governance Institute General Manager (Policy and Advocacy) Catherine Maxwell in an interview on Lawyers Weekly. “The company secretary is increasingly seen as the organisation’s governance professional and plays an important part in supporting the effectiveness of the board, its committees and directors,” Maxwell said.

What this means is that Company Secretaries will need to continue to develop new technology and management skills, as volumes of data grow, the time frames for setting up board meetings shorten, and ongoing rolling lockdowns continue to disrupt and require that organisations find new best practices for the handling of board papers.

“A significant matter that will occupy many company secretaries will be how their organisation can hold an AGM given legislation covering this area is still up in the air and there continue to be COVID-19 clusters and associated restrictions,” Maxwell said in the interview.

“Issues stemming from the path out of the pandemic – such as cybersecurity and access to data – continue to keep many company secretaries occupied.”

This also means that Company Secretaries will be expected to have a greater voice and leadership role within organisations, Maxwell added in the interview. They’ll need to make sure that governance is a board room priority topic, and they’ll need to be the one to put forward solutions to address these challenges.

What this means is that when legal executive search firms are looking for talent, flexibility, strong technology (particularly cyber security) skills and leadership characteristics are going to be more important than ever.

“An enquiring mind, resourcefulness and keeping across key developments are skills that will stand all company secretaries in good stead in their increasingly important role,” Maxwell said, to round out the interview.

Read more about the evolving role for Company Secretaries in FY22, and what that implies for legal executive search firms at Lawyers Weekly.