Company Secretary

The Company Secretary or Group Company Secretary is usually the head of the secretarial department and oversees the corporate governance team. Occasionally, the company secretary operates in a more stand-alone capacity, often in smaller organisations or start-ups. Usually reports to the Chief Executive or Chairman of the Board.  In some organisations this role is called the Head of Governance, especially in Not-For-Profit organisations. 

Typical Profile

The Company Secretary is usually highly experienced and has built a strong track record in comparable environments. Educated to degree level and a qualified Chartered Secretary with 5-10 years commercial experience.

They will have operated in a headquarter environment and be equally happy and able to both provide broad commercial counsel, while also being hands-on to deliver the activities demanded by the role.

Core Responsibilities of the Company Secretary

  • Interpret, advise on and ensure compliance with the principles of the Corporate Governance Code.  Stay abreast of future changes in the Code and advise on the impact of these
  • Ensure compliance with all Stock Exchange/regulatory requirements
  • Oversee the design and production of the group’s annual report, including the content of the statutory reports
  • Co-ordinate and undertake the creation of compliance frameworks. Support and administrate international legal issues, including M&A transactions, commercial contracts, intellectual property and employment law
  • Line manage (where applicable) the company secretarial team
  • Advise members of the legal, governance, accounting and tax departments of the implications of proposed policies
  • Maintain the register of shareholders and monitor changes in share ownership of the company – in a publicly listed company
  • Monitor the administration of the company’s pension scheme – this may be a requirement in some smaller companies
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