Darlington man honoured for championing better business practices

London, 13 November 2014 – Alan Theakston, a born and bred Darlington man, has been honoured by ICSA, the chartered membership and qualifying body for people working in governance, risk and compliance, including company secretaries, for his work for the Institute and for improving the efficiency of businesses, charities and educational establishments. He took home the Institute’s Outstanding Achievement Award at last night’s Excellence in Governance awards dinner in London.

A Pension Scheme trustee, a trustee of The Ropner Centenary Trust and the Chartered Secretaries Charitable Trust, as well as a director of international software firms ICSA Software and ICSA Boardroom Apps Limited, Alan has a company secretarial/governance career spanning almost 50 years.

“Alan’s first company secretarial role was as an assistant company secretary at Ropner PLC, a local Darlington listed company specialising in shipping, insurance, property development and engineering,” says ICSA Chief Executive Simon Osborne. “He went on to become a main board director and Group Company Secretary and then had a very successful career implementing effective governance practices whilst self-employed. It was while at Ropner, however, that Alan first encountered ICSA, sitting our exams to become a chartered secretary. I am delighted to say that his involvement with the Institute did not end there. He went on to become UK President, International President, a member of various ICSA committees and an ICSA Fellow. A top-class company secretary, his service to both ICSA and the governance cause has been invaluable.”

Alan has held governance/company secretarial roles for a number of solicitors, private limited companies and several charities. He has also worked for Darlington College, South Tyneside College, Hartlepool College and Unity City Academy in Middlesbrough. On the subject of academies in particular, Alan says “I am extremely pleased to see that ICSA has a new publication by author Katie Paxton-Doggett out entitled “How to run an Academy School” because this relatively new sector is crying out for better governance. For every high profile case of deliberate mismanagement there are many more well intentioned academy boards which suffer from simple lack of knowledge of good governance principles.”

Father of four and grandfather of eleven, Alan continues: “I am delighted to have been recognised for my contribution to the chartered secretary profession and governance in general. The part of my career for which I gained the greatest satisfaction followed my appointment as group company secretary of Ropner PLC in 1980 and being responsible for significant changes to the company’s corporate governance structure, including those introduced by the Cadbury Code and subsequent codes which had a huge impact on companies listed on the Stock Exchange,” says Alan.

“Governance is not just about complying with codes; it serves a far greater purpose than that. Done well, it can help businesses and organisations grow and achieve sustainability. In short, it is what is needed to ensure long-term prosperity.”

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For further information, please contact Maria Brookes, Media Relations Manager:

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Notes to Editors:

  1. The complete list of Excellence in Governance Awards winners can be found online at www.icsa.org.uk/awards2014 
  2. ICSA (Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators) is the chartered membership and qualifying body for professionals working in governance, risk and compliance, including company secretaries. Our members work in all sectors and at every level of seniority. With over 120 years of experience, we champion high governance standards by providing qualifications, training, high-quality guidance and support (including technical resources, publications and software), and through our work with regulators and policy makers. 
    Website: www.icsa.org.uk 
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