Excellence in governance is championed at leading awards event

London, 14 November 2013
Excellence in governance is championed at leading awards event
ICSA held its fifth annual Excellence in Governance Awards at The Brewery in London on 13 November, an event which saw individuals, teams and companies rewarded for outstanding achievement in the field of governance.

The awards are split across two broad categories - Transparency in Governance and awards for Company Secretaries. The Transparency in Governance awards, an ICSA initiative in partnership with Hermes Equity Ownership Services and ISS, reward ‘best in class’ disclosure performance, while the Company Secretaries’ awards recognise individuals and teams who demonstrate evidence of achievement across six areas: company law, regulation and compliance; corporate governance and shareholder relations; corporate restructuring; information management and communication; leadership and management, and innovation.

“The Excellence in Governance awards recognise those companies that lead the way in annual reporting and the excellent contributions that individuals and teams make to their organisations,” states Peter Swabey, Policy & Research Director at ICSA. “Communication with investors and other stakeholders is critically important, never more so than this coming year as companies start to adopt the new reporting requirements, with a strategic report and directors’ report, as well as revised remuneration reporting. Many of the winners and nominees have already gone a long way towards implementing these new requirements, so congratulations to all the winners, nominated individuals, teams and companies.”


The winners of each category are as follows:


Transparency in Governance awards:  
Best Annual Report FTSE 100: Land Securities Group PLC FTSE 250: National Express Group
Best Board Disclosure  FTSE 100: Marks and Spencer Group plc FTSE 250: Telecity Group plc 
Best Strategy and Risk Disclosure FTSE 100: Aggreko plc FTSE 250: Afren plc
Best Sustainability and Stakeholder Disclosure FTSE 100: Unilever PLC FTSE 250: Mondi plc
Best Small Cap/AIM report Shanks Group plc  



Company Secretary awards: 
Company Secretary of the Year (listed) Ruth Pavey FCIS, Capital & Counties PLC
Company Secretary of the Year (unlisted) Marcos Castro ACIS, The London Metal Exchange
Company Secretary of the Year (not-for-profit) Gill Brown, The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust
Company Secretarial Team of the Year (listed) Standard Life plc
Company Secretarial Team of the Year (unlisted) Towry Group
Deputy Company Secretary of the Year Ann French, GE Capital UK
The One to Watch    Ceri Charles, Company Secretarial Assistant, Equiniti David Venus Limited
Outstanding Achievement Craig Hunter FCIS


The awards were hosted by Financial Times journalist Lucy Kellaway. She was joined by Sir Richard Olver, Chairman of BAE Systems plc and chair of the Transparency in Governance categories of the awards, who commented that: “The awards are important as achieving good practice governance delivers business benefit. Good governance can help a company be more effective, more competitive, better able to create value and more resilient in times of economic stress.”

The standard of entry this year was extremely high and all of the companies and individuals nominated would have made worthy winners. However, all of the 2013 winners stood out because they succeeded in bringing governance issues to life. 

“Company secretaries continue to face demands of increasing scale and complexity. The role is a pivotal one and requires a range of skills and experience in complementary disciplines. This year’s winners have demonstrated that top company secretaries combine technical expertise in law, practice and governance with the interpersonal skills necessary to manage and influence a diverse range of stakeholders,” said ICSA Chief Executive Simon Osborne.

“Craig Hunter, winner of ICSA’s Outstanding Achievement award, is a shining example. He has established a successful award-winning business providing corporate compliance and governance services to businesses around the world, as well as being a member of the UK Sport Mission Control Panel, which oversees the preparation of all Olympic and Paralympic sports for future games. As GB Chef de Mission for the London 2012 Paralympic Games, he was responsible for Britain’s most successful British Paralympic team, which just goes to show that company and chartered secretaries possess the necessary skill set to succeed at very high levels in all walks of life.”


- Ends -

Media contact:
Maria Brookes
+44 (0)20 7612 7062
+44 (0)7890 649 143


Notes to Editors:

    1. The chair of the Transparency in Governance awards judging panel was Sir Richard Olver, Chairman, BAE Systems plc

      The Transparency in Governance judging panel (in alphabetical order) was as follows:

      Lyn Colloff, FCIS, Company Secretary, Cobham Plc
      Frank Curtiss, FCIS, Head of Corporate Governance, RAILPEN Investments
      Chris Hodge, Head of Corporate Governance, Financial Reporting Council
      Jo Iwasaki, FCA, Head of Corporate Governance, ICAEW
      Gillian Lees, MA(Oxon), Enterprise Governance Specialist, CIMA
      John Ludlow, Board member, AIRMIC
      Charles Mayo, Partner, Simmons & Simmons
      Colin Melvin, Chief Executive, Hermes Equity Ownership Services
      Andrew Ninian, Assistant Director, Head of Corporate Governance, ABI
      Simon Osborne, FCIS, Chief Executive, ICSA
      David Paterson, MA FRSA, Head of Corporate Governance, NAPF
      Nicola Rimmer, MSc CFIIA, President, Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors
      Mark Wearden, FCCA FCIS, ACCA Governance Risk and Performance Forum/ MBS Challenging Perception

      Mark Jackson, Senior Policy Advisor, Market Frameworks, Department for Business, Innovation & Skills
      William Lacey, Policy Adviser, Financial Services, HM Treasury Peter Swabey, Policy & Research Director, ICSA

    1. The chair of the Company Secretary awards judging panel was David Parkes FCIS, Company Secretary, BAE Systems plc

      The Company Secretary judging panel (in alphabetical order) was as follows:

      Fiona Evans ACIS, Group Company Secretary, Intertek plc
      Douglas Parkhill, Director of Finance and Resources, Missing People
      Paul Smillie, Director for Movement Democracy and Company Secretary, YMCA England
      Duncan Wood, Company Secretary, Cairn Energy plc

    1. Award sponsors and supporters: Addleshaw Goddard; AWCS; Black Sun; Board Intelligence; Computershare; CSS; Diligent Boardbooks; Equiniti; Equiniti David Venus; ICSA Board Evaluation; ICSA Software International Ltd, and TMF Group. This year’s charity partner was The Children’s Air Ambulance.

    1. Details about the ICSA Excellence in Governance Awards 2013 can be viewed here: www.icsa.org.uk/excellence-in-governance-awards

    1. The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) is the 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 100 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

    1. Hermes Fund Managers
      Hermes is a unique fund manager – we have been an industry leader in Responsible Investing for over thirty years and offer clients the unparalleled combination of:

      •    Our Multi-Boutique Structure gives institutional and pension fund clients globally the benefit of access to a broad range of specialist, high conviction investment teams operating within an established and robust operating platform.
      •    Our Investment Office is a crucial function, acting as a performance risk ‘radar’ for all boutiques’ investment activity and is central to our mission to deliver Sustainable Risk-Adjusted Alpha to all our clients.  
      Our commitment to behaving as a Responsible Asset Manager, not merely by being a ‘Responsible Investor’ in quoted companies but also by applying these principles across all asset classes and by behaving as a ‘good fiduciary’ on behalf of our clients. Hermes' investment solutions include:
      •    Bonds: Inflation-Linked, Government Bonds, Investment Grade, High Yield
      •    Alternatives: Commodities, Hedge Fund Solutions, Real Estate, Private Equity, Infrastructure
      •    Equities: Global, Emerging Markets, Small Cap, Europe, Japan

      Hermes manages assets on behalf of more than 170 clients* across these investment areas with £26.1 billion* assets under management. Additionally, we support pension funds and other global institutional investors worldwide in meeting their ESG responsibilities through our market leading Hermes Equity Ownership Services, which takes on a stewardship role engaging globally on more than £129 billion* of assets.

      *Please note the total AuM figure includes £3.5bn of assets managed or under an advisory agreement by Hermes GPE LLP (“HGPE”), a joint venture between Hermes Fund Managers (“HFM”) and GPE Partner Limited. HGPE is an independent entity and not part of the Hermes group. £0.4bn of total group AuM figure represents HFM mandates under advice. Source: Hermes as at 30 September 2013. 

    1. ISS, founded in 1985 as Institutional Shareholder Services Inc., is the world's leading provider of proxy advisory and corporate governance solutions to financial market participants. ISS' services include objective proxy research and analysis, end-to-end proxy voting and distribution solutions, turnkey securities class-action claims management, and reliable governance data and modelling tools. More than 1,700 clients rely on ISS' expertise to help them make informed corporate governance decisions. ISS is located in financial centres worldwide and is a subsidiary of MSCI Inc., a leading provider of investment decision support tools to investors globally.
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