Stage set for company secretaries to help organisations grow stronger

London, 29 August 2014 – As the economic recovery gathers pace, a top-flight line-up at ICSA’s
annual Company Secretaries Conference will look at the future of governance in building organisational strength and resilience and will reveal how company secretaries can bring their unique skills and knowledge to bear in creating effective governance.

Taking place on 8 October 2014 at ExCel London, the conference - themed Speaking truth to power -
will feature a presentation by Lord Digby Jones, chairman of Triumph Motorcycles and a crossbench
peer. He will give his views on how companies can meet the demands of global competition and, in
particular, will be considering what makes a business resilient and sustainable in the long term. The
conference theme highlights the central role of the company secretary who is often called upon to speak sometimes uncomfortable truths to senior management. Drawing on his own experience, Lord Jones will give his views on the attributes and qualities of a good company secretary and share his thoughts on what ethical business really means.

The crucial facilitating role of the company secretary in improving board performance is considered in
greater detail by keynote speaker Andrew Kakabadse, Professor of Governance and Leadership at
Henley Business School. Talking about his recently published research The Company Secretary:
Building trust through governance, Andrew will consider the future of governance and the central role
company secretaries can play in delivering trust and good governance.

Professor Bob Garratt, a pracademic and international consultant on board and top team development, will discuss the shift from executive-led to stakeholder-led capitalism, and the prominence of boards and owners in the design and governance of organisations in the future. He argues for the creation of a ‘Chairman’s Office’ which includes the chairman and company secretary as a distinct entity from the managing director and executive team, and redefines both roles.
Other speakers include Tim Moss, Registrar of Companies for England and Wales and Chief Executive of Companies House who will give the inside track on the latest developments at Companies House, and Peter Bonisch, Founder and Managing Director of Paradigm Risk Consulting Ltd who will debunk the myths surrounding risk management and offer some new ways of thinking.

The programme will also be offering workshops and technical sessions covering:

  • Director indemnification: liabilities and limits
  • Use of committees: just the basic three?
  • Cyber security
  • EU legislation and company law

Speaking in advance of the conference, which will be chaired by Siân Jones, presenter, facilitator and
trainer, ICSA Chief Executive Simon Osborne says: “Company secretaries are proponents of good
governance because it is not a nice-to-have, it is a must-have. Its future should not be in doubt just
because we are seeing some improvement on the economic front. The failures that led to the financial crisis have not been fully eradicated. If we want organisations here and abroad to survive in a sustainable way, then strong governance is what will allow us to achieve that. This conference will
provide governance, risk and compliance professionals with the skills and technical knowledge they
need to implement rigorous governance throughout their organisations.”

- Ends -

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

+44 (0)20 7612 7072
+44 (0)7890 649 143

Notes to Editors:

  1. 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, highquality guidance and support (including technical resources, publications and software), and throughour work with regulators and policy makers. Website: 
  2. The full conference programme can be found at 
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