The future face of governance

London, 26 February 2016 – Irish twin sisters, Ruth and Rebecca Keating, took first and second prize respectively in a brand new competition designed to encourage fresh approaches to governance.

The Tom Morrison Essay Prize is the brainchild of ShareGift, a unique charity which specialises in accepting donations of shares to generate funds for charities, and ICSA: The Governance Institute, the professional body for governance. Essays demonstrating an original perspective were sought on the following topic:

Does good governance require a fresh approach?

“We launched the prize in memory of ICSA Fellow Tom Morrison, who was an active member of ICSA and past president; a highly regarded and influential member of the share registration industry and an early supporter of ShareGift’s unique work. Tom was renowned for challenging received wisdom and we wanted to establish a prize that would encourage new thinking and recognise original approaches to governance,” says Simon Osborne, chief executive of ICSA.

“Governance professionals are increasingly called upon to help organisations perform optimally and to achieve sustainability, and encouraging the next generation of governance professionals is a vital part of our work. The fact that we received entries from as far afield as New Zealand, Thailand, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Barbados shows the importance of governance worldwide. It is something that future business leaders and other professionals need to have firmly on their radar. Ruth wrote a fantastic essay which concluded that corporate governance needs to do better with significant investment, capital and jobs on the line and I couldn’t agree more.

“I am delighted that Tom’s widow Lindsay and children were able to join us at last night’s prize-giving ceremony in London to celebrate the achievements of Ruth and Rebecca. Thanks go to ShareGift for instigating this prize and for a generous donation to The Chartered Secretaries’ Charitable Trust in order to establish it, as well as to Computershare for sponsoring last night’s event.”

“I am over the moon to have won the inaugural Tom Morrison Essay Prize,” says Ruth. “Governance has become a formality to be satisfied rather than something which can be hugely valuable and I truly believe that the approach that I propose is not so much a new one as much as governance as it should be.”

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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: The Governance Institute is the professional body for governance. We have members in all sectors and are required by our Royal Charter to lead ‘effective governance and efficient administration of commerce, industry and public affairs’. With 125 years’ experience, we work with regulators and policy makers to champion high standards of governance and provide qualifications, training and guidance.
  2. Tom Morrison Essay Prize: Entry to the competition was restricted to recent ICSA, business or law graduates with a maximum of two years’ experience in a governance role or ICSA students and other students early in their career. Entries were judged anonymously and there were no geographical restrictions.

    Essays were judged on:
    - How much they challenged conventional thinking and approaches
    - Originality
    - Clarity of expression, including logical flow of content
    - Referencing
    - Correct use of the English language, including spelling and punctuation.

    The winning essays can be found at 
  3. Ruth and Rebecca are both Bachelors of Law from Trinity College in Dublin and are currently BPTC candidates at the University of Law.

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