'Trust your governance guardians' says global leadership expert

London, 8 October 2014 - Company chairmen and CEOs are being urged to make better use of in-house expertise to cut the risk of corporate governance failures.

'We are used to the roles of chairman and CEO working effectively together at the top of organisations. But really effective companies have a third member of the top team - the company secretary - to deliver best practice in corporate governance', says Andrew Kakabadse, Professor of Governance and Leadership at Henley Business School.

Kakabadse has undertaken deep analysis of 100 major organisations, examining their attitudes to corporate governance. His findings will be presented today (8 October 2014) at the annual London conference of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, the body for governance professionals.

ICSA Chief Executive Simon Osborne says: 'Professor Kakabadse's findings are timely, as we have recently seen a number of high profile governance failures in leading companies.

'Obviously there is scrutiny by independent directors, but this research clearly shows the need for a qualified company secretary at the highest levels within both public and private sector organisations to help the board steer its way through increasingly challenging governance issues.'

Professor Kakabadse adds: 'My study strongly shows how aware company secretaries are of today's governance issues. They are central to, and have distinct capability to handle these issues. Further, a recent global study highlights that 20% of companies adopt a particular best practice to ensure for a leadership and governance that continually delivers value,' he said.

'So my key question is how can chairmen and CEOs better position their company secretaries to add value when they are central to the value adding process of governance and have the capabilities to do so?'

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

+44 (0)20 7612 7062
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Notes to Editors:

  • 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
  • The full conference programme can be found at www.icsa.org.uk/cosecconf14
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