The CGIUKI Awards 2023: Meet the judges

The CGIUKI 2023 Awards are fast approaching, with the event taking place on the 20 November at InterContinental London Park Lane. We sat down with some of our judges to get their perspectives on governance and the awards themselves.

With 16 awards being awarded over the course of the evening, recognising the successes of individuals and teams over the past year, we asked our judges why it is important to recognise the contributions of governance professionals.

“Governance professionals are successful in many areas, and they are normally ‘silent’ about their successes. This is particularly noticeable when it comes to corporate reporting where they play an instrumental role either writing, project managing and coordinating, overseeing or just supporting; hence the importance of recognising their contribution.” Explains Silvana Glibota-Vigo FCG, Head of Secretariat, Keller Group plc.

A similar theme of ensuring that the successes of governance professionals is not overlooked, is discussed by Anna Bateson, Founder, Cutting Through The Grey:

“The profession provides critical value and impact far beyond that commonly attributed to it. As governance experts, thought and process leaders, individuals and teams exercise high levels of diplomacy and their contributions can be overlooked.”

Abigail Herron FCG, Global Head of ESG Strategic Partnerships – Sustainable Finance Centre for Excellence, Aviva Investors also notes the importance of celebrating their successes:

“Governance teams play a vital role in showcasing the dynamics of the company to the wider world and they're not celebrated as often as they could be!”

With so many fantastic entries this year, we asked the judges, what they look for when reviewing nominations.

“The first thing I look for is objective evidence of achievement and impact and a cross section of testimonials to verify the value provided by the individual, team, organisation or initiative. Second, an authentic voice indicating a motivation driven by passion and humility, the ingredients of inspirational leadership.” – Anna Bateson

Meanwhile, Abigail examines the entries through the lens of ESG:

“I look for reports which bring the strategy and ambitions of the company to life and don’t shy away from tricky topics at the cutting edge of good business practice such as net zero strategy and neurodiversity.”

For Silvana, judging acts as a learning experience to apply in her own role:

“Writing the annual report is what I do for a living, so to speak, so reviewing them gives me the opportunity to step back, clear my mind and look for something new, or for a different way of saying the same thing. For that holy grail of simplicity, clarity and consistency in corporate reporting. It allows me to learn and be reassured that the teams in charge of writing annual reports are listening and do care.”

"I thoroughly examine the institute's extensive judgement standards before analysing the nominated reports. This standards contains helpful suggestions on what constitutes a great disclosure. The primary objective of the best remuneration report is to analyse how the company's remuneration policy represents excellent practice, and whether there are clear ties between remuneration, strategy, and the long-term interests of shareholders. Clarity of presentation and precise descriptions of the committee's activity are also incredibly beneficial".- Kelvin Ernest, Senior Policy Associate, FRC

Finally, we wanted to find out what motivated the judges to get involved with the awards process. John Heaton FCG, Vice President, Chartered Governance Institute Global summarises:

“Those shortlisted in all the categories are of a very high standard. Reading the submissions and endorsements makes me realise the depth of knowledge and commitment to great practice within our community, as well as the enormous contributions to their organisations and our profession.  The Awards are a fantastic opportunity to recognise and publicise those individuals and teams, not just the winners but all those whose achievements have got them this far.” 

For Silvana, who is a first-time judge of the awards, two things stood out:

“I was motivated by the challenge of doing something I had never done before (pretty much a skill of all governance professionals, to be motivated by the unknown!). The second thing was to have the opportunity to step back and consider annual reports objectively, not being so invested as I am when I write my own annual report, therefore learning a huge deal and being amazed at the tonnes of creativity out there.”

Lastly Abigail, enjoys the perspective judging the awards offers:

“I really enjoy the discussions that Peter Swabey facilitates between the judges and seeing the best that governance professionals have to offer. I also enjoy wearing two hats when reviewing the entries: as both a Fellow of the CGI and a sustainable finance professional.”

We look forward to announcing the winners of the CGIUKI Awards on the 20 November, but for now you can see the full shortlist, along with all of the judges, sponsors and interviews with some of our previous winners.

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