We were delighted when The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland asked to interview Kerry for a podcast episode. As you know, we live and breathe governance, which filters down from the top, so we were more than happy when Kerry agreed to share her thoughts on IPOs and the changes that happen to an organisation's governance landscape following the event.
Kerry said, ‘I had a lovely time chatting to CGIUKI. The podcast was a great opportunity for me to talk about a topic that I love, and if I'm honest, I forget that not everyone knows about it already! I love being able to break down what governance means in a listed company and watch as my client's knowledge blossoms to the point that they can hold their own. Our chat covered everything from board composition and diversity to how an IPO could affect employees.’
An interesting topic of conversation regarded governance structure and how after an IPO, the system in place isn't always fit for a listed company—this can come as a bit of a shock! Things such as a corporate website might be perfectly adequate in a large private company, but in a listed regime, the disclosure requirements for the corporate website increase significantly. I urge potential IPO companies to look at their website and get to grips with its layout (inside and out).
The podcast also covers insider dealing and the market abuse regime (MAR) is an area that might be entirely new for those that work in a large private environment, but for those in a listed one, it's an essential subject to get to grips with. MAR is complicated and covers a wide range of activities relating to the Board, PDMRs, their connected persons and anyone within the organisation who might have access to potentially price-sensitive information. The number of stakeholders is high.
You can buy MAR documentation off the shelf, but whilst having a handbook is excellent, it's not going to be of any use to you if it's sat on your shelf collecting dust. You (as the Company Secretary or whoever is responsible, plus at least a deputy) must understand all the processes, triggers, and requirements to get MAR right. Nobody wants to receive a visit from the FCA for getting it wrong!
This podcast was a conversation that could have gone on and on! So, over the next few weeks, Round Governance Services will release a series of blogs that cover the podcast questions in more detail. If you're a busy Co Sec or director and don't have time to listen to the episode, keep popping back and follow our thoughts. Alternatively, you can listen to the Chartered Governance Institute's podcast episode with Kerry Round.
With 15 years of experience as a governance practitioner in listed, quoted and large private organisational structures under her belt, Kerry recognised a better way of doing things. She established Round Governance Services to make governance more accessible and easier to understand. She also wanted to move the role of governance into the 21st century and create a business that supports flexible and agile working. Here's their company purpose: "as a socially-minded business, our purpose is to practise good governance for ourselves, our clients who trust and depend on us, and the communities who rely on us all. Our tailored and proactive approach to work is fundamental in achieving this.
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Kerry discusses this subject in more detail in the latest episode of the Engage Governance podcast ‘Understanding IPO governance'.