Changing the narrative with purpose

Recorded Webinar


Organisations often talk about their purpose informing their strategy, goals, objectives and values. But what does that actually mean? What is a corporate purpose – and are there any differences between a purpose statement and mission statement? And how does purpose drive culture and values? The FRC has raised concerns that organisations use their ‘corporate purpose’ more as a marketing statement, but is this fair when purpose can mean something different things to different stakeholders? In short, do organisations need more clarity on corporate purpose?

In light of COVID-19, some argue that organisations should hold to their purpose more than ever. Others are questioning the relevance of corporate purpose and governance, as least as currently understood. The importance given to corporate purpose by regulators and other stakeholders means that the company secretary needs to steer their board through these differing views, to ensure their purpose remains valid in these changing times.

Our panel of senior governance professionals will discuss what role the company secretary should play when reviewing corporate purpose, and through the use of case studies identify what constitutes best practice in this area.


This webinar will be hosted by Peter Swabey, Policy & Research Director, The Chartered Governance Institute. It will include Rosemary Martin, Group General Counsel & Company Secretary, Vodafone Group Plc, Andy Blackstone, Company Secretary, M&C Saatchi plc, and Cass Swallow, Marketing and Growth Strategist.

Andy Blackstone, Company Secretary, M&C Saatchi plc

Andy Blackstone FCA, is Company Secretary of the AIM-listed marketing communications Group M&C Saatchi plc, and a member of Future of Corporate Reporting (FoCR) Advisory Group.

As Company Secretary, he is in charge of all external corporate reporting, risk and legal. He leads on all the accounting and tax technical work of the group, is the groups SAO. To keep his feet on the ground, he helps Finance direct one of the groups larger subsidiaries that is focussed on tackling some of humanity's most challenging and important problems, in fragile states and developing countries.

He has previously worked for PwC as a Management Consultant, with Braitrim plc a leading supplier to the garment industry and began his career training as a Chartered Accountant with Grant Thornton in Manchester.

Rosemary Martin, Group General Counsel & Company Secretary, Vodafone Group Plc

Rosemary was appointed Group General Counsel and Company Secretary of Vodafone Group Plc in March 2010. She previously served as CEO of the Practical Law Group, having spent 11 years with Reuters Group Plc, with the last five years as Group General Counsel and Company Secretary. Before joining Reuters, Rosemary was a partner in the City law firm, Rowe & Maw (now Mayer Brown). Rosemary is a trustee of Vodafone Foundation and Lloyd’s Register Foundation and a member of The Takeover Panel.

Peter Swabey, Policy & Research Director, The Chartered Governance Institute

Peter is the Policy & Research Director at The Chartered Governance Institute. He is responsible for developing the Institute’s profile to members, regulators, policymakers, employers and other stakeholders by delivering thought leadership and lobbying campaigns aligned to the Institute’s strategy and promoting strong governance as the vital ingredient for success in organisations.

Cass Swallow, Marketing and Growth Strategist

Cass is a leader of innovative marketing strategy, with a wealth of experience in senior sales and marketing roles in large-scale technology environments. Cass uses tech-savvy creative thinking to drive brand performance, digital transformation and profit growth.

Cass helps businesses find optimal ways to move forward by creating close connections with both customers and employees, bottling distinctive cultures, aligned to consistent brand experiences, and transmitting across all touchpoints.

Cass fundamentally believes that an organisation’s extraordinary potential can be unleashed through an authentic purpose - providing a sense of belonging, understanding, fuelling the strategic engine, and aligning an organisation’s core activities to its distinctive culture.

After over a decade in marketing leadership roles, he has spent recent years advising leadership on brand identity and pioneering strategic and cultural change at world-class brands, including Virgin, Schneider Electric, Philips Lighting, along with building brands from the ground up with a host of start-ups.

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