Tobias Latham FCG
Tobias is a director at Elemental, the CGIUKI’s service provider of the year 2021. He is dual-qualified, having trained and qualified as a solicitor at Linklaters, a Magic Circle law firm, before becoming a Fellow of the Chartered Governance Institute.
At Elemental, Tobias works with a range of UK and international public and private companies on company secretarial, corporate governance and regulatory law, often drawing upon his corporate legal background and specialist knowledge of Financial Regulation.
In his spare time, he enjoys following the fortunes of Liverpool FC and has discovered yoga and mindfulness during the pandemic. He also developed a serious Peloton addiction.
Patience and diligence invariably save time and money over the long term.
Individuals with different personalities and skillsets can excel in governance.
What is Governance?
Governance is the foundation of the corporate structure. Without good governance the structure will ultimately crumble. To extend the metaphor, establishing firm foundations from the outset means the structure will be strong. Without firm foundations major problems will emerge. Much like building a house on sand! Convincing companies to pay proper heed to governance can be the biggest challenge.
What is a governance professional?
A governance professional is an individual that advises the senior management of a business on the best practices in respect of the process of decision making. An effective governance professional will facilitate good decision-making practices and identify issues without shying away from difficult conversations or getting bogged down in administration.
The route to a career in governance
I trained as a solicitor at Linklaters and qualified into the financial regulatory and markets group at the beginning of the financial crisis when regulation and governance was being pushed to the top of the agenda.
After practicing as a solicitor in the public and private sector I moved into teaching and training future solicitors about corporate law and practices. During this time, I grew to appreciate how important the foundations of good governance were.
I was asked to join Elemental by the founder, Nick, in 2017 and I have not looked back since, gaining Fellowship of the Institute last year.
The essential skills for success in governance
Individuals with different personalities and skillsets can excel in governance. The diversity of the sector is something that I enjoy seeing every day. However, I feel the best governance professionals are able to go beyond simply stating the rules or best practice and are able to provide practical suggestions and solutions to the many challenges faced by businesses today.
Celebrating Elemental’s 10th birthday and winning the CGIUKI award for Service Provider of the Year in the same year!
Being able to be part of the journey that has seen our team grow and mature over the past years has been a real privilege and I look forward to seeing what’s next.
How did the Institute support your career as a governance professional?
After joining Elemental, I undertook the CGI examinations via the fast-track professional route and then applied for Fellowship which I was granted last year. This process enabled me to link and develop my existing professional knowledge to the modules I studied and made me a better governance professional.
I feel this technical knowledge and the ongoing development opportunities offered by the CGI are invaluable to its members and students and I know that the team at Elemental and I will continue to rely on this support in the future.
Words of wisdom for the next generation of governance professionals?
Pausing and taking time to consider how governance and wider business objectives can be achieved has benefits. The quicker (and often seemingly easier) route or rushed approach can cause problems later. This can be difficult to put into practice in a fast-paced environment, but patience and diligence invariably save time and money over the long term.
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