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Empowering Company Secretaries to be Effective in their Tasks

  Apr 4, 2014

Company secretaries (CS) hold a senior position in public and private organizations and their role places them centrally among the top management, the board as well as shareholders. As custodians of the board, company secretaries play a crucial role in informing stakeholders of the decisions that are made. Companies therefore need to ensure that the company secretaries are trained and adequately equipped to be effective in their tasks. Strathmore Business School held a training session for Company Secretaries on March 25, 2014, guided by the theme: The Tools of being an effective Company Secretary.

While speaking at the training Bernice Gachegu, an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya,emphasized that the character of a Company Secretary should be above reproach. Among some of the character traits she mentioned include: Acting in the best interest of the country; otherwise one is liable to imprisonment if found to have given false information. One must also be a person of utmost integrity because he/ she holds a position of trust. In addition, she urged Company Secretaries to have an awareness of what is going on in the company, be familiar with expectations of the shareholders and remain focused on ensuring the board remains effective.

According to Chris Ogbechie, a faculty member of Lagos Business School, process factors are important in making a board effective. The process factors, which are facilitated by the CS, include operations of the board in terms of how they conduct their meetings and the quality of the informative materials they use. The CS should be careful to place the most important issues as top of the agenda in a meeting. This will ensure that productive hours are utilized well to deliberate on important matters. Dr. Ogbechie added, “Most important is that the CS should always follow up on the implementation of the board decisions by making action plans.”

Behind every every successful board is an effective Company Secretary. SBS offers an opportunity for directors to grow their skill in The Effective Director (TED) Program. TED is an exclusive program aimed squarely at current and future directors. The board of directors is a critical instrument of governance and plays a key role in economic development in both private and public sectors. TED is a path – breaking program that covers the work of the board and the contribution of individual directors.

SBS will also hold a special summit for women on boards, dubbed the Women in Executive Leadership League (WELL) on the 29 – 30 of May 2014. RSVP or contact Terry Kinyua on for more information.

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