CSSA held its 2015 Premier Corporate Governance Conference at the Wanderers Club, Johannesburg on 27 and 28 October 2015. A panel discussion on international corporate governance was held with participation from six member countries of CSIA. The panelists covered a wide range of issues, reflecting common trends in different jurisdictions as well as challenges specific to a jurisdiction.
Katherine Combs from the U.S.A. focused on whether Sarbanes Oxley (SOX) and subsequent legislation has been effective in reducing fraud and corruption. Harvard University undertook a review on SOX and concluded that the initial costs were high but 10 years later disclosure was more reliable and internal processes have improved. However, it did not prevent the 2008 financial crisis from occurring. Criticisms of SOX were that it did not provide for sufficient flexibility and was difficult to systematically measure the cost/benefits of increased regulation.
The Securities Exchange Commission established a disclosure effectiveness initiative. The recommendations included eliminating duplicate disclosures, eliminating “glossy” annual reports, unless an issuer desired them for marketing purposes and reflecting sustainability disclosures in a separate non-financial report.
The 2015-16 National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) director survey results highlighted that 79% of boards have at least one female director and ethnic minorities remained unchanged at 52%. Other interesting findings included that 44% of shareholders said that directors met with institutional investors in the prior year and that directors wanted more director materials on effective risk management, cyber security, IT risks and technical strategies.
The subsequent promulgation of the Dodd Frank legislation did not address the primary cause of the 2008 crisis, being changes required to government housing policies and agencies. It did however result in significant increased compliance costs for companies.
Dr Nicholas Letting provided a broad overview of the corporate governance problems in East Africa and the responses to the challenges of corruption, weak regulatory enforcement, apathetic shareholders and board weaknesses. He highlighted the progress on corporate governance in Kenya from the time of publication of The Principles and Sample Code of Best Practice for Corporate Governance in the 1990s, to the requirement by The Capital Markets Authority since 2002 that all listed companies comply with principles of good corporate governance to the introduction of a new Companies Act in September 2015. The new Act has a strong emphasis on the role boards play and provides punitive sanctions for directors who do not exercise their oversight role with due diligence.
Corporate Governance was also strengthened by the establishment of a Centre for Corporate Governance in 2002, initiated mainly by the private sector. Its main focus was to review the effectiveness of controls and to promote transparency and accountability. A new Constitution enacted in 2010 has a key objective as the promotion of good governance through transparency, effective leadership and integrity. In April 2015, the Mwongozo Code of Governance was passed, which required every state corporation to appoint a company secretary, have nine board members with diverse skills who are required to undergo induction upon appointment and term limits of two terms, comprising three years each. There was also a strong emphasis on declarations of conflicts of interest.
It was interesting to note that the role of the corporate secretary was included in their Companies Act in 1989 as well as making the board responsible for ensuring a proper governance process was in place. There was a strong focus on the composition of the board, with the position of the chief executive officer and chairman being separate and prohibiting a concentration of a particular profession on a board.
Peter Turnbull from Australia commented that Australia was focusing on the practical aspects of the implementation of risk management. Regulators generally place risk management, risk appetite and associated oversight and the role of the board at the centre of corporate governance thinking.
A key challenge was to move from a “box ticking” approach on risk and governance, to risk management being an effective decision-making tool. The Corporations Act, the main legislation, was largely silent on risk.
Embedding risk management into the culture of a company was a challenge whereas a risk management framework was easy to design following guiding principles of simplicity and cost effectiveness. A proper culture underpins a good risk management framework. Culture needed to be underpinned by strong ethics and accountability. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission was focused on identifying a bad culture. However, in practice this was difficult to judge.
Risk management needed to be integrated with governance. Whilst the board was responsible for risk, in practice it delegated this responsibility to senior management. Accordingly, management and boards must be aligned and work closely together. A key element to ensuring the effectiveness of risk management was to embed risk management in the company culture and to link risk management objectives to KPIs. Key current risks concerning Australian companies were regulatory risk (too much intervention and cost), cyber security, third party risk, corruption, money laundering and reputation consequences following any of these incidences. Company secretaries were uniquely positioned to play a pivotal role in the risk management process.
Grace Tan from Singapore highlighted the benefits of a diverse board, which has become a more prominent issue since the 2008 financial crisis. McKinsey & Co in their annual “Woman Matter” studies concluded that there was a positive correlation between companies with more women on their boards and superior financial performance across all industries. Some of the benefits of having diversity in the boardroom included less “groupthink”, different perspectives considered, greater variety of potential solutions deliberated and better talent leverage. All these issues led to better decisions and better risk management. Institutional investors, particularly, reviewed gender, age, occupational background and ethnicity in the composition of boards.
In August 2014 a Diversity Action Committee was formed to build up the representation of women directors on boards of companies in Singapore. From a company perspective, the challenge was to make the changes at a pace that recognised and was sensitive to the cultural issues that have promoted male dominated boards. At the other end of the spectrum, too much emphasis on diversity could result in a board becoming dysfunctional.
Chua Siew Chuan from Malaysia advised that the 2012 Malaysian Code of Corporate Governance focused on the importance of independent directors. The Code required at least two or one-third of the board of directors to be independent directors. This was a challenge as most companies had promoters and grew from family-owned businesses. Directors were only classified as independent for a period of nine years. Thereafter, they could remain board members but were reclassified as non-executive directors. The board must justify and seek shareholders’ approval if it decided to retain an independent director, who has served on its board for more than nine years. The concern related to long tenure possibly impairing independence. The nine year cap applied to consecutive service or cumulative service of nine years with an interval. The nine year limit was adopted as it aligned with the tenure limit for independent non-executive directors in other jurisdictions. This cap was further supported by a study undertaken by INSEAD Business School on 2 000 companies, which concluded that the optimal average period for independent non-executive directors was 7 - 9 years. This resulted in independent non-executive directors being able to accumulate the benefits of company-specific knowledge without the cost of entrenchment. The Malaysia-Asean Corporate Governance Report findings for 2014 on 873 listed companies found that more than half of 873 listed companies have directors, who have served on those boards for over nine years.
Atul Mehta from India provided a high level overview of India’s Companies Act introduced in 2013. The focus of the Indian regulatory regime was to make it easy to do business in India, which has attained fifth place in the World Bank Doing Business 2015 index for emerging economies. The Indian Stock Exchange has the most listed companies in the world.
The new Act introduced two major changes impacting the company secretary profession, the first being the requirement for a secretarial audit for larger companies. This audit could only be performed by a practising company secretary, and the outcome of the audit must confirm that the relevant company has complied with all the laws of India. The second innovation was that the quorum for a meeting must be in place throughout the meeting and not just at the commencement of the meeting.
The 2013 Act also requires every company to observe secretarial standards specified by the Institute of Company Secretaries of India in regard to general and board meetings.
The presentations gave delegates a good overview of issues that concern boards and the progress made in tackling identified corporate governance challenges in different jurisdictions.
- Joanne Matisonn, Technical Advisor, CSSA
Photos from the event can be found HERE.
New York – 17 April, 2015:The Corporate Secretaries International Association (CSIA), the only organization representing the corporate point of view on global corporate governance issues, today launched a Shareholder Engagement Position Statement and Practices for the Corporate Secretary, in a webinar co-hosted by Computershare and Georgeson.
CSIA’s new publication illuminates the corporate secretaries’vital role in ensuring that corporate boards and investors communicate with each other about significant performance and governance issues. CSIA believes that regular communication will enable companies to better understand investors’ expectations on governance issues. As communication is a two way process,CSIA’s Position Statement makes recommendations for both corporations and investors.
“Corporate Secretaries serve as an essential liaison between investors and corporate boards. The Position Statement we announce today envisions a routine, continuous process of engagement with investors, to facilitate communication about corporate governance issues throughout the year, not just during annual meeting season or a governance crisis”, saidKatherine Combs, President of CSIA, and former Chair of the Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals.
Paul Conn, Computershare’s President of Global Capital Markets, noted, “As the founding sponsor of the CSIA, we’re delighted to be working with the CSIA executive committee to contribute our expertise to this forum and helping to spread CSIA’s recommended practical steps for shareholder engagement to our clients and contacts globally. We are pleased that CSIA is adding valuable focus to the global debate on corporate governance issues from the perspective of corporations.”
For media enquiries please contact:
Computershare United States
Rachel Hamilton-Wilkes, T +1 310 751 1817 Rachel.HamiltonWilkes@computershare.com
Hong Kong and China
Adele Chui, T +852 37573602 Adele.Chui@computershare.com.hk
Australia and New Zealand
Charlie Carter, T +61 3 9415 5207 Charlie.Carter@computershare.com.au
Joe Williams, T +44 870 702 0003 x1520 Joe.Williams@computershare.co.uk
Lucie Brouillette, T +1 416 2639552 Lucie.Brouillette@computershare.com
About the Corporate Secretaries International Association (CSIA)
The CSIA is an international, not-for-profit federation of professional bodies that promote best practice in corporate secretarial, corporate governance, and compliance services.
It is the international federation of national bodies of corporate secretaries and governance professionals and represents those who work as frontline practitioners of governance throughout the world. It is recognized by the OECD as the global voice of this industry and its representatives sit on OECD corporate governance roundtables. For more information, visitwww.csiaorg.com
About Computershare (ASX: CPU) is a global market leader in transfer agency and share registration, employee equity plans, proxy solicitation and stakeholder communications. We also specialize in corporate trust, mortgage, bankruptcy, class action, utility and tax voucher administration, and a range of other diversified financial and governance services.
Founded in 1978, Computershare is renowned for its expertise in high integrity data management, high volume transaction processing and reconciliations, payments and stakeholder engagement. Many of the world’s leading organizations use us to streamline and maximize the value of relationships with their investors, employees, creditors and customers.
Computershare is represented in all major financial markets and has over 15,000 employees worldwide.
For more information, visit www.computershare.com.
Georgeson is the world's foremost provider of strategic shareholder services to corporations and shareholder groups working to influence corporate strategy. We offer unsurpassed advice and representation for annual meetings, mergers and acquisitions, proxy contests and other extraordinary transactions. Our core proxy expertise is enhanced with and complemented by our strategic consulting services, including solicitation strategy, shareholder identification, corporate governance analysis, vote projections and insight into investor ownership and voting profiles. Our local presence and global footprint allow us to analyze and mitigate operational risk associated with various corporate actions worldwide.
For more information, visit www.georgeson.com.
Greetings on behalf of the Executive Committee and Council of the Corporate Secretaries International Association (CSIA):
Established in 2010 in Geneva, Switzerland, CSIA is an international federation of professional bodies that promotes? the adoption of best corporate secretarial and governance practices as a means of improving organizational performance and stakeholder value.
CSIA’s membership includes sixteen national representative bodies (including the US and Canada) and represents approximately 70,000 corporate secretaries and governance professionals in more than 70 countries around the world. CSIA members serve in a wide range of governance, managerial/executive and financial roles, including corporate secretary, chief governance officer / executive, legal counsel, ethics and compliance officer, enterprise risk manager, finance manager and professional administrative manager.
Recognized by OECD as the “global voice” of corporate secretaries and governance professionals,[This is a fairly big statement – can we reference it to something? Not in the letter but in the background just in case.] CSIA is the only organization [Ditto re background reference/facts] representing the corporate point of view on global governance issues today. CSIA is uniquely positioned to speak about what constitutes good corporate governance. Corporate secretaries serve on the “front line” of corporate governance: they are in the boardrooms every day, and have the responsibility, specialized knowledge and experience to ensure board processes are effective and the board receives accurate, relevant, complete and sufficient information and advice to make effective decisions.
As described below, CSIA is actively engaged in promoting best practices in corporate governance, through 1) Networking on a global basis, 2) Educational conferences and roundtables, 3) Publications, 4) Advocacy and 5) Thought Leadership:
Networking. The meetings of CSIA’s Executive Committee and Council, as well as its conferences and roundtables, provide global forums for networking and sharing information on best practices and global trends in corporate governance.
Education: CSIA has sponsored and participated in international conferences and roundtables in Shanghai, Sydney, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, New Delhi, Sao Paolo, Dubai and New York (and Johannesburg in October, 2015). Responding to strong demands in emerging markets, CSIA has developed, with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), “The Corporate Secretary’s Toolkit”, which is being used to train corporate secretaries in emerging markets and developing countries around the world.
Publications: Among CSIA’s publications are: 1) “Twenty Practical Steps for Better Corporate Governance”, authored by Professor R. I. (Bob) Tricker (2010), 2) “Governance Principles for Corporate Secretaries“ (2013), 3) the aforementioned “Corporate Secretaries Toolkit” (2014) and 4) “Shareholder Engagement – Practical Steps for Corporate Secretaries” (2015). CSIA also publishes an e-Magazine: “Global Governance Voice”, which contains, not only feature articles on significant topics in corporate governance, but also governance news from CSIA member countries. Links to these documents are found on this website.
Advocacy: In June, 2012, CSIA petitioned the World Trade Organization to add a new trade sector classification for “corporate governance, compliance and secretarial advisory services” to their list, in recognition of the separate identity and increasingly significant role played by these professionals on a global level. CSIA is working to achieve broader recognition of the corporate governance professional’s role among worldwide organizations, such as the WTO, ILO, OECD, IFC, the World Bank, the EU and the United Nations.
Thought Leadership: CSIA’s Thought Leadership Task Force develops position statements on significant corporate governance topics and issues practical guidelines based on the experience of corporate secretaries throughout the world. “Shareholder Engagement: Practical Steps for Corporate Secretaries” was the most recent such publication , introduced in a global webinar in April, 2015. The next thought leadership initiative will address the topic of effective board communications, including the use of technology to enhance such communications.
CSIA is actively seeking new member organizations in countries that are not currently represented among our membership (e.g., Europe, South America). Eligibility for membership is not limited to organizations of corporate secretaries, so long as the association focuses on corporate governance in its broadest sense. Please contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to know more.
I am honored to serve as the President of CSIA. After spending nearly thirty years working in this field in the United States, I am delighted to have the opportunity to meet and collaborate with so many others who are committed to good corporate governance throughout the world.
Katherine K. Combs
Computershare (ASX: CPU) today announced it has signed a further sponsorship agreement with the Corporate Secretaries International Association (CSIA).
Launched at the World Bank headquarters in Paris on 22 March 2010, with Computershare as the founding sponsor, CSIA is an international federation of professional bodies which promotes best practices in corporate governance, compliance and secretarial advisory services.
With 19 members covering more than 80 countries and over 100,000 governance professionals, the CSIA aims to promote good governance practices and enhance the profile of the professionals who serve as corporate secretaries and in other governance roles.
Computershare is a global market leader in transfer agency and share registration, working on a daily basis with the thousands of companies and professionals that the CSIA represents.
Stuart Irving, Computershare CEO and President, said “We recognise the value the CSIA brings to governance around the globe and are pleased to be renewing our sponsorship of the organisation, enabling the CSIA to continue to drive forward its governance agenda. We’ll be working with the CSIA to further the issues that are important to company secretaries the world over – including transparency, communications and voting.”
Computershare’s sponsorship of the CSIA covers the next 12 months, and will see the two organisations working together in many global locations.
About Computershare Limited (CPU)
Computershare (ASX: CPU) is a global market leader in transfer agency and share registration, employee equity plans, proxy solicitation and stakeholder communications. We also specialise in corporate trust, mortgage, bankruptcy, class action, utility and tax voucher administration, and a range of other diversified financial and governance services.
Founded in 1978, Computershare is renowned for its expertise in high integrity data management, high volume transaction processing and reconciliations, payments and stakeholder engagement. Many of the world’s leading organisations use us to streamline and maximise the value of relationships with their investors, employees, creditors and customers.
Computershare is represented in all major financial markets and has over 14,000 employees worldwide.
For more information, visit www.computershare.com
About The CSIA
The CSIA is an international, not-for-profit federation of professional bodies that promotes best practice in corporate secretarial, corporate governance, and compliance services. It represents those who work as frontline practitioners of governance throughout the world.
CSIA is recognized by The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as the global voice of this industry and its representatives sit on OECD corporate governance roundtables.
CSIA’s mission is ‘to develop and grow the study and practice of Secretaryship to improve professional standards, the quality of governance practice, and organisational performance’. CSIA partners with key agencies such as the World Trade Organisation and the International Finance Corporation to achieve this.
For more information, visit www.csiaorg.com
香港，2014 年 4 月 16 日 — 代表全球公司秘書及企業管治人員之聲的公司秘書國際聯合會今日
公司秘書國際聯合會會長 Carina Wessels 女士表示道：“公司秘書一職對公司至關重要。他們為在公司架構內各個領域如公司業務及企業文化等實施良好管治起到了積極促進的作用。鑒於公司秘書一職日益重要且職責更為寬廣，對公司秘書思維國際化和隨機應變能力的需求更為迫切。”
Carina Wessels 女士補充道：“該工具書是為從公司秘書層面提高企業管治水平而設的跨文化和
協助新興市場推動企業管治改革的的國際金融公司全球企業管治論壇的負責人 Philip Armstrong 先生說：“隨著新興市場經濟的不斷現代化，我們正處於新興市場企業管治的一個關鍵節點。公司秘書國際聯合會作為企業管治及國際最佳操守的權威之聲和推動新興市場公司秘書角色進程發展的主導力量體現了巨大的價值。”
媒體查詢： Silke Marsh
+852 9128 9144
+852 2861 3274
Hong Kong – 16 April, 2014: The Corporate Secretaries International Association (CSIA), the global voice for corporate secretaries and governance professionals, today launched its much anticipated Corporate Secretaries Toolkit, developed in partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group.
The new toolkit was unveiled at the CSIA’s first Hong Kong-based event, bringing together local and international companies and corporate secretaries to discuss the latest issues affecting corporate governance globally.
The toolkit provides training materials covering the full spectrum of a Corporate Secretary’s role, functions and responsibilities and was developed in response to strong demand from companies and organizations in emerging markets for training and skills development in corporate governance.
“Corporate Secretaries play a critical role in companies. They are a catalyst for implementing good governance across all areas of a company’s structure, including business practices andorganizational culture. Given the increasing breadth and importance of the role, the need for a globally minded and dynamic approach to Corporate Secretarial ability has become more essential,” said Carina Wessels, President of CSIA.
“The toolkit has been designed as a cross-cultural, thought provoking training material to promote corporate governance from the perspective of Corporate Secretaries,” she added.
Philip Armstrong, Head of the IFC’s Global Corporate Governance Forum, which supports the development of corporate governance reforms in emerging markets, noted, “We are at a pivotal point in corporate governance in emerging markets right now as their economies continue to modernize. The role of the CSIA is hugely valuable as a leading voice on corporate governance issues and international best practice, and as a driving force behind the development of the Corporate Secretaries’ role in these markets.”
– End –
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About the Global Corporate Governance Forum
The Global Corporate Governance Forum, a group within the IFC, supports corporate governance reforms in emerging markets and developing countries. The Forum develops advanced knowledge and training products promoting good practices in corporate governance and facilitates capacity building of director training organizations engaged in implementing corporate governance reforms.
The Forum partners widely with international, regional and local institutions, and draws on the guidance of its global network of private sector advisors and academic research network.
The Forum is part of the IFC Corporate Governance Group, located in the Environment, Social and Governance Department. It is a donor-supported facility, co-founded in 1999 by the World Bank and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
CSIA thanks CLP Holdings Ltd for its global sponsorship of the CS Toolkit. Launch Gold sponsors are Broadridge, Computershare, and Thomson Reuters Accelus; BoardVantage support as Lanyard sponsors.
Although much has been written on the traditional role and key responsibilities of a corporate secretary, this is probably no longer sufficient to fully prepare an individual for the enormous task undertaken. The role of the modern corporate secretary has changed and this is both undisputed and understated. The corporate secretary’s role has rapidly evolved in many markets to well beyond what it was a decade ago, let alone five years ago, and is a role increasingly recognised as an important part of the corporate governance framework in many markets where the role was not known some years ago. This paper looks at some of the aspects of the role of the modern company secretary and the competencies that are required to succeed.
This precedes our upcoming toolkit for Corporate Secretaries which was launched in Hong Kong at a joint ceremony with our partner, Corporate Secretaries International Association [CSIA], hosted by the Hong Kong Institute of Company Secretaries [HKICSA] in April this year.
Additional copies can be obtained on request or downloaded from:
The corporate secretaries toolkit training workshop was held from 7-10 May 2013 at the Chartered Secretaries Southern Africa office in Johannesburg. The workshop was attended by 21 delegates from 17 countries.
As part of the CSIA corporate secretaries toolkit roll out plan, the Global Corporate Governance Forum (GCGF) organised a four-day training of trainers programme targeted at professionals training corporate secretaries with the following goals in mind:
To enhance corporate secretary training capacity by helping participants become familiar with the toolkit and learning how to use these resources. Participants developed the knowledge base and skill sets needed to lead corporate secretary education programmes that reflect international best practice adapted to regional trends and country specific needs.
To elicit from participants their views and comments on the materials, which have been developed.
The pilot training, which comprised four days of intensive training, provided trainers with input, case studies and activities to develop corporate secretary skills. The programme encouraged participants to share and discuss their own experiences and hone their methods for using adult learning techniques. The training was not a corporate governance course but a training of trainers using the corporate secretaries toolkit. Some readers may be familiar with the directors’ toolkit which has been around for the past few years.
List of Modules
PART 1: OVERVIEW
PART 2: GOVERNANCE AND COMPLIANCE
PART 3: ADVISOR AND COMMUNICATOR
Council member, Institute of Chartered Secretaries of Bangladesh
Director, Technical & Research, The Hong Kong Institute of Chartered Secretaries
CEO, The Institute of Company Secretaries of India
Cheah Foo Seong
Chief Technical Officer, Tricor Corporate Services
Vice President, Institute of Corporate Secretaries of Pakistan
Chiang Chai Foong
Practising Chartered Secretary, AZEC Worldlink Management Services
Vice President, CSIA; President, Chartered Secretaries Southern Africa
Chairman, Professional Standards Committee, ICSA
President, ICSA, Zimbabwe
Giselia Da Silva
Corporate Governance Manager and Company Secretary, CPFL Energia Group
Chairperson, Club of Corporate Secretaries of Central Asia
Grad.ICSA and pursuing LLM in International Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation at the University of Warwick
Executive Secretary, Mauritius Institute of Directors
Deputy Project Manager, Russia Corporate Governance Projects at IFC
Head of Legal, Compliance and Risk, New Vision Printing & Publishing Company Ltd
Alison Dillon Kirbirige
Managing Director, Consultancy & Training Services Ltd
Specialist in adult learning and professional development
CSIA Toolkit Co-ordinator; Treasurer, CSIA; CEO, Singapore Association of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators
CEO, Chartered Secretaries Southern Africa
Head, Global Corporate Governance Forum/IFC
Co-ordinator, IFC Environment, Social and Governance Department
The delegates enjoyed their time in South Africa and got to spend quality time with their fellow colleagues. CSSA organised a dinner for the group one evening, which was a relaxed, enjoyable evening. Many thanks to all those who attended the meeting. We look forward to the launch of the corporate secretaries toolkit later this year.
Front Row: Gradislava Akhmetova, Nina Kapezi, Ghita Alderman, Grace Tan, Andy Cowe, Rita Kabatunzi, Asif Mahmood, Ambrish Maharahaje, Giselia Da Silva, Brenda Bowman, Carina Wessels, Pious Manamike, Itrat Husain
Back Row: Sutanu Sinha, Mohan Datwani, Stephen Sadie, Philip Armstrong, Chai Foong Chiang, Alison Dillon Kibirige, Tatiana Ivanova, Foo Seong Cheah
Videos of the Conference:
1st Session - Responsible Investment and Responsive Business
2nd Session - Sustainability Reporting - Beyond Disclosures
3rd & 4th Session - The Journey from CS to CGO, Corporate Spirit and Spirituality
5th Session - Convergence of Corporate Governance and Market Governance
Key Takeaways and Concluding Remarks
Photos from the conference can be found HERE.
CORPORATE SECRETARIES INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION (CSIA) STATES ITS CASE TO THE WORLD TRADE ORGANISATION (WTO) FOR INCLUSION OF US$36 BILLION BUSINESS SECTOR IN WTO TRADE IN SERVICES LISTINGS
CSIA today reported that a delegation of its members made a presentation before the Committee on Specific Commitments of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on June 25, 2012 in Geneva, Switzerland to include a new listing in the Trade in Services business classification listings by the name of ‘CORPORATE GOVERNANCE, COMPLIANCE AND SECRETARIAL ADVISORY SERVICES’. CSIA claims this sector is worth US$36 billion annually.
CSIA was invited to make a presentation before the Committee for Specific Commitments of WTO. Accordingly a delegation of CSIA representatives went to Geneva for the presentation.
The CSIA delegation consisted of Mr. Anil Murarka, President of CSIA and Past President of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI); Mr. Nesar Ahmad, President of ICSI; Mrs. April Chan, Past President of both CSIA and The Hong Kong Institute of Chartered Secretaries; Mr. Phillip Baldwin, Chief Executive of The Hong Kong Institute of Chartered Secretaries; Ms. Edith Shih, President of The Hong Kong Institute of Chartered Secretaries and; Mr. Russell Morrice, Head of Secretariat and Clerk to Council of The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (UK).
“This was truly a global initiative by a global organisation that we believe will benefit world trade,” said Mr. Anil Murarka, President of CSIA.”While the delegation was limited to those members from Hong Kong, the United Kingdom and India we were representing all 18 national bodies of corporate secretaries and governance professionals that make up the membership of CSIA. All of them played a part by lobbying their national governments prior to the presentation.”
July 20, 2012
He added “The challenge now is to keep the momentum going. CSIA is adding members all the time and each new member adds their voice and weight to the inclusion of this US$36 billion business sector which can grow even faster if it has official recognition by the WTO. The world needs more trade and CSIA is of the opinion that official recognition of corporate governance, compliance and secretarial advisory services by the WTO will stimulate growth by more than US$1.5 billion per annum as well as help improve international corporate governance standards.”
The creation of this new classification was one of the CSIA initiatives the organisation has been pursuing since its launch in March 2010. The proposed new service head would include the following sub-heads:
• Corporate Governance Services
• Assimilation of Core Values, Ethics and Integrity
• Corporate Secretarial Services
• Secretarial Audit and Compliance Audit Services
• Certification Services
• Corporate Advisory Services “It was a big day for CSIA. We are a young organisation but growing almost daily in terms of members,” Mr. Murarka continued, “Corporate secretaries and governance professionals are distinct professionals who take the lead on corporate governance issues within their own organisations. The recognition of a new sectoral heading will provide such formal recognition of this profession” The inclusion of new service head will facilitate the rendering of Services by the professionals under Mode 3 & Mode 4 of the Supply of the services specified under the GATS. The CSIA position is that during the last decade the concept of corporate governance has significantly evolved around the world and therefore there is a need to establish a separate identity for the corporate governance services at a global level by seeking a separate heading in the WTO service sectoral classification list which was created way back in 1991 when the concept of corporate governance was not much prevalent as in the present scenario.
At the meeting of WTO’s Committee for Specific Commitments encouraging remarks were made to the CSIA proposal by the Country representatives to WTO from China, Hong Kong, India, Nigeria, Malaysia and Zimbabwe.
At a separate meeting, South Africa & Indonesia representatives also made encouraging remarks to the CSIA proposal.
The Chairman of WTO’s Committee for Specific Commitments concluded CSIA item by noting the interest and supporting remarks of country representatives and agreeing that the proposal may be an item for further discussion.
Corporate Secretaries International Association (CSIA) is a Geneva based Global Body of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals which was launched in March 2010. It consists of 18 member institutes from Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, UK, USA, Zimbabwe.
CSIA is dedicated to promoting the values and practices of governance professionals such as qualified chartered secretaries, corporate secretaries, company secretaries and board secretaries who are at the frontline of governance.
The founder members of CSIA are Chartered Secretaries Australia Limited, The Hong Kong Institute of Chartered Secretaries, The Institute of Company Secretaries of India, The Malaysian Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, The Singapore Association of Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, Chartered Secretaries Southern Africa, The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators-UK, The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators in Zimbabwe.
CSIA Terms and Conditions