This blog gives you the latest topical news plus some informal comments on them from ShareSoc’s directors and other contributors. These are the personal comments of the authors and not necessarily the considered views of ShareSoc. The writers may hold shares in the companies mentioned. You can add your own comments on the blog posts, but note that ShareSoc reserves the right to remove or edit comments where they are inappropriate or defamatory.

Watch out FRC – there’s a new Guv’nor in town

One of our members – Tony Johnson – who is a Chartered Secretary and longstanding member of ICSA, has brought to my attention ICSA’s planned rebranding to become “The Chartered Governance Institute”. See here for more details – https://www.icsa.org.uk/.

ICSA or, should I say, CGI, appear to be positioning themselves as the “go-to” organisation for good corporate governance. Here’s what their President, David Vernon, had to say recently in his letter to members:

Over the last two years, your Council has been implementing a strategy to enable the international Institute and its Divisions to take full advantage of the worldwide focus on good governance. The significant revisions to the qualifying programmes, and the introduction of the new designation of Chartered Governance Professional and Affiliated Member have been part of that strategy.

So, its surely just a matter of time before we see Company Secretaries changing their job titles – to “Company Governance Director”?

And David Vernon goes on to say in his letter:

This (the rebrand and increased focus on corporate governance) is founded on the belief of Council that there is a great opportunity to build on the Institute’s technical strength, integrity and professionalism in qualifying Chartered Secretaries and Chartered Governance Professionals and to leverage this into being the leader in promoting good governance practice in a manner that our stakeholders will listen to, value and understand better.

In Cliff Weight’s excellent recent blog (https://www.sharesoc.org/blog/regulations-and-law/the-quindell-story-and-the-frc/ ) about the need to break up the FRC he said :

“The Corporate Governance Code should never have been given to the FRC. They are accountants and not corporate governance experts.”

Perhaps ICSA/CGI would be a more appropriate owner of such guidelines? They certainly seem to be making noises in that regard.

But, would ICSA be any better than the FRC? We have to remember who pays their members’ salaries. Are they truly immune to corporate influence?

For those of our members who are also members of ICSA we would be interested to know your thoughts on this and any interesting snippets you may have picked up from the roadshow presentations that are about to happen to discuss the rebranding – dates and venues can be found here – https://www.icsa.org.uk/events/networking-and-cpd-events/special-meetings

Mike Dennis
ShareSoc Director

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