President's Report to Members - February 2020
Happy Chinese New Year! 新年快樂！ The year of the rat promises to be a prosperous and productive one.
It is a pleasure to write to you early in the year and to bring you up to date on recent activities of the Institute. I would like to report to you on progress with our name change, eCommunity, initiatives in thought leadership, remind all members of our MOU with the ICSI as well as the transition to new post-nominals.
The Institute went public with its new name The Chartered Governance Institute on 5 November 2019 and revealed its new logo as well as a new visual identity. Most importantly, the new name represents a broader remit for the Institute that not only includes company secretarial practice but also a greater emphasis on governance. At the same time we launched a new website that you can browse to gain a better understanding of the Institute’s activities.
Further to Australia, New Zealand and UKRIAT adopting “governance” in their division name, our Canada division has adopted the name The Chartered Governance Institute of Canada as well as the same logo and visual identity. I understand that two more divisions are moving in this direction this year.
The Institute’s new eCommunity went live on 2 December 2019 and has been steadily growing in participation ever since. The eCommunity is an online platform that brings together professionals involved in governance from around the world. It is open to members and non-members and is a 24/7 meeting place and resource centre.
There are over 2,500 members of the eCommunity already, with discussion threads covering topics such as ESG reporting, crisis management, investment attraction as well as opportunities for governance professionals around the world.
This is a key benefit to members that brings the global nature of our Institute to you in a convenient way. You can access the eCommunity here and if you have not registered I urge you to do so.
The Institute continues to benefit from an active Thought Leadership Committee (TLC) comprised from members across our divisions. Since the beginning of this year, already one thought provoking paper has been released with two more scheduled for release later this year.
Corporate governance: beyond the listed company
On 28 January 2020, the TLC released Corporate governance: beyond the listed company, accompanied by a short video presentation from the author as well as a discussion thread on the new eCommunity. The discussion paper revolves around the key question: are we approaching an era of ‘peak governance’? More is not always better and as governance expectations placed on listed companies continues to increase does the focus on listed companies need to be revisited and revised in the light of their general decline in numbers?
You can click here to access the paper as well as the video from the author Peter Greenwood.
Enhancing individual director accountability
A second paper - Enhancing Individual Director Accountability - from the TLC will be released in early March. This paper is an example of the TLC’s work and how, drawing on the experience of governance professionals across the world, The Chartered Governance Institute can promote and stimulate debate on the future of governance
As the paper states, defining directors’ formal oversight duties and how these are to be met is the starting point for ensuring board members deliver on their responsibilities. However, going forward, there needs to be greater recognition of the importance and value of assessing a director’s effectiveness and the appropriateness of their contribution if the organisation is to operate at maximum effectiveness.
I urge you to keep an eye out for this paper when it is released.
Implementing integrated reporting
Finally, a joint publication by the Institute and the International Integrated Reporting Council, focusing on how Chartered Secretaries and Chartered Governance Professionals can bring integrated thinking and integrated reporting to their organisation, is to be released following the director accountability paper.
This guide has been written by members that have extensive experience in implementing integrated thinking and integrated reporting and accordingly have contributed valuable insight on how to do it effectively.
Memorandum of Understanding with the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI)
Many members may not be aware that recently the Institute refreshed an older MOU with the ICSI, that allowed for mutual recognition of members between the two Institutes. Principally, Associates or Fellows that are fully paid-up members in good standing for a minimum of two years of either Institute are eligible to be covered by this MOU.
The reciprocity offered by this agreement recognises the professional membership of both Institutes and gives exemptions for all but two subjects in the qualifying programmes of each Institute.
If you wish to take up membership of the ICSI you can click here for more information.
Transition to new post-nominals
At the December 2019 Council meeting, a decision was made to reduce the transition period for members to move to the new post-nominals. The Council considered feedback that had been received that the length of the transition period to 31 December 2023 has the potential to cause confusion in the market place. Accordingly, the Council agreed to ask that all members move to the new post-nominals by 31 December 2020.
Fellows will be able to use FCG, Associates ACG, Affiliated members CG(Affiliated) and Graduates GradCG. In addition, members are welcome to add CS in brackets after their post-nominal if they are a Chartered Secretary or CGP if they are a Chartered Governance Professional or CS and CGP if they are both.
April 2020 Council meeting
The first Council meeting of this year will be held in London in April. The focus of the meeting will be, amongst other things, to assess progress stemming from the introduction of the new qualifying programme, Chartered Governance Professional designation as well as Affiliated Membership.
I look forward to updating you on the progress we make at our April meeting.
With warm personal regards
Edith Shih FCG (CS, CGP) FCS (PE)
17 February 2020
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