Global Governance Advisors | Newsletter Vol. 22
October 4, 2019
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GGA Partner, Peter Landers, was recently interviewed by Ralph Ward, publisher of Boardroom Insider, regarding the results of the 2019 Report on Governance Professionals Responsibilities & Remuneration. An excerpt from the October 2019 Boardroom Insider Issue is below.

You can download the full report at the GGA website, but here’s a preview of its valuable governance snapshots, with added comments from Landers: 

  • The most common job title for a “governance support professional” remains the corporate secretary role (40.7%), followed by assistant CorpSec, or the title “board administrator,” (both 12.3%). Just under 10% are the combined corporate secretary/general counsel for the entity.  Though the corporate secretary still does most of the governance lifting, this has actually changed since the annual survey began 6 years ago, says Landers.  “When we started, it was mostly focused on the corporate secretary, but now the duties have broadened.” 
  • Governance administrators may work to support the board, but they still overwhelmingly answer to management. Some 46.4% polled report to the CEO, and 25% to another member of the top management team.  Just 2.4% answer directly to the board chair.  However, over 70% of the governance admins report a less-formal “dotted line” responsibility to the board of directors.  The status of the governance administrator’s role itself also seems to be rising — last year 48% had no direct reports answering to them, but for 2019 this fell to 33%. 
  • Since the majority of governance administrators are still tied into the corporate secretary role, it’s not surprising that the duties cited are secretarial (65% keep board minutes, maintain corporate records, and act as governance liaison between the board and management). More legal roles (compliance with governance regulations) came in second, possibly related to corporate counsel tasks.  However, Landers notes the biggest job jump for 2019 was in management of insider filings and stock trading programs.
  • Board portal usage had jumped to over 90% among those surveyed (and they are used by the same percentage to distribute board info). Webcasts of corporate info and stakeholder communications were two uses of tech in governance that saw the biggest jumps this year.  “It’s encouraging to see the high level of tech adoption,” notes Landers.   
  • And how do corporate governance admins feel about the job? More than half were satisfied with their pay levels and work/life balance, but fewer liked their career mobility prospects.  Over a quarter sometimes faced conflicts in balancing their accountability to the management and to the board.  

To read this full issue of Boardroom Insider please click here.

To access the 2019 Report on Governance Professionals Responsibilities & Remuneration please click here. 

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