The event season is well and truly in full flow with the events teams recently attending the Thomson Reuters Company Secretary Series event, Forum for Unlisted Companies 2017 held in London.
This was the 3rd annual edition of this event, which focuses on the role of the company secretary and how it is evolving, which tied in seamlessly with the discussions we had at the ICSA Ireland conference we attended shortly before and was the perfect platform for discussing our recent white paper on the ‘Under Pressure Company Secretary’.
The agenda was packed full of interesting topics and break-out sessions which caught the imagination of all the attendees judging by how high the attendance was in each of these talks and discussions. The Chairperson, Seamus Gillen, Director of Valuealpha, delivered an excellent keynote focussing on a variety of differing subjects from board effectiveness, corporate structures and gender pay gaps.
One of the hottest topics that we discussed throughout the event was around entity management. A breakout session focussing on subsidiary governance and managing overseas entities was particularly insightful and focussed on the complexities of modern entity management and the inconsistent approach to managing these subsidiaries, an area that we have studied very closely for a long time.
These discussions fed nicely onto the closing discussion of the day, titled ‘Technology’, hosted by eShare’s Alister Esam, eShare CEO and Janet Jones, Head of Client Relations. The presentation centred on the current use and adoption of technology, and board portals in particular, before discussing the emerging technology around entity management software and how it can be integrated into a board portal for better governance.
Polling the attendees of the event, we discovered that more than 50% still relied on insecure methods for distributing board papers such as paper handouts and email. A board portal solution, such as BoardPacks, not only keeps all your information secure, but provides a transparent and fully auditable system for managing the distribution of meeting packs to the board. For example features to audit which board members have read their papers ahead of the meeting, and report on the attendance record of different members can help with this.
Outdated and time consuming methods are also still being used to manage entities, with 45% of attendees still using vast spreadsheets, and even paper documents. For most, the implementation of an entity management system is still in its infancy, and for those that are currently using them, the data is still often difficult to find, and managing directors overseas is a vast challenge yet to be properly addressed. EntitySquared is an intuitive platform that makes it simple to keep on top of all your entity information and create professional reports for the board.
The event was well attended and everyone was keen to involve themselves in the discussions, providing a wide variety of opinions from the attendees. Our white paper was well received and was often the starting point for many of these conversations. All in all,t was great to see the corporate sector being so willing to adopt new technologies, something that we hope to build on throughout the rest of 2017.
If you’re a company secretary keen to know more about how our entity management solution can streamline your workflow or how BoardPacks can improve governance within your organisation, then do drop us a line here.