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Company Secretary: who is it and how to become one

This is not an ordinary administrator, but a master of the corporate organization. The work of the board of directors depends on it.

The company secretary works with the board of directors in the joint-stock company and ensures interaction between shareholders. The task of this specialist is to improve management efficiency, increase investment attractiveness, and achieve capitalization growth.

He must have an unblemished reputation to be trusted by the shareholders. When applying for this position, it is worth checking whether you will have enough independence, authority, and resources to fulfill your functions.

How the profession works

The history of corporate secretaries begins when the Institute which provides services of company secretarial in Singapore represented the interests.

The point is in the peculiarities of managing companies with diversified ownership when the company’s shares are traded on the stock exchange. In such businesses, management is controlled by a company secretary. But the chairman and members of the board of directors replace each other, and the company secretary works in the company all the time. In large organizations, he is at the same time the chief lawyer of the company and in the hierarchy stands after the chairman of the board of directors,

Company secretary, the specifics are different. “The Institute of the Corporate Secretary: Legal Regulation, Practice, Development Prospects”, in fact,  Singapore companies do not have a legal obligation to hire a secretary,

Therefore, in many companies, especially small ones, the corporate secretary is performed by the head of the legal department or one of the board members. There is another practice – when a person is hired for the position of corporate secretary, and as a result, he combines with the main duties and additional, in particular, the deputy general director or the head of the shareholder relations department. The classic model of the corporate secretary in the structure of positions is usually found in medium and large joint-stock companies.

Education and work experience requirements

In Singapore, there are qualifications for company secretaries approved by the Ministry. According to them, a specialist must have higher education in law or economics, as well as special training in corporate governance. You also need at least five years of work experience in the specialty, including in the position of a manager.

In open access vacancies, the situation with the requirements is similar. Here are the main requirements of job seekers for the position of corporate secretary:

  • Higher legal education, preferably from leading universities.
  • Work experience in large holdings as a lawyer or as a temporary corporate secretary.
  • Strong organizational skills, the experience of working with top managers, passing relevant training.
  • Deep knowledge of the Civil Code of the Singapore Federation, laws on joint-stock companies and LLCs.
  • Possession of business writing skills, competent oral and written speech. English – not lower than upper-intermediate.

It is also important to know how the structures regulating the activities of companies work, to understand the procedure for the issue and circulation of securities.

What a company secretary should understand

The knowledge that can be obtained in a higher education institution is not enough to work as a corporate secretary. Additional sources of structured information should be consulted, such as refresher courses and professional training. Here are some examples of what you need to understand:

  • Categories of property that can be used as a contribution to the authorized capital.
  • Actual features of registration of the issue of shares. Features of reorganization and liquidation.
  • Factors of increasing the efficiency of the work of the board of directors. Institute of independent directors, the legal basis for its regulation.

The whole difference between smart and stupid is in one thing: the first will always think and rarely say, the second will always say and never think. The first language is always in the sphere of thought; the second has thought outside the sphere of language. The first language is the secretary of thought, the second is its gossip and informer.

Job responsibilities of the company secretary

The key responsibility, usually spelled out in all vacancies of the company secretary, is the organization of the general meeting of the company. If the secretary knows about how to start trading company then it will be the best. This means: providing the company’s documents to its shareholders, ensuring the keeping of minutes of the meeting, supporting the setting of tasks and monitoring their implementation, organizing the meeting process, voting, and counting ballots. 

In addition, it is necessary to engage in public disclosure of information about the company’s activities, provide documents to shareholders at their request, and interact with regulatory authorities and professional participants in the securities market.

Among the responsibilities of the secretary is the development of constituent and internal documents of the company, documents related to the procedures of reorganization and liquidation of the company.

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