Having worked with companies and Boards of Directors across a range of institutions, and with vast experience of the demands placed on in-house company secretarial functions, we have become specialists in providing support to companies (and their teams) at key, or changing, times.
Our corporate governance consultancy service covers a range of services, the most common of which are:
The importance of an effective and robust corporate governance framework and culture within any business has become more evident in recent years and Chairmen and Directors (both executive and non-executive (which includes voluntary Directors)) are more aware of their duties and responsibilities as company officers. The importance of the role of the Company Secretary in supporting the Chairman, and Board of Directors as a whole, when putting in place and maintaining good governance practices cannot be under estimated.
Generally, and depending on the size of the company, the day to day business of a company is run by the management team (which could comprise Executive Directors and senior management personnel), however, each Director of a company has a duty to ensure the Companies Act 2014 is complied with. The importance, therefore, of adequately planned, prepared for and efficient operation of Board and Committee meetings must be recognised.
At FCS Services, we can assist with:
- Preparation of agendas and assistance with meeting papers
- Assisting Chairman with pre-meeting preparation
- Attending meetings and taking minutes
- Providing technical support in advance of, and during, meetings
- Producing and circulating minutes and actions post meetings
It is very easy for any business to roll from year to year within existing operational practices, particularly in recent years where the ever changing business environment has been quiet challenging for any business. However, the need to sit back and consider/review existing practices to identify whether they remain “fit for purpose” cannot be ignored (examples of areas which are likely to have changed in recent years are; companies’ risk registers & internal control procedures; are Board & Committee meetings focussing on the core areas of business for the current environment, etc.).
The business environment is constantly changing, both in legislative and regulatory terms, and companies and their Directors cannot afford to allow such changes pass them by. The codification of Directors’ duties within the Companies Act 2014 and the requirement for each Director to acknowledge they have “legal duties and obligations imposed by the Act, other statutes and common law” enhances the need for all Directors to keep up to date and be informed of their duties and responsibilities as statutory Directors. At FCS Services we can assist with such training/development programmes by providing regular briefings to your Board of Directors.
The financial and business development benefits which a good compliance and governance reputation can bring to any business should not be underestimated and, particularly, for start-up businesses which are hoping to grow significantly or look for outside investment/relationships in the short to medium future. Having such practices/procedures in place, together with the supporting records, from day one instantly puts your business ahead of your peers. FCS Services can assist in establishing such a culture right from the start.
Many companies are now required to comply, and evidence compliance at least annually, with enhanced and/or additional regulatory codes and requirements. This additional maintenance and due diligence can place quite onerous demands on any business. Here within the Team, we have experience of establishing, maintaining, reviewing and evidencing compliance with regulatory codes and can provide a “third party” assurance perspective that may not be available in house.
The benefits an independent Board effectiveness review can bring to any Board are widely recognised. At FCS Services we can assist in facilitating such a review in a way best suited to your Board’s size, composition & activities.
Even well resourced Company Secretarial functions have “bottle-neck” periods or unexpected key staff absences where the availability of an “extra pair of experienced hands” is invaluable. At FCS Services we can provide such support on short term flexible terms.
A large percentage of Not-for-Profit Organisations operate via a private company structure with leadership provided at Board level on a voluntary basis. In addition, the majority of such organisations would have very specific governance requirements, in addition to the company law requirements, due to their funding arrangements. We can assist such clients by conducting an overview of all governance requirements to ensure duplication or contradiction are not occurring and supporting Boards of Directors in meeting all of their company law and governance responsibilities.