Volume 40 (2019) / Issue 6
Companies are statutorily required to have a secretary. Historically, company secretaries were regarded as mere servants of the company. However, that narrative changed with a plethora of statutory and judicial recognition of the secretary as an officer of the company. The trendy emphasis on corporate governance demands that a company secretary is not only expected to perform clerical and administrative duties but also function as a corporate governance officer. This new-found status has placed huge demands on the company secretary. This article highlights the various functions of the company secretary, such as assisting the company board and management through his/her ability to proffer advice and interface with various stakeholders of the company; develop business ethics for the company; and ensure the implementation of Corporate Governance Codes. These expanded functions of company secretaries mean that they have to acquire diverse professional competences to enable them effectively perform their ever increasing duties. This article concludes that the interests of the company and its stakeholders should be of paramount concern to the company secretary in the line of duty.
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