SLID and ICCSSL to conduct webinar: ‘The Board Secretary: Enhancing and Expanding Effectiveness’

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The Sri Lanka Institute of Directors (SLID) together with The Institute of Chartered Corporate Secretaries of Sri Lanka (ICCSSL) will be co-hosting a webinar titled ‘The Board Secretary: Enhancing and Expanding Effectiveness’ on Tuesday 27 July to discuss the pivotal role a Company Secretary plays in today’s complex and ever-changing corporate world. 

Keynote speaker Phillip Armstrong
Panellist Christine Munasinghe

The online forum will be moderated by ICCSSL Deputy President Sathananthan Sudarshan, and the keynote speaker will be Philip Armstrong, an internationally renowned expert on Corporate Governance who was the former Director of Governance at Gavi Alliance and former Board Governor of the International Corporate Governance Network. 

On paper, the conventional duties of a company secretary can typically be categorised into board work, articulating a firm’s approach to corporate governance, disclosure obligations and key stakeholder management whilst the company secretary’s role has evolved to one which encompasses a much broader scope from the chief responsibility of assisting the board. 

The purpose of this virtual discussion is to create awareness on how to expand the corporate secretary’s duties and address the inherent need of resilience and adaptability to keep pace with the rapidly changing business landscape. The demands of the profession continue to rise, primarily stemming from the increasing emphasis on corporate sustainability and higher expectations of evolving corporate issues. With this enhanced remit, the role of a company secretary is a wide-ranging one, requiring governance and adherence expertise matched with a deep grasp of the way one’s organisation’s current practices meet regulatory requirements.

Moderator S. Sudarshan
Panellist Faizal Salieh

The discussion will also shed light on how company secretaries, as statutory officers, are uniquely positioned to identify potential solutions as they have the ear of their board as well as exposure to the practical challenges faced by their firm. 

Philip Armstrong’s keynote address will provide invaluable insight, drawing from his wealth of experience spanning over 35 years which includes a stint as the Head of the Global Corporate Governance Forum in which he was responsible for the strategy and operational implementation of corporate governance reform efforts in emerging markets. He will highlight how the corporate secretarial function fits in an organisation and will explore the changing perception a contemporary company secretary faces and the holistic approach one needs to embrace. 

Panellists include eminent Sri Lankan business leaders such as Watawala Plantations PLC and R I L Property PLC Chairman Sunil G. Wijesinha, SLID Senior Vice Chairman Faizal Salieh, and Secretaries and Investment Services Ltd. Company Secretary/Managing Director Christine Munasinghe. They will share their thoughts on what constitutes a wholistic/multifaced present day company secretary and how the position has evolved beyond an administrative one to becoming more strategic and compliance focused. 

Panellist Sunil Wijesinha

Official Technology Partner for this session is Sampath Information Technology Solutions Ltd. (SITS). The webinar will go live from 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday 27 July. To participate, email the SLID Secretariat on ops@slid.lk.

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