Company Secretarial & Governance Market Review: Autumn 2023

With many of you returning to your desks, following what we hope were splendid summer holidays, we thought we’d recap on the developments and insights that have emerged in the governance market these past few months.

The FRC is currently taking on a more active role in monitoring and reinforcing governance reporting standards in various areas, including climate change and sustainability, geopolitical events, and digital security and risk, among others. Whilst the FRC’s focus has traditionally been on listed companies’ reporting, its plans for 2023/24 is also to review a selection of private companies’ annual reports to ensure their compliance with regulatory requirements is on par, given, the enhanced regulatory focus on the largest private companies. But changes are not limited to the private sector, with the Charity Commission also updating its guidance on making charity investments this past August.

And it seems that not only the FRC, but other organisations, including the Investment Association (IA) and Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) have also updated their guidance. Specifically, recommending restraint, sensitivity around executive remuneration and that increases are proportionate to those for the broader workforce, and updating recommendations for the proportion of women Board Directors, women in senior Board positions and members from ethnic minority backgrounds. 

Additionally, according to the recent Bellwether report (Summer 2023), ever-increasing requirements have put pressure on organisations, increasing the importance of governance departments. As such, 81% of Company Secretaries of FTSE-100 and FTSE-250 organisations now feel they have an impact on strategic discussion at board level.

With this increased emphasis on the function, and newly created positions being appointed, this has exacerbated the shortage of talent, with 64% of governance teams struggling to recruit skilled professionals. In turn, this has put an upward pressure on salaries, with Cosec and governance professionals who have moved jobs over the past year seeing, on average, a salary increase of 20%, far steeper than the national average increase of 7.8%.

If any of these recent changes have impacted you or your business, we’d love to hear thoughts and experiences.

Additionally, if you need advice on staff retention, benchmarking, permanent or interim hiring or would like to have a confidential discussion about your job search, then please reach out to a member of The Core Partnership team on 020 3589 0333, or via email on team@core-partnership.co.uk.

Market Updates

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