Corporate Secretaries are one of the most important functionaries of the body corporates. Principally, the company secretaries ensure the companies comply with the company laws, maintain certain statutory registers and make the necessary filings with the Registrar of Companies such as annual returns, financial statements and certain forms with respect to changes to share capital etc. However, in practice, the role of the company secretary has developed into much more than the basic statutory requirements.
With the increase in the regulatory and legislative compliance requirements, the corporate secretaries have become the key professionals to ensure that the corporates have introduced an adequate culture of control and oversight within their organizations. Today, the corporate secretaries have assumed the role of the principal advisors to the Board on matters related to compliance, governance and reporting of statutory matters to the regulatory bodies. This has changed the dynamics of the Boardroom where the chairmen and directors are realizing that they need specialist skills and technical knowledge in corporate and securities laws. And they are looking to company secretaries to provide this expertise.
In Pakistan, the transformation in the role of the corporate secretaries has also been happening with the introduction of the Code of Corporate Governance, the Competition Law and the Securities Acts during the last many years. However, the role of the Companies Secretaries is likely to become more challenging once the new draft Companies Act is passed by the Parliament. The new Act, which had been in practice for a few days only, had already led to the expression of many reservations from all corporate quarters. In this environment, no other segment from amongst the corporate officers would have become more burdened than the corporate secretaries.
It is in the above context that the South Asian Federation of Exchanges together with Pakistan Stock Exchange deemed it important to structure a new series of professional development program aimed at creating an increased awareness and understanding of the new legislative developments amongst the country's corporate secretaries. The Corporate Secretary Forum is designed to sensitize our corporate professionals about the principles of new legislative and regulatory enactments, and how these professionals can prepare themselves to cope with the challenges of compliance with the latest legislative developments.
The Forum is structured in such a manner that during the first day, the participants would be provided extensive first-hand information about the new legislative developments from the most experienced and well versed professionals having been directly associated with the development and implementation of the newer regulations. During the second day of the Forum, many prominent Corporate Secretaries and professionals would discuss the practical side of the changing role of the secretaries and their functional performance.