Interview with Ibi Eso appears in Governance and Compliance
Ibi Eso, founder of Bridgehouse Company Secretaries spoke to Governance and Compliance about her route into the profession, current governance challenges and her future goals.
Ibi Eso spoke to the official The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland publication editor Sonia Sharma for Governance and Compliance last month in a special feature looking at the evolution of the Company Secretary role and how she sees the future of governance.
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Looking back at forming Bridgehouse Company Secretaries, Ibi recalled: “At the time I formed Bridgehouse in 2005, I felt there was a gap in the market to provide flexible, tailored company secretarial and corporate governance services to organisations. I’d noticed that many companies did not seem to focus on corporate governance as a service, and I was keen to promote the merits of good governance to a variety of organisations. Although the landscape has changed now, in those early days it was fairly unique for a company secretarial firm to also focus on corporate governance. You could say I was ahead of my time.”
With the sector becoming bigger, wider and more far-reaching every year, Ibi said it’s increasingly a huge challenge to keep up-to-date with the many advancements in corporate governance. Keeping abreast of complex environmental, social and ethical issues and managing the proliferation of risks today is, she said, “a minefield”.
Added to this, there is the generalist versus specialist dilemma when it comes to the role of the Company Secretary and ensuring good governance and compliance.
Ibi told the magazine: “Being a generalist myself, I appreciate the need to understand several different aspects of governance. Still, I also recognise that it’s difficult to be very good in every aspect of governance and keep so many plates spinning. As corporate governance advances, I see there being a need for company secretaries to start specialising in specific areas of governance.
“Having said that, I strongly believe as company secretaries, we still need to take a holistic view of governance: it’s no good being an expert in, say, risk management but clueless about stakeholder engagement. That’s where the advantages of a well-rounded team come into play – clients have the benefit of individuals with specialist knowledge of specific areas but also the collective wisdom of the team as a whole.”
As the company secretary role grows ever more challenging, one of the areas Ibi said that she and Bridgehouse Company Secretaries will be exploring is how to integrate more technological advances into the services on offer.
“Technology has so much potential to enhance our service and we’re only scratching the surface,” said Ibi. “I’m not just talking about automating routine admin tasks (such as collating board packs or electronic filing), but how we can harness technology to innovate.”
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