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IFC, CSIA Launch New Toolkit in Response to Emerging Market Demand for Improved Corporate Governance

Hong Kong, April 16, 2014 - IFC is pleased to present the Corporate Secretaries Toolkit in partnership with the Corporate Secretaries International Association (CSIA), the global voice for corporate secretaries and governance professionals.

The toolkit provides training and guidance materials covering the full spectrum of the Corporate Secretary’s role, functions and responsibilities and draws on examples from both developed and emerging markets. The toolkit is based on IFC’s Corporate Governance Board Leadership Training Resources which constitutes an integral reference for the corporate secretaries’ training, and can be adapted to local circumstances and conditions given its modular format.

The Corporate Secretaries Toolkit was developed in response to strong demand from companies and institutions in emerging markets for practical training and skills development in the practice of a corporate secretary which for many of these markets is a recent concept with little foundation on which to base the role of this critical governance function.

“Corporate Secretaries play a critical role in companies. They are a catalyst for implementing good governance across all areas of a company’s structure, including business practices and organizational culture. Given the increasing breadth and importance of the role, the need for a globally minded and dynamic approach to Corporate Secretarial ability has become more essential,” said Carina Wessels, President of CSIA.

“The toolkit has been designed as a cross-cultural, thought provoking training material to promote corporate governance from the perspective of Corporate Secretaries,” she added.

“We are at a pivotal point in corporate governance in emerging markets right now as their economies continue to modernize. The role of the CSIA is hugely valuable as a leading voice on corporate governance issues and international best practice, and as a driving force behind the development of the Corporate Secretaries’ role in these markets,” said Philip Armstrong, Senior Advisor in IFC’s Corporate Governance Group.

At IFC, evidence in our work with companies demonstrates that good corporate governance enhances their performance and increases their value. It helps companies operate more efficiently, improves their access to capital, mitigates risk and safeguards against mismanagement, making companies more accountable and transparent to investors.

Good corporate governance is a prerequisite for addressing broader stakeholder concerns on environmental and social dimensions of growth and development too.

As David Jackson, the Company Secretary of BP said in 2008: “In today’s world, the role of the company secretary lies at the heart of the governance systems of companies and is receiving ever greater focus.”

This is ever more relevant today given the significant surge in demand for training offered with this new toolkit. Companies around the world recognize the important role that the corporate secretary can provide in giving professional guidance and direction to boards and management on good corporate governance practices.



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