Corporate Secretaries and “The Shape of Things to Come”
There is no better sage on corporate governance issues than Marcy Murninghan. The luminary from Lansing, now the wise one in Watertown, is relentless in her push for greater transparency and corporate responsibility. In her latest article on her sprightly, insightful and witty Murninghan Post, Dr. Murninghan discusses the evolving role of corporate secretaries. While the ongoing debate over corporate governance, or what often seems like corporate anarchy or non-governance, she gets past the attention given to dissident shareholders, attorneys and activists. In her view, the role of corporate secretaries is key and has evolved immensely since the chaotic days of 2002 and Sarbanes-Oxley. In Murninghan’s words:
Why does this matter? Because corporate secretaries now play a significant but vastly underappreciated role in promoting corporate responsibility, sustainability, and good governance. They’re the link among owners, boards, and management, between internal and external stakeholders. As such, they’re pivotal intermediaries in reconciling complex and sometimes competing claims, and operate within a highly volatile environment featuring heightened public expectations about the right thing to do. This is a far cry from days of old (that is, ten years ago, pre-Sarbanes-Oxley), when the corporate secretary’s job was far less dynamic, dominated by record-keeping more than anything else, within an adversarial operating environment.Read the full article. More is to come! Photo of Wall Street courtesy Leon Kaye.