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Thelma Abikhui

October 2020

1. Brief job description:

My overarching duty is to ensure the UK Corporate entities and their related governance committees exercise high standards of corporate governance.  

2. What were your main responsibilities?

Companies House Filings 

Authorised signatories list (ASL), board composition and register of directors maintenance.

Organising board and committee meetings.

Collating reports and building meeting packs.

Drafting minutes, action logs and resolutions.

Assisting with the know your customer (KYC) requests.

3. Did you have any projects to work on?

I had no specific “projects” per se but, I have dealt with big tasks and requests on a case-by-case basis. One of my biggest tasks was to standardise the group authorised signatories list and develop a system for maintaining the group board composition.

4. Day in the life – what does your day look like?

If I am not responding to governance queries, then I would be drafting minutes, following up on actions or requesting papers and preparing for the next set of board and committee meetings. 

5. What skills have you learnt, or improved on (department specific, personal, technical etc)?

Organisation is extremely important, as a cosec you are constantly working towards strict deadlines and having to plan ahead. 

From a more technical standpoint, I was trained to be an admin for the intranet site and my Microsoft Word, Excel and Adobe Acrobat skills have categorically improved. I am also well-versed on BoardVantage, which is a software used to manage the Board.

Sitting within a team of lawyers, I have also been trained how to correctly execute legal documents such as Power of Attorneys and draft non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). 

6. Did you take any qualifications?

I signed up for the IMC. Coming from a legal background, I felt it was necessary to learn the fundamentals about the industry. 

7. Do you have any further learnings or reflections, including adapting to the “remote working” environment?  

At first, I struggled because I did not have the right workspace and equipment and that definitely impacted my productivity. Having the necessary equipment and introducing a routine is key when working remotely. I find that I save a lot of time (and money) by not commuting and appreciate that I can use my time more effectively. 

8. What are you moving onto next?  Has this year inspired your future outlook or decisions?

I hope to begin my chartered governance qualifying scheme and obtain all the professional qualifications I need to become a fully qualified Company Secretary. 

9. Can you summarise your experience?

Challenging, fun and extremely rewarding.

It is unfortunate that Covid-19 impacted some of the social aspects but overall I couldn’t have asked for a better first experience in the corporate world. 

I like the culture at GAM because it allows you to be independent and I appreciate that I can just use my initiative and get on with my work. On the other hand, it puts me at ease knowing that I have my team to consult if I have any questions or concerns and having that balance of independence and support has been great.