The ways of introducing the transparent corporate governance system in Ukrainian companies, the special role of the corporate secretary through the prism of international experience were discussed at the VI International Corporate Secretaries Forum on June 7, 2019, in Kyiv.
Ukrainian and international industry experts met to share the experiences, discuss the prospects and difficulties of implementing the good corporate governance in Ukraine, innovations in legislation, and share successful cases on creating effective models of interaction between all levels of the company’s governing bodies.
The Forum was traditionally organized by the Professional Corporate Governance Association CGPA and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
This year the Forum gathered together about 150 participants from Ukraine and from abroad. Among them, corporate secretaries, members of boards and supervisory boards, investors, lawyers and top managers, all who build and introduce a corporate governance system in their companies.
“The Corporate Secretaries Forum is a professional platform for discussing challenging problems and ways to solve them,” Oleksandr Okuniev, the Chairman of the Board of the CGPA, said while opening the Forum. With a welcoming speech, Elena Voloshina, the Head of the IFC Operations in Ukraine, also addressed the audience and noted that corporate governance in Ukraine is developing quite quickly. “Owners and CEOs are changing mentally. The functions of the board change, and the success of the board depends on how qualified the corporate secretary is”.
“Recently, business faced with the problem of finding qualified corporate secretaries, and the Professional Corporate Governance Association today is precisely the center that contributes to the training and professional development of such specialists in Ukraine,” Volodymyr Igonin, partner at Vasil Kisil & Partners, said while opening the first session. And it’s hard to disagree with such an opinion.
“Disease” is easier to prevent than to deal with the consequences. In the issue of raider seizure of property rights is becoming increasingly difficult. Any error in the paperwork, the presence of legal disputes or conflicts within the enterprise and with contractors, can attract the attention of raider groups. The effectiveness of traditional and alternative methods of preventing unlawful actions against shareholders was shared by the participants of the session Anna Vronska, judge of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Supreme Court, Yaroslav Gregirchak, Deputy Business Ombudsman of the Business Ombudsman, Alexey Tarasenko, member of the Board of PJSC “National Depository of Ukraine”.
The revival in the audience caused an interview from the scene with Maxim Libanov, a member of the National Commission on Securities and Stock Market of Ukraine, which was conducted by Oleksandr Okuniev. Maxim noted that the position of corporate secretary should be in companies, especially for public interest companies and public companies. The commission plans to recommend introducing the position of corporate secretary in public companies as mandatory. “The corporate secretary must have a certain independence and not be subordinate to the executive body. It is more logical that he should obey the supervisory board,” the expert emphasized.
After a short break, Oleg Zhuravlov, Advisor to the Chairman of the CGPA Management Board, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of PJSC IC Krona, drew attention to the peculiarities of the next generation corporate governance. Boris Janjalia, Lead Corporate Governance Specialist, IFC Environment, Social and Governance (Georgia), in his presentation, emphasized the importance of the ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) aspect. Experts shared with Boris the view that the Board of Directors should set the tone for the company, understand the environmental and social risks that the company may face. Corporate secretaries, in turn, must ensure that these issues are considered tips.
Alexey Volynets, Leading Specialist in Corporate Governance, IFC Environment, Social and Governance, (Washington, USA) shared his insights on the evolutionary approach to corporate governance, presenting a new IFC methodology to support sustainable growth and development of companies. He highlighted the problems in the management system faced by companies at the stage of formation, active growth, organizational development and business expansion, and also noted the key risks and risk minimizers at each stage.
A pleasant surprise for the guests of the event was the master class of the famous television and psychologist Vadim Kolesnikov. The speaker revealed effective technology for recognizing lies in business communications, which is critical for the corporate secretaries as a communications link in a company.
Alexey Volynets, a leading specialist in corporate governance, IFC Environment, Social and Governance, (Washington, USA), confirmed the need to improve interpersonal communication for the effectiveness of the board of directors. He conducted an analysis of interpersonal and group factors that prevented the members of the Supervisory Boards from taking objective and rational decisions, and also considered ways to overcome them.
The final part of the forum was fruitful and enthusiastic at the same time. The participants had the opportunity to share their own achievements in work and enjoy the success of colleagues during the presentations of the finalists of the Corporate Secretary 2018 Contest.
Natalia Goncharuk, Corporate Secretary of the National Depository of Ukraine, presented the work on the topic: “The new digital era is a step towards the efficiency of corporate governance processes”.
Tatyana Gromova, Corporate Secretary of PRIVATBANK, conducted and demonstrated the “Evaluation of the effectiveness of the Supervisory Board: practical aspects”.
Tatiana Muzyka, Head of the Corporate Governance and Communications Department, Corporate Secretary of PrJSC UMMC, presented the work “Transformation of JSC from squeeze out to LLC. Practical lifehacks.”
Denis Pertsev, General Counsel of the Department for Corporate Governance of DTEK, grabbed the attention with slides on the theme: “UNBUNDLING Kievenergo: public importance, uniqueness and complexity, the role of corporate governance”.
The presentation of Igor Savkin, a member of the Supervisory Board/Corporate Secretary of Multiplex-Holding, turned out to be final, but no less interesting: “What should be “right” happy in the family business: the example of Multiplex”.
This year the winner of the Contest was chosen by the participants of the Forum by interactive voting after all the presentations. According to the results, Igor Savkin, Member of the Supervisory Board/Corporate Secretary of Multiplex-Holding, became the winner of the Competition.
The jury of the Contest decided to mark additionally two finalists in separate nominations. Natalya Goncharuk, Corporate Secretary of the National Depository of Ukraine, was awarded the nomination “Professional Breakthrough of the Year”, and Igor Savkin, Member of the Supervisory Board/Corporate Secretary of the Multiplex Holding, was nominated for Significant Contribution to the Development of the Profession.
It can be said with confidence that every participant of the VI International Corporate Secretaries Forum has gained invaluable experience. Someone, sharing knowledge and skills, multiplied them, someone was convinced of the correctness of their views, someone received the answers to their concerns.
Organizers: Professional Corporate Governance Association (CGPA) and International Finance Corporation (IFC). Official legal partner: Vasil Kisil & Partners Law Firm. Official energy partner: Energy Company DTEK. Official training partner: Ukrainian Corporate Governance Institute. Event provider: Event Envoy.
The forum was held with the support of the National Securities and Stock Market Commission, the State Property Fund of Ukraine (SPFU), the Emkon Company, the Professional Association of Capital and Derivatives Participants (PARD), the Ukrainian Association of Investment Business, the Association of Corporate Professionals Security of Ukraine ”, PJSC“ National Depository of Ukraine ”(NDU), League of Insurance Organizations of Ukraine (LIOU), European Business Association (EBA), American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine.