Why Organizations Are Leveraging Corporate Secretarial Service Providers

Andy Casey
With the recent milestone of our first anniversary and the launch of Konexo US, our new partnership with Diligent gives us even more reason to celebrate. The partnership, which combines Konexo's corporate secretarial services and market expertise with Diligent's market-leading governance technology, enables clients to achieve greater cost management and efficiencies, streamline processes, and ensure compliance when managing their global entities. Governance teams face numerous challenges in the current climate. As a result, there has been a surge in organizations around the world seeking the expertise of corporate secretarial service providers such as Konexo.

The Benefits of Corporate Secretarial Service Providers

The ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have fundamentally changed the way organizations conduct business. As a result, companies are turning to corporate secretarial service providers like Konexo to maximize efficiencies, reduce operational friction and add governance expertise in these four ways:

1. Delivering More With Less

To be able to access information quickly and make decisions accurately, companies need to ensure they have their house in order ' not only to retain their competitive edge in a tough market, but also to keep up with regulatory changes and ensure compliance.

Traditionally organizations would look critically at the effectiveness of functions such as legal and compliance, but there is now increased focus on the value being delivered by in-house corporate secretarial teams. These teams are required to deliver more (supporting a greater number of board and committee meetings, managing statutory and regulatory changes and delivering support for the business) with less (reduced spend and headcount). Increasingly this is necessitating a change in the way in-house teams are delivering against their objectives.

For international organizations with multiple entities, the challenge of keeping up to date with their subsidiaries in different jurisdictions (for which the head office is increasingly responsible) can be an onerous task, especially with how quickly regulations can change. Rewind even a few years, and many organizations, even of significant size, were attempting to manage records by juggling spreadsheets and paper records. Trying to keep on top of statutory obligations in this way is both incredibly time-consuming and prone to errors. In response, more organizations are investing in technology to help them manage the entity lifecycle process. At Konexo, adopting new technologies has always been at the forefront of our service to clients, and the Diligent Entities platform is central to the way in which we deliver those services.

2. Lack of Expertise

Often times, organizations do not have a physical presence or specific knowledge in all the jurisdictions in which they operate, and this can prove challenging when addressing legal or compliance-focused issues. While it's important to have a strong core of experienced people in-house and a robust technology platform in place to take the process forward, in-house teams can and should seek value outside of their organization. There is an increasing trend towards volume-driven global compliance work being handled externally by a third party such as Konexo.

A co-sourced arrangement with Konexo takes away the pressure from the general counsel or company secretary having to get up to speed with compliance in an unknown territory, or where they do not have a physical presence, while maintaining oversight through the Konexo team. As Konexo is developed by global law firm Eversheds Sutherland, it provides a one-stop-shop, and clients do not need to outsource work to multiple external counsels.

Another area where clients are leaning on Konexo to manage corporate secretarial activities is in relation to board and board committee governance. With increased regulation and the need for regular, properly run, board and committee meetings, many organizations use their company secretarial services provider to organize, attend and minute meetings both domestically and in overseas jurisdictions. In many cases this extends to director education to provide directors and executive teams with greater support in their roles and training to help them understand their responsibilities, particularly in unfamiliar territories.

From a reporting perspective, Konexo uses Diligent Entities' persona-specific dashboards that provide a tailored, "at-a-glance" update on global entities and compliance. Having global experience of entity management and an in-country presence, we provide first-hand market intelligence to company secretarial teams and directors.

3. Centralization of Operations

Where once the responsibilities of entity compliance would be left to a local controller, finance personnel or office manager, the tide is now turning, and organizations are increasingly managing their obligations centrally.

It is therefore critical that global organizations maintain full visibility and control to provide comfort that entities are in good legal standing and local teams can fully carry out their assigned roles effectively without distraction. We have seen multiple clients build a centralized team to carry out this function internally, with Konexo providing co-sourced support to develop processes and governance protocols as well as managing the implementation across the business and globe.

4. Prioritizing Technology

Technology is no longer a "nice to have;' it is now an imperative for organizations to remain compliant. Knowing where to start often is the hardest part. Konexo has supported various clients to make best use of Diligent tools to their full ability. Technology and the introduction of a new process can sometimes be seen as additional work and further spreading of valuable resources. However, pairing technology with expertise can help to mitigate compliance and legal risk and, ultimately, reduce costs.

Why Konexo and Diligent?

With an unpredictable economic climate, ongoing globalization, and increasing legislative and compliance requirements that need to be met across territories, corporate governance is becoming an ever-increasing challenge for which more and more organizations are leveraging partnerships with corporate secretarial providers to meet. By combining cutting-edge entity management software in Diligent Entities with the global entity management experts and resources at Konexo, clients can rest assured that their corporate secretarial activities are being managed effectively and their compliance deadlines met, with the ability to seamlessly surface this information to the right people at the right time.

If you have entity management software in place, are you making the most of the functions, support and insights you can access? Start optimizing processes, maintaining compliance, and saving time and money with Diligent and Konexo today.
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Andy Casey
Andy Casey, Head of Corporate Secretarial Services, Konexo. Konexo, developed by Eversheds Sutherland, provides alternative legal and compliance services.