Find out more about the category criteria
Please note: all submissions must relate to work carried out in the period July 2020 to June 2021.
In this category, the judges will be looking at the work of corporate secretaries, general counsel and governance teams in preparing for and running annual meetings – either in-person, virtual or hybrid – that meet the governance needs of both the company and shareholders. Consideration will be given to fulfilling regulatory obligations, training and preparing management and board members, and ensuring shareholders have the opportunity for engagement before and during the AGM.
Best compliance and ethics program
This award will look at coordination of governance, compliance, ethics and risk management processes across the entire corporation (including all subsidiaries). The judges will consider the level of understanding and integration of good governance principles across all disciplines and a truly non-silo approach to achieving an ethical governance environment.
Best ESG reporting
This entry should comment on the quality and robustness of ESG-related reporting. This includes exposure to environmental risk factors such as global warming, employee health and safety, foreign corrupt practices, consumer safety, social responsibility and corporate sustainability. The judges will also look at a company’s
understanding of the role it plays in the community, both locally and globally.
Best global entity management
In this category, the judges will be looking at the work of general counsel, corporate secretaries and their teams in creating and running effective and innovative global entity management programs that ensure the organization remains in compliance with all local laws. Issues for consideration include: using technology in new ways, ensuring efficiency in the program and adapting to new circumstances, rules and conditions.
Best governance around a corporate transaction
**NEW FOR 2021** In this category, judges will be looking for innovative and effective governance work carried out before, during and/or after a
corporate transaction such as an IPO, M&A deal or restructuring. This might include, for example, overhauling a company’s governance structure, combining the best elements of two companies’ arrangements or managing the regulatory and other risks arising from a transaction.
Best proxy statement
This award will examine the completeness of legal disclosures, effectiveness of communication elements, readability, timeliness of filing, visual design elements and overall layout. Specific elements such as compensation discussion and analysis, MD&A, director profiles and ESG challenges will be given particular
Best shareholder engagement
Engaging in dialogue with shareholders around governance issues has taken on new importance in the era of say-on-pay. This category, introduced in 2014, will focus on ways that companies are reaching out to proxy decision-makers, often outside of proxy season, to discuss their compensation strategy and other aspects of corporate governance. Formal programs, which may include governance roadshows, shareholder forums, independent director participation, surveys and other means of engagement, will be assessed for both qualitative and quantitative results such as strengthened relationships with institutional investors or a measurable increase in proxy voting support.
Best use of technology
The use of technology is becoming an integral part of the way corporate secretaries and other governance professionals communicate with their colleagues and with investors. Entrants should be able to show how their use of new technological tools, social media and the internet has helped to advance governance within their firm. Areas of consideration include, but are not limited to: the use of technology in board communications, shareholder engagement, company meetings, records management and information governance and the successful use of technology to facilitate transactions. The judges will also consider the accessibility of the corporate secretary, general counsel and board of directors using technology, and the quality of information distributed.
Governance professional of the year
The judges will be looking for the most outstanding individual in a governance, compliance or legal function. Entrants should be able to show exceptional performance in advancing governance and compliance activities at their company. Areas of consideration include, but are not limited to: board structure, shareholder communications, regulatory filing, annual reports and all other areas of the company’s governance operations.
Governance team of the year
The size and scope of teams involved in achieving sound governance are growing. Some companies have dozens of people working solely on compliance and governance. This award will look at the best overall governance team in the country, and what it has achieved in the past 12 months. How does the size of the team compare with the size of the company? How have team numbers changed in recent years? Who is involved and what training do they get?
The judges will be looking for the best newcomer to a governance or compliance role. This person will have been in the profession less than five years, achieving demonstrable success in driving good governance or implementing change at his or her company, advancing academic thinking or making a significant contribution to the governance community at large.
Market cap definition
- Small cap = below US$2 bn
- Mid-cap = between US$2 bn - US$20 bn
- Large cap = US$20 bn and over
How much does it cost to enter?
For 2021, the awards are free to enter.
Can I start my entry online and finish it at a later date?
Yes you can. Our nomination form allows submitters to save their entry as a draft and add to it at a later date.
Can I amend my entry once I have clicked 'save and submit'?
No, entries cannot be amended once they have been submitted for the judges review.
What supporting documents are allowed?
We can accept most file types via the nomination form. If you have any issues uploading a file, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is no limit or word count for supporting documents, but please avoid including superfluous documents if they are not relevant to the entry. Remember it is quality and relevance that matter.
How will my entry be judged?
The judging process is made up of three simple phases:
Phase 1: Once the entry deadline has passed, the Corporate Secretary editorial team reviews all submissions and produces the short list
Phase 2: The short-listed entries are shared with an independent judging panel made up of industry experts. The judges review each short-listed entry and select their top two picks per category
Phase 3: The judges come together to discuss, debate and select the final list of winners who will go on to win an award
The judges’ votes are not made public, but their comments may be published in articles or reports after the event. Judges are not required to make comments against every submission.
Will my entry be shared with anyone else apart from the Corporate Secretary team and the judging panel?
Information from your entry (including any files you upload) may be made public after the awards to substantiate your nomination. If you do not wish for your entry to be shared in this way then you should mark it as confidential. There will be an opportunity to do this in the entry form.
When will I know if my entry has made the short list?
We will inform short-listed companies and individuals via email from September onwards.
I have a question that is not answered here. Who do I contact?
You can contact Lauren Wilson, head of event operations, by email at email@example.com or call +44 20 8004 5339.
I have all of the information I need. How do I start my entry?
Click here to go to the entry form and follow the instructions to start the process.