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Secretary offers professional advice and formulates strategic plan for enterprises

Secretary was once a sought-after job in Hong Kong between the 1970s and 1980s. Given that word processing and English ability have now become one of the prerequisites for many job duties, managerial staff can handle paper work at ease. Several administrative staff members will shoulder the responsibility of administration tasks while secretary eventually became personal assistant. Even the Sacred Heart Canossian College of Commerce that was well known for its secretary program was closed due to the lack of students.

While executive secretaries are not as common as before, general secretaries are still integral to enterprises. Companies registered in Hong Kong must have secretaries and those listed on HKEx should recruit a qualified company secretary as required by Hong Kong Companies Ordinance. An increasing number of companies seek listings in Hong Kong in recent years, driving up the demand for company secretaries. Then what are the differences between executive secretaries and company secretaries?

Secretaries are not supposed to handle administrative work. They need to be familiar with the Companies Ordinance and the listing regulations while monitoring the companies’ compliance under all circumstances. Secretaries are also obliged to provide professional advice on corporate governance to the management, including legal issues about the conflict of interests, accounting and the formulation of strategic and corporate planning. They are actually staff members at the administrative level of the companies and stand a good chance of becoming chairman or president of their companies in the future.

Thus, one has to meet a series of requirements and has to be recognized by Hong Kong Institute Of Chartered Secretaries (HKICS) and then pass the international professional knowledge review tests before becoming a company secretary.

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