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What Makes a Good Chairperson?

Posted in Category(ies):  Directors

What makes a good Chairperson?


The answer can lie in the eye of the beholder! Some people think a good Chairperson is someone who is popular or, agrees with the majority or, is on “your” side.


The reality is often quite different. A good Chairperson has to have at least some of the following basic traits in order to succeed in the role.


  • Takes time to listen and, just as importantly, makes time to ensure all Board members have an opportunity to be heard;

  • Summarises debates into a few clear and concise sentences.

  • Considers both sides to an argument or debate.

  • Keeps to a clear Agenda and timetable.

  • Does not bully or dominate.

  • Engages with the Board, Management Team and staff.

  • Ensure there are appropriate checks and balances in place, e.g. information provided to the Board, relevant Board committees (Audit & Risk, Finance, Corporate Governance, etc).

  • Makes people feel their input is relevant and valued.

  • Can manage shareholder interactions clearly and efficiently.

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Posted on Monday, 8 April 2024  |  By Marianne Higgins  |  0 comments
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Posted in Category(ies):  Directors

The Companies Act 2014 states that the duties of a Company Secretary are delegated to the position by the Directors.  

Basically, this means that the Directors must ensure the Company Secretary is capable of doing the job.  A standard test would be to consider:

  1. has the individual acted for three of last five years as Company Secretary;

  2. is the individual a member of a recognised body; or

  3. appears capable of discharging the duties.

Directors must also ensure that the Company Secretary has the skills but, also resources necessary to discharge his/her duties as Company Secretary.

The duties of a Company Secretary can be fairly standard regardless of the size of the Company such as outlined below.

  • Prepare, issue and file statutory forms in the Companies Registration Office.

  • File changes on beneficial ownership with the Central Register of Beneficial Ownership.

  • Maintain Statutory Registers – includes Registers of Directors, Allotments, Transfers, Members, Charges, etc.

  • Attend and minute Meetings, and maintain Minute Books.

  • Assist Directors to comply with their duties.

  • Acting as named Company Secretary.


Just remember if the company only has one Director that sole Director may not also act as named Company Secretary.

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Posted on Thursday, 2 November 2023  |  By Kathryn Maybury  |  0 comments
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Director Fiduciary Duties - common sense?

Posted in Category(ies):  Directors


The phrase “Fiduciary Duties of a Director” is used so often but I still meet some Directors who feel inhibited to ask just what does the phrase mean.  

Fiduciary Duties are set out in the Companies Act 2014 and are intended to help a Director comply with his/her duties as a Director.

  • Duty to disclose any interest Director may have in contracts made by the company.

  • Act in good faith in interests of the company.

  • Act in accordance with the Company’s Constitution.  Although not stated in the Companies Act 2014 a Director would also have to act in accordance with Shareholder’s Agreement if applicable.

  • Only act in accordance with the law.

  • Do not use the company’s property, information or opportunities for his/her own benefit or that of anyone else without specific approval as set out in the Act.

  • Cannot restrict a Director’s power to exercise his/her independent judgement without specific approval or permission as set out in the Act.

  • Avoid conflict between the Director’s duties to the company and his/her own personal interests.

  • Exercise care, skill and diligence. 

  • Have regard for the interests of its employees in general and the interests of the members. 

Fiduciary Duties may sound onerous but, they are a key resource in helping us as Directors to focus on our duties and responsibilities to act in the best interests of the company, its members and employees. For me, Fiduciary Duties are just common sense and should help all Directors to manage an effective and progressive company.

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Posted on Wednesday, 25 October 2023  |  By Kathryn Maybury  |  0 comments
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BECOMING A COMPANY DIRECTOR – is it an honour or risk!

Posted in Category(ies):  Directors

Being asked to be a Director of a company can, at first glance, appear an honour. How good for our egos that someone sought us out personally to ask US to be a Director of a company but, there is always a but! 

A Director is required to act in the best interests of the Company, its Members and Employees. The challenge for any Director is proving that he/she has done so. Turning up for a Board Meeting with an eye on the clock in anticipation of the Director’s lunch should be a thing of the past.

Yes, it can be an honour to be asked to be a Director but, if we get it wrong then we potentially face consequences that will impact on our professional and personal life.   So, if you are asked to be a Director ensure you interview the Company just as much as it should be interviewing you.

The first question is to find out if there is an Induction Pack for incoming Directors as it should help to provide answers on basic queries to be considered before becoming a Director.

  • Experience and make-up of existing Board and is there a Chairperson.

  • How frequently are Board Meeting held and what type of Board Pack is sent out in advance of same.

  • Are or should there be Committees in place, e.g. Audit, Risk, etc, and if so how are findings outlined and acted upon by the Board.

  • What Policies are in place, e.g. Ethics & Compliance, Health & Safety, etc.

The second question is to ensure the Company operates with good governance which is actively reviewed.

  • Ensure all filings in the Companies Registration Office and Central Register of Beneficial Ownership and Revenue Commissioners are made in a timely and current manner.

  • Maintain proper books and records which include Statutory Registers and Financial records.

  • Ensure compatibility across all documents governing the company, e.g. if there is a Shareholders Agreement or Funding Agreement with a State Body or Bank ensure there is no contradiction between the Agreement(s) and the Company’s Constitution.

  • Bank mandates should be current.

  • Have appropriate contracts in place, e.g. it is a statutory requirement that all employees have a contract of employment.

  • What procedures are in place to ensure registration and/or renewal of IP and Licences.

Only when we understand the Company and how it operates can we then make an informed decision on an invitation to join a Board. It can take new Directors up to a year to feel he/she is part of the Board but, the duty of a Director starts from the moment he/she is appointed.

Honour or risk – you decide. Good luck!

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Posted on Monday, 16 October 2023  |  By Kathryn Maybury  |  0 comments
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