1. Company Secretaries pocket average annual pay of Rs 50 lakh: Report

Company Secretaries pocket average annual pay of Rs 50 lakh: Report

The average annual compensation of Company Secretaries at the top 500 firms listed on the BSE stood at Rs 50 lakh even though many of them got less than Rs 25 lakh, says a report.

By: | New Delhi | Published: April 6, 2016 7:02 PM
India Inc

Out of the S&P BSE 500 companies, only 463 published secretarial audit report in their 2015 annual report, according to CimplyFive. (Thinkstock)

The average annual compensation of Company Secretaries at the top 500 firms listed on the BSE stood at Rs 50 lakh even though many of them got less than Rs 25 lakh, says a report.

The findings are based on an analysis of the secretarial audit reports of S&P BSE 500 companies by CimplyFive Corporate Secretarial Services — which provides research and technology based solutions for compliance with the Companies Act, 2013.

Secretarial Audit is a concept introduced in the Companies Act, 2013, whose most provisions came into effect from April 1, 2014.

“The average annual compensation of Rs 50 lakh reflects the increasing importance for compliance among S&P BSE 500 companies.

“However, this importance accorded is not uniform across all the companies analysed as reflected in 155 (31 per cent) companies where the CS gets less than Rs 25 lakh and another 142 (28 per cent) companies where they earn less than Rs 50 lakh,” the report said.

Under the Companies Act, 2013, company secretaries have an important role and are recognised as Key Managerial Personnel (KMP).

Besides, listing agreement with stock exchanges requires the CS to be designated as the Chief Compliance Officer of listed companies.

Out of the S&P BSE 500 companies, only 463 published secretarial audit report in their 2015 annual report, according to CimplyFive.

The remaining 37 companies were not required to publish it, as 19 were banks not incorporated under the Companies Act and the remaining 18 had calendar year 2014 as their financial year.

The analysis by CimplyFive also found that the top 10 auditors audited 100 companies and the top 5 audited 64 firms.

In terms of designation, it was found that 304 companies had CS title.

“The role of Company Secretary was in many cases combined with the role of general counsel and legal affairs as reflected in 67 (13 per cent) of the designations. In 54 (11 per cent) of cases, the stipulated role of chief compliance officer was reflected in their designations,” the report said.

  1. S
    srinath
    Apr 13, 2016 at 8:01 pm
    CimplyFive, please don’t paint a rosy picture about CS as a profession as it’s a far cry from the truth about the insurmountable hurdles faced by the CS community today. Besides, your numbers reflect the state of only the top percentile of the CS’s in the country. Let people not get misguided by these numbers and fall prey to this profession without knowing the exact facts which are as below.1) A CS, though being one among the only 44,000 qualified CS’s in the country over a 35 year period (as against 15 Lakh engineers graduating every single year), is today unfortunate to even get an offer letter as the conversion rate of a job posting of a w-time company secretary is only 10% as 9 out of 10 companies do it with a dubious intent to appoint one, a fact borne out of personal experience. (The job posting going rounds in various job portals or coming from consultants are mostly fake and the interviews ostensibly conducted are a red herring, may be to convince someone watching, without a conscious effort to appoint one soon enough, and this is exasperating for a poor, gullible interviewee who takes these interviews seriously, woefully unaware of this malafide intent of the companies’ to not appoint anyone at the end of the exercise). The modus opei adopted for this is that the job advers for the same opening will keep appearing and disappearing intermittently over a 6 months or even a longer period, either by the company itself or by different consultants at different points of time, fully capitalizing the loops on the execution of the Companies Act with respect to company secretarial appointment, so much so, that one will be tempted to term it as ‘Companies (don’t) Act’ (pun intended). After the interview if one follows-up with the consultant, one gets only evasive replies like the company has kept the job on hold (it’s weird how a company which is planning to let a job on hold starts advertising in the first place, mostly many months earlier itself with absolutely no forethought about a timeline) or, the company is in the process of short-listing candidates. It’s bewildering how a company secretary, who despite having worked as a w-time company secretary of a listed company and possessing enormous specialized experience in company law is kicked out of this profession to fend for oneself and to start off from scratch in another irrelevant legal function, all for the sake of survival as one can’t keep waiting endlessly for the companies to fill the w-time company secretary position mandated by Act. Worse off, there are still companies, some even reputed, which are blatantly continuing with their old tradition of their CS doubling up as CFO right under the nose of the seemingly forgiving regulator even after 2 years of the new Act in force (baffling!). 2)There was a time when a CS had a great prestige attached to it which was reflected in the remuneration commanded which got attributed automatically without any serious negotiation. Nowadays, companies are just not content with a candidate having a CS. They expect more. They want an LLB CS or even better a CA too, as if these qualifications are as easy as collecting marbles. All functions bundled up into one for the ry of one resource coming after a great degree of negotiation. This trend which has gained pace is highly deplorable and ominous.3)Companies and PCS firms are more fond of freshers and hardly seek out for experienced candidates for obvious reasons. So an experienced CS can either decide to quit and pursue other legal functions from scratch despite having gained enormous experience in Company law. Such is the scale of impact this new trend has been having on an experienced CS today and this should be clipped right now before it goes out of control.4)Even after all these hurdles, if a CS manages to get a w-time company secretary job, there is still the uncertainty caused by the legal risk attached to the job, borne out of the indifference of the board and the management towards ensuring zero-tolerance to non- compliance in the organization - that can render a CS once again jobless soon enough.In this moribund new order of today that’s calling the shots in the life of a pitiable CS, this deserving stalwart unfortunately is more likely to get happier with merely finding a job than the ry that comes with it.
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