Becoming a Qualified Company Secretary

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The Robert Walters Leadership Lessons podcast series follows our UK leadership team as they share insightful discussions with prominent business figures. During the episodes you will hear about their career successes, advice for those starting out and to also get their quick take on what they are currently seeing in the market.

In this episode Henry Rymer, Consultant at Robert Walters speaks with John Odada, Head of Board and Board Committees at BP, and Fahrin Ribeiro, Head of Governance, GB and Western Europe, Company Secretary, Willis Limited

In this episode we explore the two routes to becoming a qualified Company Secretary. There is the traditional ICSA modular programme, and the alternative; graduating with a Masters in Corporate Governance with ICSA accreditation. The ICSA modular route comprises of exams, while the Masters combines exams, coursework and a dissertation. 

Both courses give hiring managers the confidence that the individual is knowledgeable in the company secretarial role, but here we distinguish these differences from a hiring manager’s perspective. 

John is a Chartered Secretary and Governance professional having completed his exams in 2004. John has proved agile and adaptable having worked in a vast array of sectors, primarily within listed environments from the likes of JP Morgan and BlackRock. In 2018, John was asked to be the speaker at the Thomson Reuters Company Secretary Forum, and he is renown throughout the market for having an extremely personable approach.

Fahrin is a Chartered Secretary having also completed her exams in 2004. Fahrin trained as a solicitor in Kenya and was admitted as a solicitor in the UK in 2014 whilst working at the Bank of Ireland. Fahrin’s experience mainly stems from within Financial Services and she has been a panel speaker at the ICSA Conference in 2019. Fahrin was also recently shortlisted as this year’s Company Secretary of the year for the ICSA awards.

Guest speakers:


Fahrin Ribeiro
Head of Governance, GB and Western Europe, Company Secretary
Willis Ltd


John Odada
Head of Board and
Board Committees



Henry Rymer
Robert Walters

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