Deep dive in ILA Working Committees
With more than 200 members involved, ILA working committees represent a significant part of the Institute. These 24 groups provide resources, work on publications, and organise events for ILA members, and non-members.
Have a look at what the Chairs and Vice-chairs of some of these Committees have to say about the work they do!
Willing to join one of our Committees? See at the end of the article the ILA Committees looking for members at the moment!
Make it Happen
"I recently accepted the chair of the Company Secretarial and Governance Officer working group in ILA after two years of participation in the Committee" said Raphaël Docquier. "This is a highly positive experience as it enabled me to meet and share vision with experienced and involved members" he added.
Moreover, the Company Secretarial and Governance Officer committee has the goal to promote company secretary from the perception of an administrative agent to one of the main actors in corporate governance. This is a big goal, which requires technical, strategic, and political skills but the group seems to be ready to take this challenge.
He explained that "Working, as we do, on behalf of ILA for higher objectives for the Luxembourg is also a source of great satisfaction. Our committee is made of professionals working for several years in Luxembourg in different industries. This allows a global perception of the problematic and a deep analysis of the actions to be taken."
"Moreover, the working group can count on the permanent support of its Sponsor (PwC) to create an adequate environment for work. The main goal is that the company secretaries will be recognized as a reference in terms of corporate governance and a fully pledged profession in Luxembourg."
Guillaume de Villenaut, Vice-Chair of the committee explained "I am a recently appointed Vice-Chair of the ILA Committee for Company Secretarial and Governance Officer. As a support to the Chair and with the valuable contribution of every member of the Committee who brings their extended and diverse professional expertise and background, we aim to promote as ONE VOICE the Company Secretary function in Luxembourg by raising its recognition, proving high-quality training and creating a community of professionals."
He revealed "Among the Committee’s ongoing projects, we are working on the drafting of a Code of Conduct & Ethics dedicated to Company Secretaries and Governance Officers. In addition to the organisation of quarterly breakfast briefings, the Committee is willing to widen the offer of continuous professional development training to meet the specific duties and needs of Company Secretaries and Governance Professionals in Luxembourg. I am thrilled to be part of this adventure to Make it Happen!"
A great opportunity to work together with peers on joint initiatives
The ILA Bank Committee, known for their yearly Banking Forum, and for the recent publication of the Bank Directors Guide, is chaired by Stanislas Chambourdon, Partner, Head of Banking at KPMG Luxembourg. Members review the evolution of the forthcoming regulation/discussion at the EU and national level and analyse the potential impacts for bank’s board members.
Stanislas explained "When I was asked to respond to the question what does it mean for you to be the Chair of ILA banking commission, I had a strange feeling. Indeed I do not feel like being the chair but being part of a diverse team by background, profession, nationality and on top, we are fit and proper with diversity. In 2021, our monthly meetings were devoted to the update of the ILA banking guide for Banks’ Board of directors, exchange with the CSSF on the revised 12/552 and EBA guidelines resulting in the organization of a webinar with them, Exchange with experts on IT risks, ESG, AML/KYC…. Our flashy event still remains the Banking forum with more than 20 Board members, CEO, and other senior management. This forum gives a great opportunity for the participants to exchange with CSSF, ECB, Chair of Boards and experts in many fields."
Michael Schweiger, Vice-Chair of the Bank Committee and partner at Loyens & Loeff Luxembourg, stated "Being part of the ILA Banking Committee continues to be a great opportunity to work together with peers on joint initiatives. As a group, we have committed ourselves to long-term projects such as the ILA Bank Directors’ Guide and the Annual Forum for Directors of Credit Institutions. It’s extremely rewarding that both initiatives have really become the “go-to” reference points for governance issues in banks in Luxembourg. Other pop-up initiatives, including breakfast seminars or our upcoming ESG webinar for bank directors, are also a chance for each committee member to contribute actively to something that is of interest and adds value to their organization. I’m grateful to be part of such a strong group of diverse and committed individuals."
Audit and Risk
The Audit & Risk Committee, vice-chaired by Lieven Van Damme, focuses on analysis and dissemination of Audit Committee practices in Europe and the USA, adapting to the 8th Directive reform, promoting awareness and training Directors in the new environment, as well as defining organisation models adapted to Audit Committees and defining the agendas of Audit Committees.
"We are currently working on the link between Corporate Failures and Corporate Governance and how a good functioning Audit & Risk Committee could help a lot in avoiding these worst scenarios." said Lieven Van Damme. He also added "I love the exchange with the other members of my group. Each member contributes to a better understanding of the issue. We went through the problems that were encountered in cases like Wirecard, Theranos, and WeWork. The way corporate governance is organized really helps to explain the sometimes incredible situations."
Karen Wauters & Yann Mérillou
Karen Wauters, Chair of the Board Organisation and Effectiveness Committee, described the group as "a Jazz Band - where leadership is shared and where I feel my role as the chair is to set a directional tone. In the BOEC we often set up subcommittees to focus on specific topics and to bring in additional experts from within the ILA membership. "
She added "One such experience is the team that was assembled to respond punctually to the call for comments on EU positions regarding Sustainable Corporate Governance. Members of the group came from various backgrounds and all were committed to the topic Timelines were tight and we met often within a short timeframe. Although we are all volunteers and have competing priorities, dedicating time for this group was not difficult, in fact I looked forward to it. The group dynamics of respect of differing opinions, the ability to debate and the understanding of the need to represent a joint position were motivating. We all shared leadership and all brought a different style to the table. As a chair and member I feel like a contributor and a taker - we give of our experience and knowledge and we benefit from the same of the others"
"BOEC committee stands for Board Organisation and Effectiveness Committee. Actually, as Vice-Chair of this committee, these initials mean to me: Business-minded and Insightful, Open and Diverse Perspective, Effective and Innovative, Connected and Collaborated. This is a good summary of what represents this committee and why I’m proud to contribute to it." said Yann Mérillou, Partner at Deloitte, and Vice-Chair of the Board organisation and effectiveness Committee.
He also explained that "The committee has been very active since its creation, and there is a natural emulation coming to the diversity of profiles we are. This diversity is translated in our main productions over the last two years: ILA position on EU proposals on Sustainable Corporate Governance, Short Talks event on Board Documentation, Board Tenure, Role of the Chair, Many coffee chats, Our Guidance: Board evaluation enhancing Board effectiveness, and the Board evaluation – Effectiveness survey…"
The committee remains very busy with new projects, one of them being a paper on the Non-Executive Directors in Luxembourg with a focus on NEDs, iNEDs and the concept of independence.
Joyful virtual meetings
Harald Thul, Partner at Deloitte, was pleased to explain his work and his experience as chair of the Financial Companies Committee. "The work on the financial companies committee was initially impacted by the pandemic that forced us to change the way how we work together. But the pandemic required this change in work in all areas of our life and we have been able to adapt quickly and accept the challenge. We are proud that we have been able to finalise the update of the FAQ Best Practice Governance Guidance that will be published soon. Our committee has a great mix of different professional backgrounds, nationalities and is close to a gender balance. Even the virtual meetings have been joyful, and we are all together looking forward to discussing the next projects and to start cooperation with other committees."
Setting sustainability on the corporate agenda
As co-chairs of the Sustainability Strategy for Boards committee, Raymond Schadeck and Sophie Öberg stated together "With our fellow committee members, we strongly believe in the responsibility board members have in setting sustainability on the corporate agenda and in the mindset of major decision-makers, as well as embedding it in the company's strategy and corporate governance. Hence, we focus on four main pillars – Train, Tools, Talks, and Lobby – for the activities we are currently developing to assist ILA members in making this transition succeed. Welcome to contact us; let's join forces in this transformational journey"
A guide for Remuneration and Nomination Committees
"The last year has been a very intensive period for ILA’s Remuneration and Nomination Committee as we have written a guide on Remuneration and Nomination Committees which was published on ILA's website last December. We had many early morning zoom meetings to discuss best practices and dilemmas for Remuneration and Nomination Committees. We were all relieved and proud when the guide was finalised." explained Marjolijne Droogleever-Fortuyn, Chair of the Remuneration and Nomination Committee.
She also announced the future projects of the working group "2022 will be another interesting year where we will closely follow the impacts of ESG on Remuneration and Nomination; together with KPMG we will also prepare the bi-annual survey on the remuneration of Non Executive Directors."
From physical to virtual monthly events
"The ILA Conducting Officer Forum has evolved into a virtual monthly meeting from the original bi-monthly physical lunch meeting, as a result of COVID over the last two years. This has not impacted the quality of discussion nor the number of attendees participating each month, with an increase in numbers attending and active contribution maintained throughout this time." explained Revel Wood, Co-chair of the ILA Conducting Officer Forum, and active member in ILA Committees. "The highlight of 2021, was welcoming Mr. Marco Zwick back to the forum, providing an update to the Conducting Officers on the priorities for the regulator in the year ahead, and feedback from on-sight examinations and common themes that emerged from findings. This was an interactive session with the opportunity for Conducting Officer participants to interact and raise questions in forum that encourages open and transparent dialogue. This meeting was informative and valued by all, and as a result, will continue on a semi-annual basis going forward with a representative of from the regulator invited to provide an update to the IFM’s." he added.
"In addition to the standing agenda item covering ALFI, ALCO, LPEA and other association updates, the collaboration with ALFI for formalising guidance papers was also strengthened with links to the ALFI conducting officer forum, ensuring strong collaboration between the associations.”
Become a committee member
The Education Committee of ILA works promoting, developing and supporting the training programmes for directors. Proposes a continuous educational programme in specific areas, and develops partnerships with international and local organisations.
If you think you can actively contribute to the work of the committee and share your knowledge, do not hesitate to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, including a CV/biography and an explanation on your motivations.