Deputy Company Secretary
About The Role
We have an exciting opportunity for an experienced Deputy Company Secretary to join our legal team.
You'll support the business by providing high-quality Company Secretarial and Board support. Your role carries a high degree of responsibility and independence, involving contact with Executives, Directors, and the Board. You'll act with decisiveness and professional integrity to ensure AO adapts to regulatory requirements and remain legally compliant.
We know we work better when we’re together, so all our AOers come into the office Monday to Friday. We collaborate more easily, have continual conversations, we’re more creative, give better support, and all this makes us more motivated and even better at what we do.
Here's What You Can Expect To Be Doing
- Supporting the Company Secretary: including assisting with advising on Board matters, corporate governance, LSE/FCA requirements, best practices, regulatory and shareholder inquiries, and deputising for the Company Secretary in their absence.
- PLC Board, Subsidiary Board, and Committee meetings: lead on the arrangement of Group Board and Committee meetings, including:
- Annual scheduling of PLC and Audit, Remuneration, Nomination, and Risk Management Committee meetings, together with subsidiary board meetings
- Preparation of agendas, supported through the Group’s Board and Committee's annual governance planners
- Collating reports and papers for distribution prior to meetings, using the Board Intelligence platform for the dissemination of Board information
- Providing support and guidance to report writers on suitable report structures and appropriate templates ensuring consideration is given to s172 requirements where appropriate
- Liaising with non-Executives and external parties as required in relation to all attendance requirements
- Arranging meeting venues and maintenance of the Cosec calendar
- Attendance and minuting of meetings and recording of resolutions and creation and circulation of Action Logs
- Advising and supporting the Chairs as needed on regulatory developments and best practices for corporate governance.
- Maintaining the Matters Reserved to the Board (and subsidiary Board as appropriate), Terms of Reference for the Sub-Committees, Chair, CEO, and SID, and Board policies such as diversity and appointment and division of board responsibilities.
- Corporate Governance: Monitoring developments in corporate governance (including the Group’s compliance with the FRC UK Corporate Governance Code) and best practice and recommending implementation of or changes in policies and/or processes and reporting requirements, to align with developments, updating the Board and Committees as required.
- Board and Committee Evaluation: In conjunction with the Company Secretary assists with the annual evaluation of the Board and its sub-committee (with an external evaluation every three years).
- Induction of Directors: Assist the Company Secretary in the induction of new directors and drafting of induction documents.
- Compliance: Maintain the corporate compliance calendar. Liaise with other relevant teams across the business to collate appropriate information for publication/submission in compliance with appropriate legislation including Supplier Payment Practices, Gender Pay Gap, Modern Slavery Statement, National Storage Mechanism, and FCA/SM&CR requirements.
- Annual General Meeting: In conjunction with the Company Secretary co-ordinate the arranging, materials, announcements, and filings for the AGM (including drafting the Notice of the Meeting) and liaise with institutional shareholder representative bodies.
- Announcements: Assisting with the preparation, drafting, authorisation, and issuance of stock exchange announcements in conjunction with the Company Secretary, Board, Investor Relations Director, and external advisers.
- Registers: Maintaining the statutory records and books for all Group companies and, with the support of the Corporate Services Assistant, ensuring all Companies House filings are made and the Group Structure Chart is maintained
- Market Abuse Regulations: With the support of the Corporate Services Assistant, maintaining the Company’s restricted, confidentiality and insider lists, PDMRs and PCAs to PDMRs list and issuing briefings to persons on those lists as appropriate.
- Share dealings: Act as Custodian of policies and procedures, prepare and maintain all requisite registers, and ensure effective communications including notifying restricted persons of Close Periods. Ensure that Clearance to Deal requests are dealt with in accordance with the Group Dealing Policy and are logged on the Group’s dealing register and that appropriate notifications and announcements are made.
- Policies and Procedures. Maintaining and developing appropriate governance policies, procedures, associated training, and monitoring, including those relating to the Anti-bribery, Gifts, and Hospitality, Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Policy, Whistleblowing, and Conflicts of Interest.
- Share Schemes management. Advising on and administering the all-employee Save As You Earn share scheme and Discretionary Long-term Incentive Plans, taking a lead role in the annual grants and maturity of offerings in conjunction with the external scheme administrators, managing any resultant share capital increases, related block listing requirements and working with the Finance team on related tax filings and the Company’s Employee Benefits Scheme.
- Annual Report: Take the lead on, project manage production and delivery of the Annual Report, produce first drafts of corporate governance report, sub-committee reports, directors’ report, and other statutory information taking into account the up to date UK Corporate Governance Code and related guidance and institutional body best practice guidance, working, in particular, with the Group’s Finance, Communications, Brand and Investor Relations team. and ensuring all regulatory disclosure requirements are met.
- Corporate Website: Maintain and regularly review relevant sections of the corporate website to ensure regulatory and governance aspects are kept up to date.
- ESG Responsible for promoting all company activities in line with company policy and procedures and relevant legislation in relation to environmental, social, and governance matters; responsible for collating TCFD responses.
A Few Things About You
- You'll have a Legal or ICSA qualification in the UK - in depth knowledge of relevant legislation (Companies Act, Corporate Governance Code, Market Abuse Regulation) preferred.
- You'll need a flexible and approachable style, building relationships with senior leaders and Board members
- It is vital that you are able to act with integrity and discretion.
- You'll be able to be hands-on, get involved with issues and support colleagues constructively; and
- You'll have the ability to communication across all levels
A Bit About Us
At AO, we want to make sure our customers are happy. When they have a smile on their face, we know we’ve done a good job. It’s at the heart of everything we do, and it’s why our logo is always smiling.
When it comes to appliances and electricals, we’ve got the lot. Washing machines? Yep. TVs? Check. Laptops? Absolutely. Everything except doorbells (just kidding, we’ve got those too).
We’re passionate, relentless and full of beans, determined to make a difference and change the world for the better. From massive changes to tiny tweaks - making a difference is what keeps us driven.
It started at a pub in Bolton with a £1 bet and a belief that things could be done better!
We’ve designed our benefits to cover everything from big moments to little helps. As well all as the essentials, like pensions and holidays, we’ve got our own "AO Perks" to help you with the little things that matter.
To see all our benefits and perks, visit our AO Benefits page.
• 25 days holiday (Excluding Bank Holidays)
• At least 5% contribution pension scheme*
• Dedicated wellness initiatives that support your wellbeing, ranging from our 24hr employee assistance programme to subsidised gym membership.