In line with its focus on enhancing sustainability and promoting Environmental, Social and Governance best practices among listed companies and other stakeholders, Dubai Financial Market (DFM) has successfully contributed to the improvement of corporate governance practices in the United Arab Emirates through its partnership with the Hawkamah Institute for Corporate Governance.
In 2017, DFM and Hawkamah signed an agreement to collaborate towards corporate sector reform in Dubai and the UAE through improving governance practices of listed companies. Hawkamah has since then trained over 100 Company Secretaries, and briefed the boards of more than 65% of DFM-listed companies on the role of boards in driving good corporate governance.
H.E. Essa Kazim, Chairman of the Dubai Financial Market, said, “Sustainability and good governance are central to our vision. The DFM continues to adopt best practices to ensure that good governance is instilled in our listed companies and within the DFM itself. Our cooperation with Hawkamah has proven successful in terms of improving corporate governance practices at DFM-listed companies.”
Corporate governance is an important source of competitiveness, while sustainability ensures positive contributions to societies at large. When it comes to sustainability and governance, it is the tone at the top that makes all the difference. Boards of directors are therefore at the heart of governance. Company Secretaries play a vital role in ensuring that Boards operate efficiently and effectively, you cannot have a good board with poor-performing company secretary. There is enough evidence to prove that it is challenging to find qualified board members and Company Secretaries in the region. Therefore, Hawkamah took on the assignment of training company secretaries and offering Director Development Programs to prepare new directors for companies as well as organizing special sessions for existing board members.
H.E. Dr Ahmad El Sheikh, Chairman of the Hawkamah Institute for Corporate Governance, affirmed, “With the cooperation of DFM, we have made significant strides in terms of advancing the standards of good governance in the UAE, we have trained more boards and graduated more qualified company secretaries. Since its establishment, the Institute has trained more than 1,800 directors and over 200 Company Secretaries. We look forward to continued collaboration to promote corporate and government sectors’ reform.”
In addition to briefing boards about good corporate governance practices as one of the Institute’s advisory services, Hawkamah launched a Foundation Program for Chartered Governance Professionals with ICSA: The Governance Institute of the UK. The program helps companies prepare the second generation of governance experts and professional company secretaries.