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Thelma Abikhui

GAM Investments

Trainee Company Secretary |

Why do you enjoy your job?

My role as a Company Secretarial assistant involves providing support to the UK Company Secretary and the Legal team of my company. I particularly enjoy the governance aspect of the role. It can be quite administrative at times but the overall aim is to ensure that the company complies with its financial and legal requirements so that it can function efficiently as a business. Since beginning this role, I have definitely become more informed on corporate governance, company procedures and company law in general.

From day to day, I communicate with the directors, senior management staff and people from all levels of the business. This is particularly interesting as I get to know and work with people across departments. A lot of my work involves maintaining company registers, scheduling meetings, collating reports and carrying out any ad-hoc governance requests. I enjoy being in the know about the company and regulatory changes and having an array of impactful responsibilities.

What is the most challenging thing about your job?

The nature of my role involves attending Board and Committee meetings and drafting minutes as required by company law. Although minute taking might appear as a simple task, it is actually deceptively difficult and time consuming. It takes such skill to draft an accurate, clear and concise set of minutes where the content captures the relevant challenges and decisions made during the meeting. This proves extra challenging as a trainee who doesn’t have that wide a scope of industry knowledge or understand the technical jargon. It can be difficult at times to decipher what is actually going on!

How did you get into your job?

I became aware of what a Company Secretary did upon selecting a company law module in my second year of university. Before beginning my law degree, I was conflicted about whether I wanted to qualify as a lawyer and was actively searching for other routes to take where I could apply the knowledge acquired from my degree into a work environment. Luckily the role of a Company Secretary sparked my interest and so I decided based on my skill set that this was a role that I could potentially thrive in.

At first my plan of action was to complete the LPC combined with a Masters (which I was hesitant to do at the time because of the cost) but thankfully I found this entry level role on a job posting via LinkedIn and now I have been given a chance to pursue a career as a Company Secretary.

What are your future aspirations?

I am working towards my Investment Management Certificate (IMC) but also hope to complete the Chartered Governance Qualifying program (ICSA) in the future and become a fully qualified Company Secretary.

How would you sum up your Investment20/20 experience?

The Investment20/20 programme is a great opportunity for young people to get their foot in the door to roles which from the outside can appear as “exclusive”. I genuinely believed that it would have taken a couple more years of independent study to get into this role but it’s great because now I get to earn, gain valuable experience and study for the relevant qualifications- all at the same time!

I have no regrets going to university as that experience was invaluable but I think the Investment20/20 programme is equal in the sense that it throws you into the real world and teaches you how to connect and communicate with people from all walks of life.

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