Tricia Nicholas makes a mark in corporate governance
From 2005, Tricia Nicholas’ love for corporate governance has grown. Corporate governance is a system by which companies are directed and controlled. For Tricia, her experience and law background make her the perfect candidate for this job. She joined Dolla financial services team as its paralegal and executive assistant in June 2020.
In January 2021, she was promoted as the company’s corporate planning manager in March 2021 where she led the Growth Committee team with the implementation and updating of most of the company’s policies and procedures.
By January 2022, she was promoted as Dolla’s governance and compliance manager as she worked very closely with the executive team and the board to ensure good company governance and compliance. Essentially, she is responsible for ensuring that the board of directors, management, and employees follow the rules and regulations of regulatory agencies, that company policies and procedures are being followed, and that behaviour in the organisation meets the company’s internal Standards of Conduct as well as professional and international standards and accepted business practices.
As the recording secretary, she is also responsible for the preparation, collation, and distribution of agendas, meeting information packs, minutes, and monthly management reports for the board and committees for both the company and its subsidiary. Given her role in the company, she also acts as the nominated officer and paralegal providing legal support and registration of mortgages for the company. These are many caps for one person to wear, but she manages to balance seamlessly.
“Some of the important skills required for the position are communication, organisation, critical thinking, problem-solving, teamwork, confidentiality, and having high integrity. It is also important to maintain a continuous knowledge of AML & CFL regulations, company law, and corporate governance,” Nicholas said.
“For someone looking into the field, I would advise that they first ought to ensure that they do have the love and passion for the job because it can be onerous at times. Nevertheless, I believe that it is a satisfying position, and so there is no room to be bored. To start a career, I believe a legal foundation in company law is essential. This will allow you to have a deeper appreciation and understanding of the set-up of a company, which thereby provides you with the basis for why a company needs to be compliant and maintain good governance practices. In addition, maintaining continuous learning and knowledge is important to be on top of your game, so I would encourage joining a governance and/or compliance association so you can be part of their membership programme to benefit from their seminars, workshops, and resources provided,” she added.
Compliance means simply adhering to rules, while governance is the systems and processes that are implemented to provide direction and control. They both work hand in hand and are imperative to the running of a good business because while governance governs the business practices and risks, compliance ensures that they are in line with external rules and regulations. Failure to be compliant and having good governance practices will result in legal penalties, threats of risks, and financial forfeiture, just to name a few.
Her background as a legal secretary for over eight years played a pivotal role in her development.
“Law became a sense of satisfaction for me when clients are left smiling because the effort to pushing through their matters of either starting their own business, owning a home, or finalising the administration of their loved one’s estate had greatly impacted the drive and love I had for the job,” she said.
What are some of the skills and knowledge required for a position such as this?
• Communication and organisational skills
• Paying attention to detail and problem-solving skills
• Critical thinking
• Ability to thrive in a fast-changing and demanding environment
• Integrity and honesty
• Strong teamwork and interpersonal skill
• Continuous knowledge of AML & CFL regulations
• Continuous knowledge of company law and corporate governance
• Company secretarial practice
Tricia holds an associate degree in business administration from the College of Agriculture and Science. She completed an ABE higher diploma in business management and eventually pursued a law degree with the University of London. She is quick to admit that her field requires continuous learning and she has to improve her knowledge as a member of the international compliance association.
“Practices, laws, and regulations change all the time. It is imperative to be aware of what is taking place so you can always perform at an optimal level while adding value to the business you work in,” she said.