Assistant Company Secretary

Holborn Store Support Centre


Holborn Store Support Centre



Contract Type



Competitive plus benefits

Areas of business

Shareholder Services

Job ID


Google Map of 33 Holborn London EC1N 2HT

Sainsbury's Supermarkets Ltd, 33 Holborn, London, EC1N 2HT

The Assistant Company Secretary (ACS) will report to and support the Deputy Company Secretary in ensuring that the Company Secretarial department runs smoothly. The ACS is jointly responsible (with the Senior ACS) for delivery of shareholder services, and ensuring that appropriate governance, regulatory and statutory compliance is maintained, particularly Group subsidiary governance. The ACS is responsible for effective administration of Executive share schemes, and ensures that an efficient and cost-effective service is provided to the Group. The role carries a high degree of responsibility and independence, involving regular contact with senior management and external advisors. The successful candidate will need to demonstrate the highest level of personal integrity, as well as strong technical and professional capabilities.

What you need to do
  • Actively supports and contributes to the development and execution of the department’s objectives and strategy by engaging with and seeking the views of stakeholders, to ensure the strategy contributes to the overall achievement of the corporate services objectives and Group strategy;
  • Works closely with the Senior ACS in delivery of the Company Secretarial objectives;
  • Supports the provision of an efficient and effective service to the plc Board, its Committees and subsidiaries;
  • Contributes to improving and streamlining the corporate governance framework, and the provision of guidance, policies, terms of reference and support to the business;
  • Keeping up to date with development in company law and corporate governance best practice, proactively updating the team, and assisting with production of papers and policies as required;
  • Ensuring the business complies with all regulatory, legislative and governance best practice and requirements;
  • Provides a central source of guidance and advice to internal stakeholders on matters of compliance with the Companies legislation and ensures the highest standards of corporate governance and compliance are maintained;
  • Contributes to the Annual Report and Annual General Meeting (AGM) process for areas pertaining to the role’s responsibilities, particularly providing information for the Remuneration Report, and including drafting sections of the Governance section and Directors’ Report;
  • Responsible for subsidiary governance for the Group;
  • Oversees the accurate maintenance of the statutory registers for the plc and the subsidiaries of the Group;
  • Accountability for the development and execution of objectives in relation to Executive share schemes, ensuring that they are in line with the Group Reward strategy, Internal Communications and business requirements, and providing internal guidance and assistance to colleagues;
  • Leads the planning and execution of Executive share scheme grants and vestings.
  • Review and amend all Executive share plans in relation to any changes in legislation and business needs.
  • Manages the team’s accurate and secure data reporting and submissions, including Employee Benefit Trusts share calculations and purchases, new issue share calculations, blocklisting and dilution updates etc.
  • Manages with oversight from Deputy Company Secretary the budget within Executive share plans and Employee Benefit Trusts (monitoring headroom; share purchases into trust; blocklisting etc.)
  • Providing excellent advice and service to the c.250 senior executives and ensuring that all communcations to them are clear and succinct;
  • Ensuring relevant tax documents and returns are filed by the team accurately and on-time;
  • Manages the relationships with the Executive Share Plans administrator and Employee Benefit Trusts to ensure an effective service to colleagues, and a cost-effective service to the Company;
  • Deputises for the Deputy Company Secretary in all matters relating to Executive share plans when necessary
  • Secretary to joint ventures and some key subsidiaries, and managing the relationships with Non-Executive Directors and senior management;
  • Manages a Company Secretarial Assistant, including coaching and guidance, and achieving good feedback in our colleague engagement survey;
  • Develops the Junior Assistant Company Secretary/Company Secretarial Assistant(s)/Trainee(s) within the department; and
  • Builds strong relationships with key internal and external senior stakeholders (e.g. Reward, Internal Comms, Legal, Finance, Treasury, Tax and third party suppliers) and maintains effective business relationships.
What you need to know and show
  • University graduate and higher;
  • Associate of the Chartered Institute of Secretaries and Administrators;
  • Proven post-qualification and listed company experience gained from working in secretariat teams of FTSE 100s or FTSE 250s;
  • Excellent working knowledge of the Companies Act 2006, the UK Corporate Governance Code, UK Listing Rules and Disclosure and Transparency Guidance and any related best practice guidance
  • Subsidiary governance and executive share plans experience;
  • Good knowledge and understanding of Inland Revenue requirements and Share Scheme Rules;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, very numerate, with a strong attention to detail;
  • Good knowledge of Blueprint/GEMS, Diligent Boardbooks, Cytec Insidertrack (or similar), Word, Excel and Powerpoint applications;
  • Ability to work at pace;
  • Ability to think strategically, plan and execute successfully;
  • Ability to recognise implications outside immediate remit to enable team to succeed;
  • Ability to define solutions and create a clear action plan, showing accurate judgement of when to escalate issues;
  • Being aware of need to balance needs of business, budgetary constraints, and legal and risk implications;
  • Ability to use different influencing styles to suit a variety of contexts and tasks;
  • Comfortable with making decisions and focus attention on the right priorities;
  • Being able to motivate and lead by example - role modelling Sainsbury’s values - as well as coaching others and identifying development needs;
  • Management of projects as appropriate, to meet and maintain adherence to departmental standards in a cost-effective manner;
  • Proactively increases own knowledge whilst keeping abreast of external trends and new innovations in the company secretrarial space; and
  • Builds great working relationships with colleagues in the Corporate Services team and with a diverse range of stakeholders across the business.
What decisions I can make including budget
  • Decides the approach for the implementation of BAU and relevant project activities;
  • Manages individual work priorities and assignment of work to own team member;
  • Signing Goods Not For Resale orders under contract of £5k, subject to the Group Authorisation Policy;
  • Raising invoice for a supplier £100k; and
  • Manages the day-to-day operational budget relating to the Executive Share Plans and Employee Benefit Trusts work, with oversight from Deputy Company Secretary.
Directly or indirectly manages
  • Manages a Company Secretarial Assistant.
Support we will provide
  • Support from Deputy Company Secretary and rest of the Company secretarial team;
  • Wider Corporate Services Team and other key internal parties (HR, Finance, IR);
  • Sainsbury’s policies Intranet (Our Sainsbury’s and My Sainsbury’s Learning); and
  • External training opportunities with external law firms and relevant professional bodies