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Friendly Society discusses Governance and Risk

‘Corporate governance and Risk Management’ was the mantra at a round- table discussion on why Friendly Societies, Co-operatives and Financial Institutions fail. Terrance Jules, a Co-operative Officer with the Co-operative Division of the Ministry of Labour and Small and Micro Enterprise Development (MLSMED) and one of the main discussants at the talks organized by Takaaful T&T Friendly Society (TTTFS), emphasized the importance of strong corporate governance and efficient risk management for sustainable growth and development.

The Directors, Trustees, Committee Members and Staff of TTTFS, together with special guests Jules, Zeyn Rahaman, Reead Rahamut and Sheriff Faizool provided almost three hours of beneficial insights into corporate governance and risk management at the offices of the Society in Valsayn.

Cumulative inputs by the participants on Wednesday 4th April, 2014 suggested that a risk management programme should incorporate all risks to the organization including strategic risks, risks external to the enterprise, credit risk, adverse events related to the reputation of the enterprise, factors that may inhibit the achievement of the objectives of the organisation and timely action by the Board.

It was clear to all that risk management could not be separated from corporate governance. With respect to governance, the discussions revolved around the importance of good corporate governance and the detrimental effects of poor corporate governance. Participants addressed issues that included integrity and efficiency, policies and procedures, checks and balances, continuous education and training, business and succession planning and auditing and oversight by internal and external parties including relevant government agencies and departments.

At the end of the day, it was absolutely clear to all participants that in “faith-based organizations” including Friendly Societies, Credit UInions, Co-operatives, institutions and mosques, policies and procedures must take precedence over trust.

Photo from Left: Manwar Ali-President of TTTFS
and Terrance Jules
Photo courtesy Asif Khan

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