Sophia Kamere, 30
Sophia studied law at undergraduate level at the University of Hull. She then completed an LLM in banking and finance law at University College London. She is currently assistant manager for special purpose vehicles and corporate administration at Mourant, which provides offshore and onshore law and financial services.
What do you do in your current job?
In this department we provide corporate administration and management services, for companies and trusts, that are commonly used in structuring international financial transactions. My day-to-day work is varied. It includes ensuring that statutory and regulatory requirements are met; and that board and shareholder meetings are held, to approve annual accounts, appointments or resignations of directors, or the approval of complex financial transactions and so on. I also work on various projects that range from improving departmental processes to large financial transactions. I liaise with internal and external advisors and regulators including Companies House, the FSA, and HM Revenue and Customs.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The variety – no two days are the same. Also, the intellectual challenge when I’m faced with complex issues, and the satisfaction I gain from resolving them. I’m always busy and continuously learning.
What is the most challenging part?
I’m studying for the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) qualification, so I combine work with study. However, my employer is supportive. It’s also a challenge trying to speed-read complex transactional documents, but rewarding when I get through them.
Why did you decide not to pursue a career as a solicitor or barrister?
I felt that I would be too specialised in one area of law, and preferred to have a job that offered a broad range of activities and business exposure while still having the opportunity to use my legal background.
What advice do you have for readers considering a similar career?
Read the ICSA website, and do research to see what your options are. Contact recruitment agencies that specialise in recruiting company secretaries, such as Chambers & Partners, Hays, and EJ Group – they are a good source of information and advice. You need to be able to multitask, as your daily priorities are constantly changing. Start networking. If you know anyone in the industry, give them a ring to find out more.