Petra is, as executive secretary to the Supervisory Board, employed by Bloem N.V., a listed company. Bloem N.V. has just appointed a new commissioner, Mr. Verburg. Petra has
been asked to give Mr. Verburg secretarial support in addition to her regular work. Mr. Verburg is not only a commissioner at Bloem N.V., but also commissioner in two other listed companies. Petra doubts whether she should agree to take on this extra work.
Most of the commissioners of listed companies agree upon the fact that their secretarial support will be at their largest commissionership. This means that all confidential documents of the other committees will be also included in this secretariat and thus with other companies. This could lead to conflicts of interest and (unintentional) leakage of market sensitive information. This might result in negative publicity and reputation damage to the commissioner and the company concerned. When the commissioner agrees upon the secretarial services of Petra, he should have Petra sign a confidentiality agreement for all the companies which are involved. In addition, he will have to set up procedures and security to ensure full confidentiality. In this way, Petra’s position and activities will not only be clear to all parties, but also meets the obligation of the commissioner to ensure the confidentiality surrounding his commissionerships. Petra can therefore, rest assured, work for Mr. Verburg, but wisely advises her supervisor and the commissioner on a confidentiality agreement to protect her own position.