MAJOR LEGAL CHANGES IN THE OFFING FOR ATTA AS UK LEGAL REQUIREMENTS MUST BE MET
(Posted 02nd October 2018)
Atta, today Africa’s leading international tourism trade association, was formed in 1994 as a trade association to promote tourism to Africa.
In 2000, new Articles were drawn up and the association became a “Company Limited by Guarantee” registered at UK’s Companies House, ensuring that each fully paid member company had a limited liability of just £1. For the last 18 years, under that structure, the association has been managed by a Board of Directors partly elected by the members every two years, and partly co-opted. All were registered at Companies House UK, as Directors.
Last year, new “money laundering” regulations were imposed by The Bank of England. Atta’s bankers, NatWest, immediately adopted stringent conditions affecting the operation of the association accounts, which were simply not acceptable to the organization’s overseas directors. As a result, they remained on the Board for their final year of appointment but all resigned their directorships of the limited company. The Atta structure of governance was therefore flawed and not sustainable. To fully comply with the regulations, Atta President Nigel Vere-Nicoll has worked over the last four months with the ATTA solicitors to draw up new Articles of Association to rectify the situation.
The proposal is that the 2000 Articles will be replaced by a new streamlined and far more workable model. This will comply with UK money laundering regulations but will also allow the Association the flexibility to appoint directors of the limited company who are all UK based, and at the same time retain a Board of Advisors that includes elected representatives from Africa and beyond, as was the case before.
Atta will be holding an EGM (Extraordinary General Meeting) at 6pm on Tuesday November 6th at Excel during WTM in London to approve the motion “that the Articles of Association of the company shall be cancelled and replaced in totality by the Articles of Association presented to the meeting”. Fully paid members as of November 6th will, if present, be able to vote.
In short the Association will have two bodies of administration:
“The Council” will be the UK based directors of Atta Ltd, registered at Companies House, responsible for the governance of the Association. President & Company Secretary, Chair, UK Fellow, and number of professional advisors including HR, Accounts, Legal who will meet in London quarterly.
“The Advisory Board” mirroring the old Board, will meet quarterly, but online, and will include the President, Chair, CEO and 6 newly elected representatives from East, South, Southern Africa, UK, Europe and Rest of World. Other members can be co-opted.
A formal notice of this meeting is to be circulated separately. This will be followed by elections for these 6 positions on the Advisory Board.
The Association is in a strong position as our financial year ends today. Atta just moved to new offices in Holland Park last week. The membership is now over 600 and the sales at a record £730,000. The small office team are Nigel Vere-Nicoll, President and Company Secretary, Fiona Jeffery OBE – Chairperson, Chris Mears – Chief Executive, Angela Kramer – Membership & Exhibition Manager and Sally Fernandes – Marketing & Communications Executive.
Atta hopes to see many of you over the next six weeks at their various events in Nairobi, Arusha, Zanzibar, Victoria Falls, Cape Town and London, as the organization continues with its mission to Promote Tourism to Africa.