Corporate governance is the system by which companies are directed and controlled. Boards of directors are responsible for the governance of their companies. The shareholders’ role is to appoint the directors and the auditors and to satisfy themselves that an appropriate governance structure is in place. Today’s boards are faced with a higher degree of scrutiny than ever before. A higher set of expectations from all stakeholders has created a new paradigm for boards to assess and manage.
The responsibilities of the board include setting the company’s strategic aims, providing the leadership to put them into effect, supervising the management of the business and reporting to shareholders on their stewardship. Corporate governance is therefore about what the board of a company does and how it sets the values of the company.
Ultimately, implementing an effective governance framework is of paramount importance and it is an area where we can provide significant support.
In any external board evaluations that we perform we work with the board members to produce an effective review that aims to provide added value to the board in the form of useful recommendations to demonstrate compliance and to improve the governance framework. We tailor our approach and provide self assessment questionnaires, conduct interviews of the board, the Company Secretary and other key service providers, observe board meetings and review the company against the relevant code of corporate governance. We have researched and utilised the latest market information and guidance from various sources including The Institute of Directors, The Financial Reporting Council, The Association of Investment Companies, The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (“ICSA”) and the financial services regulators (Financial Conduct Authority, Guernsey Financial Services Commission and Jersey Financial Services Commission).
We are unique in the market as we have detailed knowledge on listed companies and boards as we maintain a database of over 170 investment companies listed on the LSE, SFM, AIM, ISE, Euronext and TISE to provide peer comparisons. We have undertaken assignments in all of the areas above and over the years we have extended our services to include charities and even utility companies.
The team are always looking for innovative ways to assist directors and businesses and in 2011 created the Non-Executive Directors Forum. This forum has since gone on to become a leading independent body looking after the interests of directors involved in the finance sector and has been a significant success being recognised by the regulator as the industry body for the NED community.