Corporate Governance and Committees
Board composition and responsibilities
The Board currently comprises two Executive Directors and two Non-Executive Directors. Christopher Mills was appointed as Non-Executive Chairman in 20 April 2016.
The Board has determined that Christopher Mills and Adam Reynolds are independent in character and judgement and that there are no relationships or circumstances which could materially affect or interfere with the exercise of their independent judgement.
All Directors are subject to election by Shareholders at the first Annual General Meeting after their appointment, and are subject to re-election at least every three years. Non-Executive Directors are appointed for a specific term of office which provides for their removal in certain circumstances, including under section 168 of the Companies Act 2006. The Board does not automatically re-nominate Non-Executive Directors for election by Shareholders. The terms of appointment of the Non-Executive Directors can be obtained by request to the Company Secretary.
The Board’s primary objective is to focus on adding value to the assets of the Group by identifying and assessing business opportunities and ensuring that potential risks are identified, monitored and controlled. Matters reserved for Board decisions include strategic long-term objectives and capital structure of major transactions. The implementation of Board decisions and day to day operations of the Group are delegated to Management.
There is no formal Nominations Committee, the appointment of new Directors being considered by the full Board.
The Directors recognise the value of the principles of the UK Corporate Governance Code (the Code). Although, as an AIM Company, compliance with the Code is not required, the Group seeks to apply the Code where practicable and appropriate for a business of its size.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
The Board recognises that the Group has a duty to be a good corporate citizen and is conscious that its business processes minimise harm to the environment, that it contributes as far as is practicable to the local communities in which it operates and takes a responsible and positive approach to employment practices.
This comprises two Non-Executive Directors, Adam Reynolds (Chairman) and Christopher Mills. Adam Reynolds is the Senior Independent Director and has recent and relevant finance experience. The committee has responsibility over the following:
- Recommend the appointment, re-appointment and removal of the external auditor
- Ensure the objectivity and independence of the auditors including occasions when non-audit services are provided
- Ensure appropriate 'whistle-blowing' arrangements are in place
The Non-Executive Directors may seek information from any employee of the Group and obtain external professional advice at the expense of the Company if considered necessary. Due to the relatively low number of personnel employed within the Group, the nature of the business and the current control and review systems in place, the Board has decided not to establish a separate internal audit department.
The remuneration committee is made up of Adam Reynolds (Chairman) and Christopher Mills.
The Directors are responsible for ensuring that the Group maintains a system of internal control to provide them with reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial information used within the business and for publication and that the assets are safeguarded. There are inherent limitations in any system of internal control and accordingly even the most effective system can provide only reasonable, but not absolute, assurance with respect to the preparation of financial reporting and the safeguarding of assets.
The Group, in administering its business, has put in place strict authorisation, approval and control levels within which senior management operates. These controls reflect the Group’s organisational structure and business objectives. The control system includes clear lines of accountability and covers all areas of the organisation. The Board operates procedures which include an appropriate control environment through the definition of the above organisation structure and authority levels and the identification of the major business risks. The Group has commenced a project to enhance and formalise its internal controls including the establishment of a Risk Steering Committee.
Internal financial reporting
The Directors are responsible for establishing and maintaining the Group’s system of internal reporting and as such have put in place a framework of controls to ensure that on-going financial performance is measured in a timely and correct manner and that risks are identified as early as is practicably possible. There is a comprehensive budgeting system and monthly management accounts are prepared which compare actual results against both the budget and the previous year. They are reviewed and approved by the Board and revised forecasts are prepared on a regular basis.
Relations with shareholders
The Company reports to Shareholders twice a year. The Company dispatches the notice of its Annual General Meeting, together with a description of the items of special business, at least 21 clear days before the meeting. Each substantially separate issue is the subject of a separate resolution and all Shareholders have the opportunity to put questions to the Board at the Annual General Meeting.
The Chair(s) of the Audit and Remuneration Committees normally attend the Annual General Meeting and will answer questions which may be relevant to their work. The Chairman advises the meeting of the details of proxy votes cast on each of the individual resolutions after they have been voted on in the meeting. The Chairman and the Non-Executive Directors intend to maintain a good and continuing understanding of the objectives and views of the Shareholders.