Statement of Corporate Governance
As the Chairman, I recognise the importance of high standards of Corporate Governance and am pleased to report below on how the Board of Pittards maintains its governance framework.
The Group is led and controlled by the Board who are responsible for approving Group policy and strategy for the benefit of its shareholders in accordance with their fiduciary and statutory duties. The Board comprises two executive members and three non-executive directors, the biographies of the directors are on the Board page of the website. These show the range of business and financial experience on which the Board can call.
Chairman and Chief Executive
The Chairman, Stephen Yapp, is responsible for the leadership of the Board and ensuring its effectiveness. The Chairman is considered independent by the Board. Reg Hankey, Chief Executive, manages the Group and has the prime role, with the assistance of the Board, of developing and implementing business strategy.
The Non-Executive Directors, under the leadership of the Chairman, undertake detailed examination and discussion of the strategies proposed by the Executive Directors, to ensure that decisions are in the best, long-term interests of the shareholders and take proper account of the interests of the Group’s other stakeholders. The Non-Executive Directors bring independent judgement and scrutiny to the decisions taken by the Board. They monitor the success of management in delivering the agreed strategy within the risk appetite and control framework set by the Board. Their views are actively sought when developing proposals on strategy and in discussions in meetings.
The QCA guidelines acknowledge that for growing companies it may not be possible for boards to meet the definition of “independence” for Non-Executive Directors, however it sets out that it is important for the board to foster an attitude of independence of character and judgement. The Board is mindful of the threat to independence and actively manages the potential risk to ensure that the Non-Executives provide the independent, constructive challenge to help develop the Board’s proposals on strategy. The Non-Executive Directors are considered to be independent by the Board.
The Senior Independent Director, Godfrey Davis, offers a sounding board for the Chairman and serves as an intermediary for other directors and shareholders when necessary.
All Directors have access to the advice and services of the Company Secretary, who is responsible for ensuring that Board procedures, applicable rules and regulations are observed.
In the furtherance of their duties on behalf of the Group, the Directors also have access to independent professional advice at the expense of the Group. During the year, the Chair of the Remuneration Committee sought external tax advice on long-term incentive schemes.
The Chairman ensures that the Board meet regularly throughout the year, with additional ad hoc meetings and calls being held as required. The Chairman ensures that meetings of Non-Executive Directors without the Executive Directors are held.
Communication with Shareholders
The Board attaches great importance to providing shareholders with clear and transparent information on the Group’s activities, strategies and financial position, in addition to having regard to its obligations as a quoted public company and the AIM rules.
The Group holds meetings with significant shareholders on a regular basis and regards the Annual Report and Annual General Meeting as a good opportunity to communicate directly with shareholders which allow them to participate by submitting questions at the Annual General Meeting.
The Group lists contact details on its website should shareholders wish to communicate with the Board. All announcements and results, including those released via RNS, are available on the Group’s website.
The Board has three standing committees: the Audit Committee, the Remuneration Committee and the Nomination Committee. The Terms of Reference for each of the Committees are available on the Committees page.