CORPORATE GOVERNANCE STATEMENT
Introduction from the Chairman
The Board is committed to good corporate governance and so far as appropriate given the Company’s size and the constitution of the Board, intends to comply with the QCA Guidelines on Corporate Governance (“QCA Guidelines”). The Board believes this to be the most appropriate recognised governance code for this Company.
This is a practical, outcome-oriented approach to corporate governance that is tailored for small and mid-size quoted companies in the UK and which provides the Company with the framework to help ensure that a strong level of governance is maintained.
As Chairman, I am responsible for leading an effective board, fostering a good corporate governance culture, maintaining open communications with the shareholders and ensuring appropriate strategic focus and direction for the Company. Notwithstanding the Board’s commitment to applying the QCA Code, we will not seek to comply with the QCA Code where strict compliance in the future would be contrary to the primary objective of delivering long-term value for the Company’s shareholders and stakeholders.
However, we do consider that following the QCA Code, and a framework of sound corporate governance and an ethical culture, is conducive to long-term value creation for shareholders. All members of the Board believe strongly in the importance of good corporate governance to assist in achieving objectives and in accountability to stakeholders. In the statements that follow, the Company explains its approach to governance in more detail
The Directors are responsible for maintaining the Company’s systems of controls and risk management in order to safeguard the Company’s assets.
Risk is monitored and assessed by the board who meet quarterly and the audit committee who will meet at least twice annually and are responsible for ensuring that the financial performance of the Company is properly monitored and reported. This process includes reviews of annual and interim accounts, results announcements, internal control systems, procedures and accounting policies. The senior management team (“Executive Committee”) meets weekly to consider new risks and opportunities presented to the Group, making recommendations to the Board as appropriate.
The Board receives guidance from FIM Capital Limited, the administrator and Company Secretary to the Company, covering updates to relevant legalisation and rules to ensure they remain fully informed and able to make informed decisions.
The Board consists of two executive directors and two non -executive directors. Details of each Director are given in a later section of this report. The Chairman is responsible for leading the Board, ensuring its effectiveness in all aspects of its role, promoting a culture of openness of debate and communicating with the Group’s members on behalf of the Board. The Chairman sets the direction of the Board and promotes a culture of openness and debate by facilitating the effective contribution of Non-Executive Directors and ensuring constructive relations between Executive and Non-Executive Directors. The Chairman also ensures that Directors receive accurate, timely and clear information. In doing so, this fosters a positive corporate governance culture throughout the Group.
The executive Directors work fulltime in the business and have no other significant outside business interests. The Chief Executive Officer is responsible for managing the Group’s business and operations within the parameters set by the Board. The Non-Executive Directors are responsible for bringing independent judgement to the discussions held by the Board, using their breadth of experience and understanding of the business. Their key responsibilities are to constructively challenge and contribute to strategic proposals, and to monitor performance, resources, and standards of conduct, compliance and control, whilst providing support to executive management in developing the Group.
The Board is satisfied that it has a suitable balance between independence and knowledge of the business to allow it to discharge its duties and responsibilities effectively. The Board will hold at least 4 meetings each year with further ad hoc meetings held as required. The Directors devote sufficient time to ensure the Company’s affairs are managed as efficiently as possible.
The number of formal scheduled Board meetings held and attended by Directors during the year, before and after the change in Board composition upon the RTO was as follows: -
The Directors have extensive experience in the mining industry and a strong track record of value creation. It is a proven Board and management team and it believes it has the correct balance of skills, reflecting a broad range of commercial and professional skills across geographies and industries that is necessary to ensure the Company is equipped to deliver its investment objective. Additionally, each Director has experience in public markets and information about each Director’s experience is contained on the Company’s website page:Board & Management
All Board appointments have been made after consultation and detailed due diligence is carried out on all new potential board candidates. The Board will consider using external advisers to review and evaluate the effectiveness of the Board and Directors in future to supplement its own internal evaluation processes.
The Group’s Rules require that all Directors are submitted for election at the AGM following their first appointment to the Board and one third of the Directors are subject to retirement by rotation on an annual basis to refresh the Board, irrespective of performance.
The board is mindful that the tone and culture set by the Board will impact many aspects of the Company and the way that stakeholders behave and form views.
The Board has adopted a Bribery and Corruption Policy consistent with the requirements of the UK Bribery Act 2010 and the Isle of Man Bribery Act 2013. Compliance with the policy will be regularly reviewed at Board meetings.
A description of each board member and their experience, the role of the Audit Committee and that neither a Nomination or Remuneration Committee exists are displayed on the website page: Board & Management
The Board of directors is responsible for the determination of the investment decisions of the Company and for its overall supervision via the investment policy and the objectives that it has set out. The Board is also responsible for the Company’s day to day operations.
Half of the Directors are non-executive Directors and therefore there is no nomination committee. The Company has established a remuneration committee and an audit committee.
The Board intends to meet formally at least four times each year. At each Board meeting the financial performance of the Company and all other significant matters are reviewed so as to ensure the Directors maintain overall control and supervision of the Company’s affairs.
The Board maintains regular contact with all its service providers and are kept fully informed of investment and financial controls and any other matters that should be brought to the attention of the directors. The Directors also have access where necessary to independent professional advice at the expense of the Company.
The Chairman is responsible for leading an effective board, fostering a good corporate governance culture, maintaining open communications with the major shareholders and ensuring appropriate strategic focus and direction.
The Chief Executive Officer has overall responsibility for managing the day to day operations of the Company and the Board as a whole is responsible for implementing the Company’s strategy.
The Audit Committee is a sub-committee of the Board, currently consisting of Mark Connelly, Rob Wrixon and Ed McDermott, and it will meet formally at least twice each year. It will make recommendations to the Board which retains the right of final decision. The Audit Committee has primary responsibility for reviewing the financial statements and the accounting policies, principles and practices underlying them, liaising with the external auditors and reviewing the effectiveness of internal controls.
The terms of reference of the Audit Committee covers the following:
- The composition of the Committee, quorum and who else attends meetings.
- Appointment and duties of the Chairman.
- Duties in relation to external reporting, including reviews of financial statements, shareholder communications and other announcements.
- Duties in relation to the external auditors, including appointment/dismissal, approval of fee and discussion of the audit.
In addition, FIM has a number of internal control functions including a dedicated Compliance Officer who monitors compliance with all statutory and regulatory requirements and presents a report to the Board at each meeting.
The Remuneration Committee, consisting of the non-executive directors Ed McDermott and Mark Connelly, is a sub-committee of the Board and it will meet formally at least twice each year. The salaries, remuneration and other financial benefits of the management and the members of the Board of Directors will be reviewed by this committee.