Statement from the Chairman
Sir Peter Gershon "The governance arrangements we have in place have proven to be sound, as evidenced in the external Board effectiveness review”
Effective governance is a key component of the way Tate & Lyle manages its business and risks. The governance arrangements we have in place have proven to be sound, as evidenced in the external Board effectiveness review.
Robert Walker, our Senior Independent Director, joined the Board at the start of 2006 and we anticipate that he will retire from the Board after serving a full nine years. In preparation for this, we have commenced work on planning for his successor as Senior Independent Director and as Chairman of the Remuneration Committee. In addition, the Nominations Committee has recommended that an additional non-executive director join the Board, ideally prior to Robert’s departure. To this end, a clear specification has been drawn up and shared with the appointed search consultants, Spencer Stuart. We will of course announce any changes to the Board and specific roles as soon as the process has concluded and the Board reaches a decision.
Board effectiveness review
The last external Board effectiveness review was conducted in 2011 and the Board agreed that the 2014 review should be externally facilitated. We felt that additional benefits could also be derived from a review which was undertaken from a diversity and inclusion perspective and chose Schneider Ross to facilitate the review. The review concluded that the Board and its Committees operate effectively and identified some areas for further action, details of which are set out in the Corporate Governance Report.
Reporting to shareholders
The UK Government and other regulatory bodies have introduced a number of new reporting requirements which now apply to Tate & Lyle. These include a new edition of the UK Corporate Governance Code which provides that the Directors should state that they consider that the Annual Report and Accounts, taken as a whole, is ‘fair, balanced and understandable’. In preparation for this, we enhanced our processes for producing the Annual Report. Each of the directors has confirmed that he or she considers the Annual Report 2014 to be fair, balanced and understandable.
Focus for 2015
We regularly review the Board’s areas of focus. The key areas to which we will continue to devote significant time at Board and Committee level are as follows:
- Safety, including the effectiveness of new initiatives to improve hazard identification and accident prevention at all our sites
- The performance of the Speciality Food Ingredients division and its products, including SPLENDA® Sucralose
- Customer engagement
- The Group’s innovation pipeline
- Strategic initiatives, including acquisition opportunities
- Talent management, senior recruitment and succession planning activities.
Sir Peter Gershon
28 May 2014