I am pleased to introduce the Group’s corporate governance report on behalf of our Board of Directors. We are committed to maintaining high standards of corporate governance to enhance performance underpinned by our business model. We have sought to manage the affairs of the Group not by merely following regimented rules, but by promoting a culture of open and transparent discussion, constructive challenge and support in the Board and across the Group. Effective governance starts at the top, with clear roles, responsibilities and lines of reporting. Directors have to operate within applicable laws and regulations, which include corporate governance rules. In addition, directors have to operate within the mandate given to them by shareholders, for example, in the Company’s Articles of Association. On a more practical level the directors operate under agreed Board procedures such as the schedule of matters reserved for the Board, the role and descriptions of the Chairman, Group Chief Executive and Senior Independent Director, and service contracts and appointment letters.
The main Group-wide governance documents are our Core Values and the Code of Conduct, which set out the values and standards that we expect of our employees. These documents, together with our policies, govern how we conduct our business and set the standards that drive performance. Compliance training helps to enforce this. Board oversight, reviews and audits form part of the monitoring and supervision process. The important governance developments at Bodycote over the last year are detailed in the governance reporting section below.
It is of great importance to me, as Chairman, to ensure that the Board has the right composition. This means having the right balance of skills and experience to contribute, and where appropriate challenge, decision making and ensuring that all directors have a good knowledge of the Group and the context in which it operates.
I encourage all shareholders to attend the AGM, which will be held at our Macclesfield head office on 27 May 2016. This event provides an excellent opportunity to meet the executive and independent non-executive directors.