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Wates Corporate Governance Principles

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has published a consultation on corporate governance for large private companies.

Chaired by James Wates, chairman of The Wates Group, the Wates Corporate Governance Principles consultation document encourages large private companies to follow six principles to inform and develop their corporate governance practices and adopt them on an ‘apply and explain’ basis:

  • Purpose – An effective board promotes the purpose of a company and ensures that its values, strategy and culture align with that purpose.
  • Composition – Effective board composition requires an effective chair and a balance of skills, backgrounds, experience and knowledge, with individual directors having sufficient capacity to make a valuable contribution. The size of a board should be guided by the scale and complexity of the company.
  • Responsibilities – A board should have a clear understanding of its accountability and terms of reference. Its policies and procedures should support effective decision-making and independent challenge.
  • Opportunity and Risk – A board should promote the long-term success of the company by identifying opportunities to create and preserve value and establish oversight for the identification and mitigation of risk.
  • Remuneration – A board should promote executive remuneration structures aligned to sustainable long-term success of a company, taking into account pay and conditions elsewhere in the company.
  • Stakeholders – A board has a responsibility to oversee meaningful engagement with material stakeholders, including the workforce, and have regard to that discussion when taking decisions. The board has a responsibility to foster good relationships based on the company’s purpose.

James Wates commented, “These principles will provide a flexible tool for companies of all sizes, not just those captured by the new legislative reporting requirement, to understand good practice in corporate governance and, crucially, adopt that good practice widely. The principles are about fundamental aspects of business leadership and performance.

The consultation is open until 7 September 2018.