James Wates launches corporate governance code
A new code for the corporate governance of large private companies, overseen by Wates Group chairman James Wates, has launched.
The Wates Principles, which were developed in coalition with the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), encourage companies to adopt better behaviours to secure trust and confidence in businesses.
They provide a framework to help companies not only meet their obligations under The Companies (Miscellaneous Reporting) Regulations 2018 but also to help promote their success, the FRC said.
The six principles are:
- Purpose and Leadership – An effective board develops and promotes the purpose of a company and ensures that its values, strategy and culture align with that purpose.
- Board 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.
- Board Responsibilities - The board and individual directors should have a clear understanding of their accountability and responsibilities. The board’s policies and procedures should support effective decision-making and independent challenge.
- Opportunity and Risk - A board should promote the long-term sustainable success of the company by identifying opportunities to create and preserve value and establishing oversight for the identification and mitigation of risks.
- Remuneration - A board should promote executive remuneration structures aligned to the long-term sustainable success of a company, taking into account pay and conditions elsewhere in the company.
- Stakeholder Relationships and Engagement - Directors should foster effective stakeholder relationships aligned to the company’s purpose. The board is responsible for overseeing meaningful engagement with stakeholders, including the workforce, and having regard to their views when taking decisions.
Reporting against these principles will take effect on 1 January 2019.
James Wates said: “I believe that good business, well done, is a force for good in society. The Wates Corporate Governance Principles are a tool for large private companies that helps them look themselves in the mirror, to see where they’ve done well, and where they can raise their corporate governance standards to a higher level.
“Good corporate governance is not about box-ticking. It can only be achieved if companies think seriously about why they exist and how they deliver on their purpose then explain – in their own words – how they go about implementing the principles. That’s the sort of transparency that can build the trust of stakeholders and the general public.”