Good corporate governance is fundamental to 3i and its activities. Governance and oversight of the Group’s business model and strategy are critical to the delivery of value to the Group’s stakeholders. This is more important than ever given the current challenging and uncertain economic environment and the changing regulatory landscape that our sector faces.
The Board is responsible to shareholders for the overall management and oversight of the Group and for its long-term success. In particular, the Board is responsible for agreeing the Group’s strategy, monitoring financial performance, setting and monitoring the Group’s risk appetite and maintaining an effective system of internal controls.
It is the Board’s responsibility to ensure that the Group has a clear strategy and that the necessary people, resources and structures are in place to support the delivery of this strategy.
Board and Committees structure
It is the Board’s responsibility to ensure that there is an effective organisational and reporting structure in place such that there are clear reporting lines within the Group and well defined roles and responsibilities. This is to ensure that the right decisions are being made with involvement from the right people.
The Board is assisted by various Principal Committees of the Board which report regularly to the Board. In undertaking its duties, the Board delegates certain authorities and decisions to its Committees. The Board committee structure is outlined in the diagram below. The membership of these Committees is regularly reviewed by the Board. When considering Board Committee membership and chairmanship, the Board aims to ensure that undue reliance is not placed on particular Directors.
These Board Committees all have clearly defined terms of reference.
Day-to-day management of the Group is the responsibility of the Chief Executive. To assist him in this role, the Chief Executive has established a number of additional Committees, details of which are also outlined below.
How the Board operates
The Chairman leads the Board and ensures its effectiveness. He also organises its business and sets its agenda. In addition to the Chairman, there are currently five independent non-executive Directors who have a range of strong and complementary skills.
Before each Board and Committee meeting, relevant reports and papers, including financial performance data and detailed updates on the progress and implementation of the strategic plan where appropriate, are circulated to Directors.
The Board has the opportunity to discuss these reports and updates and to challenge directly the Executive Directors and other senior management, who attend all or part of the Board meetings.
The key responsibilities and areas of focus for the Board are:
- Strategy – contribute to the development of, and agree, the Group’s strategy. This includes through review and discussion of reports and updates at Board meetings as well as through the annual strategy review meeting which is attended by the Board and, where relevant, members of the Executive Committee.
- Group financial and operational performance – review and monitor the performance of the Group, including through regular reporting and discussions with the Executive Committee and other senior management.
- Senior management – ensure that the Executive Committee has the skills and resources to deliver the strategy and that appropriate succession and contingency planning is in place.
- Evaluation and composition – review the performance of the Board and its Committees to ensure that they are effective. Ensure that the Board and its Committees comprise competent and capable individuals with a range of skills and experience who bring independent views to the decisions being made.
- Internal controls – maintain an appropriate internal control framework.
- Risk – ensure that there are effective risk management policies and processes in place and an appropriate governance structure.
The Board has approved a formal schedule of matters reserved to it and its duly authorised Committees for decision. Matters delegated by the Board to management include implementation of the Board approved strategy, day-to-day management and operation of the business, the appointment and remuneration of all staff below the Executive Committee and the formulation and implementation of risk management policies and processes.