The Board has adopted the revised QCA Code for Corporate Governance, updated in April 2018.
A revised QCA Code was released in April 2018. The Board has reviewed the revised Code and approved its adoption. The responsibility for ensuring compliance and accurate reporting of Corporate Governance resides with the Audit and Risk Committee (“the Committee”). Corporate Governance will be continually monitored and reviewed formally by the Committee annually, following publication of the report and accounts each year.
Compliance with each of the ten principles set out in the revised QCA Code is summarised below:
Establish a strategy and business model which promote long-term value for shareholders
Pressure Technologies has an established strategy for growth, which it reports on annually to its shareholders in the Group’s Annual Report, indicating how it has delivered on the strategy and how it has managed strategic risks. The Board reviews the strategy at least once a year to ensure that it remains relevant and sustainable. The Group’s business model is clearly set out on page 8 of these financial statements.
Seek to understand and meet shareholder needs and expectations
The Company actively encourages good communication with all shareholders from the largest to the smallest. Presentations to institutional and mid-sized investors (typically by the Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officer) are offered at the full-year and half-year and all investor presentations are posted to the Group’s website. Feedback is obtained following all investor meetings and this feedback is reviewed by the Board. The Company has always aimed to accommodate investors who wish to visit its manufacturing sites.
Take into account wider stakeholder and social responsibilities and their implications for long-term success
The Board fully recognises that long-term growth and profitability are enhanced when businesses behave in a sustainable and responsible manner, with respect for the environment and all stakeholders. The Group’s stakeholders include employees, customers, investors, suppliers, advisors and the communities in which the Group’s businesses operate. The Group’s approach to sustainable and responsible business is set out on the website.
Embed effective risk management, considering both opportunities and threats, throughout the organisation
The Committee conducts regular reviews of business risk and oversees the approach to risk management. Acknowledging the increasing threat to cyber security, the Group has recruited new skills and resources to ensure effective risk management and protection in this critically important area. The Group also has an established HSE Committee which monitors and assesses risk and leads a continuous improvement programme across all Group facilities. The risk reporting model, set out on pages 25 to 30 of these financial statements, includes the key risks to the Group’s strategy.
Maintain the Board as a well-functioning and balanced team led by the Chair
The Board comprises a Chairman, Sir Roy Gardner, who joined the business in January 2020, a Senior Independent Non-Executive Director, Brian Newman, who joined the business in 2015 and two Independent Non-Executive Directors, Tim Cooper and Mike Butterworth, who joined the business in January 2020 and June 2020 respectively. On 12 November 2021 it was announced that Sir Roy Gardner had informed the Company of his intention to step down as Chairman and Non-Executive Director before the next Annual General Meeting in March 2022. A process has been initiated to identify and appoint a Non-Executive Director to succeed to the position of Chair.
There are currently two Executive Directors, Chris Walters, Chief Executive, who joined the Group in September 2018 and James Locking, Chief Financial Officer, who joined the business in January 2019 and was appointed to the board in May 2021.
Board meeting and committee meeting frequency and attendance are set out within these financial statements and the Terms of Reference for each committee can be found on the website. The Group uses collaboration software for its Board reports which facilitates the secure and timely distribution of information to the Board.
Ensure that between them the directors have the necessary up-to-date experience, skills and capabilities
The Board comprises an effective balance of knowledge, skills, experience and independence. The Board represents relevant industry experience from engineering, operational management, finance and investment. Every member of the Board is there for the benefit of Pressure Technologies plc and each recognises their responsibility to the Company’s stakeholders. The Board regularly reviews its composition to ensure that it has the necessary breadth and depth of skills to support the ongoing development of the Group. The approach to maintaining relevance and diversity on the Board as well as assigning internal advisory responsibilities, such as those of the Company Secretary and Senior Independent Director, are continuously reviewed by the Committee. The skills that each member brings to the Board are clearly set out on the Group’s website. The Chief Executive, in conjunction with the executive team, ensures that the Directors’ knowledge is kept up to date on key issues and developments pertaining to the Group, its operational environment and to the Directors’ responsibilities as members of the Board. During the course of the year, Directors received updates from the Company Secretary and various external advisors on a number of corporate governance matters.
Evaluate Board performance based on clear and relevant objectives, seeking continuous improvement
The corporate governance statement on page 31 of the 2021 Annual Report notes that details of the performance evaluation procedures for each Director, the whole Board, or each committee, are not currently disclosed. As several appointments to the Board were made during 2020 and the business was impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, no board evaluation was carried out in 2020. The 2020 Annual report notes the intention to review and update the Board evaluation process and to conduct an evaluation during 2021. The review and evaluation has been postponed until after the appointment of a new Chairman, who will lead the evaluation process.
Promote a corporate culture that is based on ethical values and behaviours
Pressure Technologies plc is proud of its reputation for being honest and fair in the way it does business. This reputation has been established over many years through leadership and continuous reinforcement of ethical principles by managers and all employees. The principles that apply to how the Group works with its customers, employees, shareholders and the local communities in which it operates, are set out on the Group’s website.
Maintain governance structures and processes that are fit for purpose and support good decision-making by the board
The roles of each of the Board Committees are set out in their Terms of Reference, which can be found on the website along with Matters Reserved for the Board. The roles of individual Directors are not formally described, but this will be reviewed and disclosed if relevant. The responsibility for ensuring governance structures are continually reviewed and relevant to the business and its stakeholders falls to the Audit and Risk Committee.
Communicate how the Company is governed and is performing by maintaining a dialogue with shareholders and other relevant stakeholders
In addition to a Directors’ Report, reports from the Remuneration Committee and the Audit and Risk Committee are included in these financial statements. The Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officer meet periodically with the Group’s larger institutional investors and feedback is always obtained. Pressure Technologies has a reputation amongst its investors for its fair and frank disclosure on the Group’s performance. All investor presentations are available on the Group’s website. The voting statistics from AGMs are disclosed in a Regulatory News release on the day of the AGM. If relevant, details of any actions to be taken as a result of resolutions for which votes against had been received from at least 20% of independent shareholders, would also be disclosed. The Group’s website is regularly updated and historic documents dating back to the Company’s listing in 2007 are available. The Annual Report is reviewed against FTSE 350 guidelines and best practice is adopted, where relevant and practical. From time to time the executives attend private investor events and welcome investors to the manufacturing facilities.
Audit and Risk Committee
The Committee meets not less than four times a year and is responsible for making recommendations to the Board on the appointment of the auditors and the audit fee, for reviewing the conduct and control of the annual audit and for reviewing the operation of the internal financial controls. It also has responsibility for the reporting of the financial performance of the Company and for reviewing financial statements prior to publication. The Audit and Risk Committee has unrestricted access to the Group’s auditors and will ensure that auditor independence has not been compromised.
Risk is reviewed and updated as to whether it has increased, deceased, remained the same or is no longer a risk. New risks are also addressed at these meetings.
The Nomination Committee meets at least once a year and at such other times as the Chairman of the Committee shall require. It has the responsibility for leading the process for Board appointments and making recommendations to the Board accordingly via a formal, transparent and rigorous appointment procedure. The committee is also responsible for succession planning.
The Remuneration Committee meets at least four times a year and reviews the performance of the Executive Directors and sets the scale and structure of their remuneration and the basis of their service agreements with due regard to the interests of shareholders. It also determines the allocation of share options to employees. It is a rule of the Remuneration Committee that a Director shall not participate in discussions or decisions concerning his/her own remuneration.