SIG is committed to business integrity, high ethical values and professionalism in all of its activities. At SIG, we believe that good governance comes from an effective Board which provides strong leadership to the Group and engages well with both management and stakeholders. As an essential part of this commitment, the Group supports the highest standards in corporate governance. This section of our report outlines how the Board ensures that high standards of corporate governance are maintained.
Compliance with the UK Corporate Governance Code
The Board considers that throughout the year under review, the Company has complied with the governance rules and best practice provisions applying to UK listed companies as contained in the UK Corporate Governance Code ("the Code") of September 2014 issued by the Financial Reporting Council ("FRC").
The Code can be accessed at www.frc.org.uk.
Under the Code, the Board is required to undertake a formal and rigorous annual evaluation of its own performance and that of its Committees and individual Directors. In December 2016 the Board conducted an internally facilitated evaluation. Details of the process concerning this evaluation and its outcome are covered in the Corporate governance report.
The Board of SIG acknowledges the importance of diversity in its broadest sense in the Boardroom as a driver of Board effectiveness. Diversity encompasses diversity of perspective, experience, background, psychological type and personal attributes. The Board recognises that gender diversity is a significant aspect of diversity and acknowledges the role that women with the right skills and experience can play in contributing to diversity of perspective in the boardroom. The Board also acknowledges the work of Sir John Parker and his report into the Ethnic Diversity of UK Boards. The Board Diversity Policy is published on the Company's website (www.sigplc.com).
We reported in last year's Annual Report that female representation on the Board had risen to 25%. The matter continues to be reviewed, particularly in light of the Hampton-Alexander Review on FTSE Women Leaders.
All appointments to the Board will continue to be made on merit, however, differences in background, skills, experience and other qualities as well as gender and ethnicity will be considered in determining the optimum composition of the Board and the aim will be to balance them appropriately.
Governance within SIG
As Chairman, I take responsibility for ensuring that good governance is operated at SIG in order that we can maintain the highest standards of corporate governance to which we continually aspire. The Board is accountable to the Company's Shareholders for good governance and this Report, the Directors' Remuneration Report, the Audit Committee Report and the Nominations Committee Report on describe how the principles of good governance set out in the Code are applied within SIG.
The Company's external Auditor, Deloitte LLP, is required to review whether the above statement reflects the Company's compliance with the provisions of the Code specified for their review by the Listing Rules (as contained within the Financial Conduct Authority's Handbook) and to report if it does not reflect such compliance. No such report has been made.
Leslie Van De Walle
13 March 2017