Principle 5

Principle 5: Maintain the board as a well-functioning, balanced team led by the chair

The Board is made up of two Executive and five Non-Executive Directors. Biographies of each of the Directors can be found here. All the Directors bring independent judgement to bear on issues affecting the Group and all have full and timely access to information necessary to enable them to discharge their duties. The Directors have a wide and varying array of experience in the industry. The Board agrees a schedule of regular meetings to be held in each calendar year and also meets on other occasions as necessary. Meetings are held at the head office in Dublin. Board meetings were held on 16 occasions during 2017. An agenda and supporting documentation was circulated in advance of each meeting.   

 

The table below indicates the attendance of directors at board and committee meetings in 2017:

Director

BOARD

Renumeration

Committee

Nomination

Committee

Audit

Committee

Pat Plunkett

16

1

1

1

Tony O'Reilly

16

NA

NA

NA

Dr. John O'Sullivan

16

NA

NA

NA

James McCarthy

15

1

1

1

Lex Gamble

16

1

1

1

Philip O'Quigley

16

1

1

NA

Dr. Angus McCoss *

7

NA

NA

NA

* Joined Board June 2017 / Joined Committees 2018

 

There is an agreed list of matters which the Board has formally reserved to itself for decision, such as approval of the Group’s commercial strategy, trading and capital budgets, financial statements, Board membership, acquisitions and disposals, major capital expenditure, risk management and treasury policies. Responsibility for certain matters is delegated to Board Committees.  There is an agreed procedure for Directors to take independent legal advice. The Company Secretary is responsible for ensuring that Board procedures are followed, and all Directors have direct access to the Company Secretary.  All Directors receive regular Group management financial statements and reports and full Board papers are sent to each Director in sufficient time before Board meetings, and any further supporting papers and information are readily available to all Directors on request. The Board papers include the minutes of all committees of the Board which have been held since the previous Board meeting, and, the chairman of each committee is available to give a report on the committee’s proceedings at Board meetings if appropriate. The Board has a process whereby each year every Director will meet the Chairman to review the conduct of Board meetings and the general corporate governance of the Group. The role of the Chairman (Mr. Pat Plunkett) is Non-Executive. The Non-Executive Directors are independent of management and have no material interest or other relationship with the Group. Each year, one third of the Directors retire from the Board by rotation and every Director is subject to this rule. Effectively, therefore, each Director will retire by rotation within each three- year period.

 

Board Committees

The Board has implemented an effective committee structure to assist in the discharge of its responsibilities. All committees of the Board have written terms of reference dealing with their authority and duties. Membership of the Audit, Remuneration and Nomination Committees is comprised exclusively of Non- Executive Directors. The Company Secretary acts as secretary to each of these committees.

Audit Committee - The Audit Committee reviews the accounting principles, policies and practices adopted in the preparation of the interim and annual financial statements and discusses with the Group’s Auditors the results and scope of the audit. It also reviews the scope and performance of the Group’s internal finance function and the effectiveness and independence of the external Auditors. The external Auditors are invited to attend the Audit Committee meetings, and the Chief Financial Officer also attends. The external auditors have the opportunity to meet with the members of the Audit Committee alone at least once a year. The Audit Committee comprises three Non-Executive Directors and is chaired by Mr. Lex Gamble. The partner responsible for the external Audit is changed every 5 years to ensure audit independence.

Remuneration Committee - The Remuneration Committee comprises four Non-Executive Directors and is chaired by Mr. Philip O’Quigley. Emoluments of Executive Directors and senior management are determined by the Remuneration Committee. In the course of each financial year the Remuneration Committee determines basic salaries as well as the parameters for any possible bonus payments.  The Remuneration Committee applies the same philosophy in determining Executive Directors’ remuneration as is applied in respect of all employees. The underlying objective is to ensure that individuals are appropriately rewarded relative to their responsibility, experience and value to the Group. The Remuneration Committee is mindful of the need to ensure that, in a competitive environment, the Group can attract, retain and motivate executives who can perform to the highest levels of expectation. Annual bonuses, if any, are determined by the Remuneration Committee on the basis of objective assessments based on the Group’s performance during the year in terms of key financial indicators, as well as a qualitative assessment of the individual’s performance.  

Nomination Committee - The Nomination Committee comprises four Non-Executive Directors. The Nomination Committee, which is chaired by Mr. James McCarthy, formally agrees criteria for new Non- Executive Director appointments, including experience of the industry in which the Group operates and professional background.