The Board is the ultimate custodian of its corporate reputation and stakeholder relationships. Remgro’s relationship with all its stakeholders is based on the following values that are entrenched and supported by Remgro’s Code of Ethics: integrity, competence, responsibility, accountability, fairness and transparency. Remgro has adopted a stakeholder policy which sets out the approach and strategy of Remgro with respect to stakeholder engagements, ensuring that the approach takes into account corporate governance guidelines.
During the year under review, the Board reviewed the Group governance framework, which articulates and gives effect to its direction on relationships and the exercise of authority across the Remgro Group, in recognising group companies as being stakeholders of Remgro.
Remgro’s main stakeholders are its shareholders and the investment community, its employees, its investee companies and the other shareholders of such investee companies, the community and environment in which it operates, its suppliers and service providers and the South African Government and regulatory bodies. The expectations of these stakeholders are taken into account in determining the areas reported on throughout the Sustainable Development Report.
Effective communication with shareholders and other stakeholders is fundamental in maintaining Remgro’s reputation as an investment partner of choice. Remgro utilises a wide variety of communication methods to ensure that its communication with stakeholders is clear and understandable, as well as transparent, balanced and truthful, and sets out all relevant facts, whether positive or negative. Care is taken to ensure that engagement with stakeholders is, where appropriate, not just one-way communication but constructive, partnership-based engagement. This ensures that all legitimate stakeholder expectations are identified and addressed as far as possible.
Communication to its shareholders and the public is based on the principles of timely, balanced, clear and transparent information. In this regard the investment community has access to the same information as Remgro’s shareholders. Firm protocols are in place to control the nature, extent and frequency of communication with investors. Shareholders and the investment community are encouraged to attend Remgro’s general meetings where topical matters are discussed openly. Further interactions with institutional investors take place twice a year at the dial-in interim and final results presentations, where questions can be directed to the CEO and CFO. During the year, Remgro established a new Investor Relations function to improve investor engagement. The investor community is encouraged to contact the investor relations manager directly.
The Board is available to engage at the Annual General Meeting of Remgro and to respond to shareholders’ queries on how the Board executed its governance duties. The designated partner of the external audit firm also attends the Annual General Meeting. The results of Remgro’s Annual General Meeting are publicly available on the Stock Exchange News Service (SENS).
Remgro, like other organisations, has many economic impacts on its stakeholders through, inter alia, the generation and distribution of value, the creation of employment opportunities, remunerating employees fairly and competitively, paying taxes and CSI initiatives. Remgro continuously manages these impacts and engages with stakeholders on matters relevant to them.
Remgro’s primary objective is to maximise value creation and sustainable growth and in this regard particular care is taken to ensure that all shareholders, or classes of shareholders, are treated equitably. Special care is taken to protect minority shareholders from actions by or in the interest of the principal shareholders that may be to their detriment. In this regard Remgro has appointed a LID to act as chairman during meetings in situations when the Chairman has a conflict of interest.
The Board has not instituted a formal dispute resolution process in relation to shareholders, as it believes that the existing processes within the Remgro Group operate satisfactorily and do not require a more formal and separate mechanism. In addition, shareholders may use relevant remedies in terms of the Companies Act (No. 71 of 2008), as amended.
An overview of the key areas of focus during the reporting period and planned areas of future focus in relation to stakeholder inclusivity can be viewed in the Abridged Sustainable Development Report.