(...Continued from page 32) leadership and management of the Group and the execution of the strategy approved by the Board. This structure provides for the Chairman to be accountable to the Partnership Council constitutionally, and to the Partnership Board which chooses to delegate its management duties to him under the Companies Act 2006.
On joining the Board, directors are given background information describing the Group and its activities and they also receive an induction pack of information relating to the business. Meetings are arranged with appropriate senior personnel, as well as site visits. Training seminars are held for the Board with recent topics being based around Pensions, including Long Term Investment Strategy and the financial implications of operating a Deferred Benefit Pension Scheme. External training is arranged as appropriate.
Directors of the company at the date of this report are listed on page 28. The Partnership Council held elections in January of this year in which Johnny Aisher, Anne Buckley and Kim Lowe were re-elected as directors of the Partnership Board. David Jones and Martin Whitell did not stand for re-election. Simon Fowler and Tony Probert were also elected to the Partnership Board by the Partnership Council as elected directors and will take up their position at the Partnership Board on 29 April 2010.
External directorships of Executive Directors
The Remuneration Committee has approved a policy relating to the holding of external directorships. The Board considers that executive directors can gain valuable experience and knowledge through such appointments. For the year under review, the Chairman was a director of London First and the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, and the Finance Director held positions at GFI Group Inc, WSP Group plc, the Peabody Trust and the Accounting Standards Board.
The Board reviews the independence of all non-executive directors annually and has determined that both David Barclay and Jane Tozer are independent and have no cross-directorships or significant links which could adversely interfere with the exercise of their independent judgement. The non-executive directors are not Partners. They are not eligible to receive Partnership bonus or other benefits, and are not members of the Partnership’s pension schemes, thereby underlining their independence.
The Partners’ Counsellor monitors and upholds the integrity of the business, its values and ethics as enshrined in its constitution. He is a member of the Board and performs the role of senior independent director in his interaction with Partners as co-owners of the business. He supports the elected directors in their contribution to the Board and thereby helps underpin their independence. The Partners’ Counsellor convenes meetings with the elected directors, without other executive directors being present, ahead of each meeting of the Partnership Board.
Terms of appointment
The elected directors are required to stand for re-election every three years. The non-executive directors are appointed for an initial term of three years, which may be renewed subject to satisfaction on the part of both the directors concerned and the Board. The terms and conditions of appointment for the non-executive directors are available on request from the Director of Legal Services and Company Secretary. The terms of office for both of the non-executive directors were extended during the year under review.
The Statement of directors’ responsibilities in relation to the financial statements is set out on page 76.