This section of the Strategic Report describes how the directors have had regard to the matters set out in section 172(1) (a) to (f), and forms the directors’ statement required under section 414CZA, of the Companies Act 2006.
The Directors recognise that the long-term success of the Company is dependent on having regard to the interests of its stakeholders. The Board has identified and documented its stakeholders in the Company’s Governance Framework and Board Charter. Key stakeholders include its shareholder, employees, clients, regulators and suppliers and insurers. Stakeholder engagement is considered as part of the decision making process of the Board. Given the new disclosure requirements, board and committee papers templates were updated to better focus on stakeholder interest.
The Board recognises the importance of engaging with stakeholders, understanding their views and interests in order to be successful over the long-term. Dialogue with stakeholders can help the Board to understand significant changes in the landscape, predict future developments and trends, and re-align strategy.
Shareholder (Lycetts Holdings Limited)
Lycetts Holdings Limited (Company No. 05866203) owns the entire issued Ordinary share capital of the Company who is ultimately wholly owned by Allchurches Trust Limited through its subsidiary Ecclesiastical Insurance Group plc (Company No. 01718196). Protocols for the exchange of information between Allchurches Trust Limited and its subsidiaries (including the Company) are in place and cover performance, operations and financial position.
The Board has an honest and constructive relationship with its shareholder. There is at least one “Common Director” (i.e. a Director who is a member of the Boards of the Company, Lycetts Holdings Limited and Ecclesiastical Insurance Group plc) who is expected to attend every Board Meeting. Mark Hews (Ecclesiastical Group Chief Executive Officer) was appointed as the “Common Director”. Mr Hews presents a summary of highlights from Ecclesiastical Insurance Group plc Board meetings to the Directors. There is also engagement between respective Board and Committee Chairmen. Moreover regular dialogue takes place on the Group’s expectations of the Company and strategy for the development of business.
This ensures that the views and expectations of the Shareholder are communicated to the Board as a whole. In turn, the Common Director is able to support the directors of Lycetts Holdings Limited and Ecclesiastical Insurance Group plc to understand the performance and strategic issues faced by the Company.
The Board recognises employees as their biggest asset given their specialist skills and knowledge and propensity to go above and beyond. Employee matters are regularly considered by the Board via the Chief Executive’s and Divisional Reports.
In order to engage, involve and inform employees the following methods are used:
Clients are the lifeblood of the Lycetts Group. The Board considers that clients should be at the heart of everything we do, ensuring any actions or decisions demonstrate our passion for clients and make us first choice for clients both today and in the future. In addition, the Board considered clients’ needs, knowledge and expectations as part of the implementation of Open GI (the Company’s key broking platform).
Regular meetings are held between management and key clients to understand their needs and perspectives. In addition, the Company has regular engagement with clients (including monitoring customer complaints and satisfaction data) and key outcomes are shared with the Board. Our commitment to clients is further demonstrated by the tailored Client Proposition that has been developed.
During the year, the Board agreed a new service operating procedure for all clients to ensure that similar clients receive a consistent level of service hereby supporting our aim to become our clients ‘most trusted and ethical long-term specialist insurance and financial services adviser’.
The strategic aim is to provide a first class service to all clients to satisfy their needs and expectations and to deal promptly with claims. The importance of the role that suppliers play in ensuring a reliable service is delivered to clients is recognised by Directors. Consequently, the Board (via the Ecclesiastical Group’s Broker Advisory Management Board Audit, Risk & Committee) oversees the Company’s material outsourcing contracts.
The Board oversees the relationship with insurers and associated placement strategy and procedure. This includes consideration of matters highlighted by the Carrier Management Committee (including outcomes from third party audits undertaken on behalf of insurers).
A conflict of interest policy which sets out how actual and perceived conflicts of interests between Company and the Insurers that we use.
Many staff volunteer to assist or support their local communities. We support those member of staff who wish to be involved in such activities, after discussion and agreement with their manager.
Employees are supported to give to causes they care about through myGiving. This enables them to offer support with volunteering, small grants and fundraising matching to create direct involvement and help to drive charitable giving at a local level.
The Board recognises the importance of open and honest dialogue with regulators (including the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)). In addition, the Board has received regular updates on legal, regulatory and compliance matters. During the year, the Board oversaw activity to meet requirements for the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SMCR) ahead of implementation in December 2019.