Equals has decided to adopt the Quoted Companies Alliance Corporate Governance (QCA Code) in line with the London Stock Exchange’s recent changes to the AIM Rules, requiring all AIM-listed companies to adopt and comply or explain non-compliance with a recognised corporate governance code. This report follows the structure of these guidelines and explains how we have applied the guidance. We will provide annual updates on our compliance with the QCA Code. The Board considers that the Group complies with the QCA Code in all respects, and details of same can be seen below.
Equals understands that application of the QCA Code supports the Company’s medium to long-term success whilst simultaneously managing risks and providing an underlying framework of commitment and transparent communications with stakeholders. Equals is committed to promoting a socially responsible corporate culture, illustrated through its internal values and policies, as well as external supplier and shareholder engagement.
Key governance related matters that have occurred during the year includes the Company’s formal adoption of the QCA Code and the formation of a Nomination Committee.
Read more in our Corporate Governance Statement of Compliance with the QCA Corporate Governance Code (last updated 15 February 2023.)
The Board is responsible for the overall management of the group including the formulation and approval of the group’s long term objectives and strategy, the approval of budgets, the oversight of the group’s operations, the maintenance of sound internal control and risk management systems and the implementation of group strategy, policies and plans. Whilst the Board may delegate specific responsibilities, there is a formal schedule of matters specifically reserved for decision by the Board; such reserved matters include, amongst other things, approval of significant capital expenditure, material business contracts and major corporate transactions. The Board meets formally on a regular basis to review performance.
The Board has established an audit committee and a remuneration committee and formally delegated duties and responsibilities as described below.
|Members:||Professor Christopher Bones|
The audit committee is responsible for monitoring the integrity of the group’s financial statements, reviewing significant financial reporting issues, reviewing the effectiveness of the group’s internal control and risk management systems and overseeing the relationship with the external auditor (including advising on their appointment, agreeing the scope of the audit and reviewing the audit findings). The audit committee will meet at least 3 times a year at appropriate times in the reporting and audit cycle and otherwise as required. The audit committee also meets regularly with the company’s external auditor.
Terms of reference of Audit Committee
|Chair:||Professor Christopher Bones|
|Members:||Sian Herbert, Alan Hughes|
The remuneration committee is responsible for determining and agreeing with the Board the framework for the remuneration of the chairman, the executive directors and other designated senior executives and, within the terms of the agreed framework, determining the total individual remuneration packages of such persons including, where appropriate, bonuses, incentive payments and share options or other share awards. The remuneration of non- executive directors is a matter for the Board. No director is involved in any decision as to his or her own remuneration.
The remuneration committee aims to meet at least 3 times a year and otherwise as required.
Terms of reference of Remuneration Committee
|Members:||Sian Herbert, Professor Christopher Bones, Ian Strafford-Taylor|
The Nomination Committee is responsible for developing and maintaining an effective and rigorous procedure for making recommendations on the appointments and re-appointments to the Board.
|Members:||Alan Hughes, Professor Christopher Bones|
The Risk Committee is responsible for maintaining the Group’s risk register and evaluating the risks included in it. The Risk Committee comprises all Non-Executive Directors and is chaired by Sian Herbert and meets not less than four times a year. The Chief Operations Officer, not a board member, is responsible for day-to-day risk management and compliance and is the prime contact for regulatory bodies that have supervisory roles for the Group.
The Company has adopted, with effect from Admission, a share dealing code for Directors and applicable employees of the Group for the purpose of ensuring compliance by such persons with the provisions of the AIM Rules relating to dealings in the Company’s securities (including, in particular, dealing during close periods in accordance with Rule 21 of the AIM Rules). The Directors consider that this share dealing code is appropriate for a company whose shares are admitted to trading on AIM.
The Company will take proper steps to ensure compliance by the Directors and applicable employees of the Group with the terms of the share dealing code and the relevant provisions of the AIM Rules (including Rule 21).