This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more about cookies

close

How we operate

Board roles and governance

Prudential has dual primary listings in the UK and Hong Kong, and has therefore adopted a governance structure based on the UK Corporate Governance Code and the Hong Kong Corporate Governance Code.

Responsibility for governance lies with the Board. The descriptions below explain Board roles and how duties are fulfilled.

Chairman

Paul Manduca

  • Overall responsibility for leadership of the Board and ensuring its effectiveness
  • Responsible for setting the Board’s agenda, ensuring the right focus and promoting constructive debate
  • Responsible for making recommendations to the Nomination and Governance Committee for the appointment of Directors, and ensuring appropriate induction and ongoing development of Board members
  • Leading the Board in determining appropriate corporate governance and business values
  • Meeting regularly with the Non-executive Directors, without the Executive Directors present
  • Key contact point for the independent chairs of the Group’s material subsidiaries
  • Representing the Company with external stakeholders and acting as key contact for shareholders and regulators to ensure effective communication on governance and strategy
  • Paul works closely with the Group Chief Executive and the Company Secretary to ensure effective Board governance and operation. This included ensuring that Board meetings have the right focus, that enough time is allocated for the discussion of agenda items, in particular strategic issues, and that Directors receive timely and relevant information
  • Paul plays a leading part in the identification of potential candidates for Board succession, working closely with the Group Chief Executive in the succession planning process for Executive Directors
  • Paul focuses on promoting a culture of openness and debate among Directors, helping to build and maintain constructive relationships between the Executive and Non-executive Directors. When chairing Board meetings, Paul ensures that all views are heard and that the Non-executive Directors have an opportunity to challenge management constructively
  • During the year, Paul met with the Non-executive Directors without the Executive Directors being present, on five occasions
  • Paul meets regularly with the independent chairs of the Group’s material subsidiaries
  • Externally, Paul has a regular programme of meetings with major shareholders throughout the year
  • Paul plays a key role in the Group’s engagement with regulators

Group Chief Executive

Senior Independent Director

Mike Wells

  • Responsible for the operational management of the Group, on behalf of the Board
  • Leading the Executive Directors and other senior executives in the management of all aspects of the day-to-day business of the Group
  • Responsible for implementation of the Board’s decisions
  • Establishing processes to ensure operations are compliant with regulatory requirements
  • Mike sets policies, provides day-to-day leadership and makes decisions on matters affecting the operation, performance and strategy of the Group, seeking Board approval for matters reserved to the Board
  • Mike chairs the Group Executive Committee (GEC), which comprises the Executive Directors and the Group functional heads. The Executive Committee supports Mike in the operational management of the Group, providing the expertise to fulfil the strategic objectives set by the Board
  • Mike works closely with the Executive Directors in developing the Operating Plan, for approval by the Board
  • Mike keeps in close contact with the Chairman and ensures he is briefed on key issues
  • Mike meets with the Group’s key regulators worldwide

Philip Remnant

  • Acting as sounding board for the Chairman
  • Leading the Non-executive Directors in conducting the Chairman’s annual evaluation
  • Being available to shareholders to address concerns not resolved through normal channels
  • Philip kept in close contact with the Chairman throughout the year
  • Philip held meetings in Q1 2017 with the Non-executive Directors to review the Chairman’s performance
  • Philip holds meetings throughout the year with Non-executive Directors as needed, without management being present
  • In 2016, Philip offered meetings to Prudential’s key shareholders to provide them with an additional channel of communication

Committee Chairs

Non-executive Directors

  • Responsible for leadership and governance of the Board’s principal Committees
  • Responsible for setting the agenda for Committee meetings and reporting on the Committees’ activities to the Board
  • Audit and Risk Committee Chairs act as key contact points for the independent chairs of the audit and risk committees of the Group’s material subsidiaries
  • The Committee Chairs worked closely with the Company Secretary and management to ensure Committee governance continued to be effective throughout the year
  • Each Committee Chair provided a written update of Committee business to the Board, followed by a verbal update after each Committee meeting
  • Ann Godbehere, the Audit Committee Chair, and Howard Davies, the Risk Committee Chair, commenced quarterly meetings with chairs of the audit and risk committees of the material subsidiaries during 2016 and provided updates to the Audit and Risk Committees respectively
  • Responsible for providing constructive and effective challenge
  • Contributing to the development of proposals on Group strategy, offering input based on individual and collective experience
  • Responsible for scrutinising the performance of management in meeting agreed goals and objectives
  • Serving on principal Board Committees
  • The Non-executive Directors have engaged throughout the year with the Executive Directors and management, at Board and Committee meetings, as part of site visits, through training sessions and on an informal basis
  • They contributed to the development of strategic options through one-to-one meetings with the Group Strategy team and participated in the annual Strategy Away Day
  • All Non-executive Directors serve on at least one of the principal Board Committees

Board decision making

  • The Board is collectively responsible:
    • To shareholders for the long-term success of the Company and, in particular, for setting the Group’s strategy and risk appetite;
    • For providing leadership within a framework of effective controls; and
    • For monitoring management’s performance against strategic goals and ensuring appropriate resources are available to achieve these goals.
  • When making decisions, the Board has due regard to the balance of interests between shareholders, employees, customers and community.
  • The Board operates in accordance with relevant corporate governance codes and has established a number of principal committees comprising Non-executive Directors to ensure Board duties are appropriately allocated between members.
  • The Group has established and regularly reviews a governance framework designed to promote appropriate behaviours across the Group to ensure prudent management and protection of the interests of shareholders, customers and other key stakeholders.
  • As part of the governance framework, the Board has established a control framework to identify significant risks and apply appropriate measures to manage and mitigate them (described more fully in Risk management and internal control).
  • The framework sets out the behaviours expected of the Group’s employees and requires all business units to seek delegated authority from the Board to carry out actions exceeding pre-determined limits or which could have a material effect on the Group.
  • Specific key decisions have been reserved to the Board for decision. These include strategic decisions, determination of interim dividends and recommendation of final dividends to shareholders, approval of major transactions, approval of key financial reporting, approval of the overall risk appetite and capital and liquidity positions, and responsibility for the effectiveness of the system of internal control and risk management.

Board

 

Nomination and Governance Committee

Audit
Committee

Risk
Committee

Remuneration Committee

Paul Manduca

  • Ensures that the Board retains an appropriate balance of skills to support the strategic objectives of the Group
  • Ensures that an effective framework for senior succession planning is in place
  • Recommends appointments to the Board and its principal Committees and appointments of non-executive directors to the boards of material subsidiaries
  • Oversees the governance of material subsidiaries

See Nomination and Governance Committee report

Ann Godbehere

  • Responsible for the integrity of the Group’s financial reporting, including scrutinising accounting policies
  • Monitors the effectiveness of internal control and risk management systems, including compliance arrangements
  • Monitors the effectiveness and objectivity of internal and external auditors
  • Approves the internal audit plan and recommends the appointment of the external auditor

See Audit Committee report

Howard Davies

  • Leads on and oversees the Group’s overall risk appetite, risk tolerance and strategy
  • Approves the Group’s risk management framework and monitors its effectiveness
  • Supports the Board and management in embedding and maintaining a supportive culture in relation to the management of risk

See Risk Committee report

Anthony Nightingale

  • Recommends the Directors’ Remuneration Policy for approval by shareholders
  • Approves the individual remuneration packages of the Chairman, the Executive Directors, other senior executives and the non-executive directors of material subsidiaries
  • Determines the overall Remuneration Policy for the Group
  • Reviews the design and development of share plans requiring shareholder approval and approves and assesses performance targets where applicable

See Directors’ remuneration report

Terms of reference for the principal Committees can be accessed at www.prudential.co.uk
Each Committee reviews its terms of reference at least annually and recommends changes to the Board for its approval.

Authority for the operational management of the Group’s businesses in order to implement Board strategy and decisions has been delegated to the Group Chief Executive for execution or further delegation by him. The Group Chief Executive is supported by the Group Executive Committee, which receives reports on performance and implementation of strategy for each business unit and discusses major projects and other activities related to the attainment of strategy. The members of the Group Executive Committee and their roles are set out in How to contact us. To manage the Group’s delegated authorities and to monitor material expenditure, the Group Chief Executive has established a Chief Executive’s Committee, which meets on a weekly basis. The Chief Executive of each business unit has responsibility for the management of that business unit.

Key areas of focus – how the Board spent its time

The Board met on 10 occasions during the year, which included meetings in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Lansing, USA. At the overseas meetings, additional sessions were held outside of the formal Board meetings, to allow the Board to focus on the regional business operations and to spend time meeting local senior management. The Board also held a separate strategy event over two days during the year.

The table below gives an overview of how the Board spent its time in 2016 and its key areas of focus.

  Feb Apr May Jun Jul Sep Nov Dec

Notes

  1. Audit Committee.
  2. Nomination and Governance Committee.
  3. Remuneration Committee.
  4. Risk Committee.
  5. Including meeting with regulators.

Strategy and implementation

               
Full review of strategy      
 
       
Strategic conclusions finalised        
 
     
Operating plan review            
 
 
Strategic objectives monitoring
 
 
 
 
 
   
 
Major projects    
 
 
 
 
 
 
Review of operational performance
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Report from Committee Chairs
 
1,2,3,4
 
1,3,4
 
1,4
 
3
 
1,4
 
2,3,4
 
1,2,4
 
1,3,4

Financial reporting and dividends

               
Full year
 
             
Half year        
 
     
Review of financial performance
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Business unit reviews

               
PCA  
 
           
Jackson          
 
   
M&G            
 
 
UK&E    
 
         
PPMG              
 
Africa
 
             

Regulation

               
ORSA, Solvency II, IMAP
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
CRO report
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regulatory and compliance update
 
 
 
 
 
5
 
 
 

Governance and stakeholders

               
Board evaluation tracking
 
       
 
   
Succession planning
 
             
Corporate responsibility report    
 
       
 
Diversity and inclusion        
 
     
Talent review              
 
Feedback from Chair/NED investor meetings
 
             
Investor conference planning          
 
 
 

At a number of meetings, the Board considered, and where appropriate approved, major projects. These included Prudential Africa’s opening in Zambia, with its acquisition of Professional Life Assurance; the listing of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company Limited, Prudential’s Indian joint venture with ICICI Bank; commencement of the sale of Prudential’s life business in Korea and the implementation of a global risk and portfolio management platform for the Group’s asset management businesses, working with BlackRock.

In addition to the eight full meetings outlined above, two further meetings were held to approve the final full and half year financial reports.

Individual Directors’ attendance at meetings throughout the year is set out in the table below.

Board and Committee meeting attendance during 2016

Download as excel file

Number of meetings held Board
10
Audit Committee
10*
Nomination and Governance Committee
4
Remuneration Committee
6
Risk Committee
8*
General Meeting
1

* The Audit and Risk Committees held a joint meeting in addition to those listed, which was attended by all members from both Committees.

Notes

  1. Michael McLintock retired as a Director on 6 June 2016.
  2. Anne Richards was appointed as a Director on 7 June 2016.
  3. Alistair Johnston retired as a Director from the conclusion of the Annual General Meeting held on 19 May 2016.
Chairman            
Paul Manduca 10 4 1
             
Executive Directors            
Mike Wells 10 1
Nic Nicandrou 10 1
Penny James 10 1
John Foley 10 1
Michael McLintock1 4/4 1
Anne Richards2 6/6
Barry Stowe 10 1
Tony Wilkey 10 1
             
Non-executive Directors            
Philip Remnant 10 10 4 6 1
Howard Davies 10 10 4 8 1
Ann Godbehere 10 10 4 8 1
Alistair Johnston3 4/4 6/6 1
David Law 10 9/10 1
Kai Nargolwala 10 6 8 1
Anthony Nightingale 10 4 6 1
Alice Schroeder 10 10 1
Lord Turner 9/10 7/8 1

Board and Committee papers are usually provided one week in advance of a meeting. Where a Director is unable to attend a meeting, his or her views are canvassed in advance by the Chairman of that meeting where possible.

Board effectiveness

Actions during 2016 arising from the 2015 review

During the year, the action points identified in respect of the 2015 evaluation were addressed and the Board received an update on progress against those actions in September 2016 and February 2017. The key themes of the 2015 evaluation are set out below.

Governance of subsidiary boards – The 2015 Board evaluation recognised that, following the decision to appoint independent non-executive directors to certain of the Group’s larger subsidiaries, referred to as the material subsidiaries, more formal oversight of the governance arrangements for the material subsidiary boards would be required. In addition, a process for appointing the material subsidiary independent directors and the relationship between them and the Chairman and Chairs of the Group Audit and Risk Committees would need to be implemented.

In the first half of 2016, governance processes were established for the Chairman and the Audit and Risk Committee Chairs to meet with their material subsidiary counterparts and keep the Board appropriately updated. In addition, the Audit and Risk Committees receive written updates outlining the business discussed by the material subsidiary audit and risk committees.

The Nomination and Governance Committee played a key part in the establishment and embedding of these governance processes. Regular progress updates were provided to the Board, which tracked alignment to regulatory expectations.

Post action reviews – The 2015 evaluation noted that the Board should continue to analyse past decisions closely, testing assumptions and projections made in the past.

Reviews of certain past transactions were undertaken by the Risk Committee and the outcome was considered by the Board during its strategy discussions in June.

The Board also discussed a full report of the Group’s past actions in Africa which allowed them to confirm the rationale behind the Group’s decision to invest in that region and the acquisitions made to date.

Board papers – On Board processes, the 2015 feedback highlighted the progress made during the year, in particular improvements in clarity of papers. This was another area of focus during 2016, with work undertaken to ensure that the right balance continued to be struck regarding the level of detail provided in papers, especially for technically complex matters. Concise papers assisted the Board in managing a growing agenda.

During the year, updates were issued to senior staff explaining the rationale for Board paper content guidelines, including a reminder of best practices and timelines. The review process for papers is designed to ensure all relevant aspects of Directors’ duties are addressed and consideration is given to risk, legal, regulatory and other appropriate stakeholder aspects.

Products and customers – The Board continued holding in-depth focus sessions on products and customers of the Group, primarily through Board visits to the business units. In 2016, these focus sessions took place when the Board visited its overseas operations, as more fully described below.

2016 review and actions for 2017

The performance evaluation of the Board and its principal Committees for 2016 was conducted internally at the end of 2016 and beginning of 2017, through a questionnaire. The findings were presented to the Board in February 2017 and an action plan agreed to address areas of focus identified by the evaluation.

The review confirmed that the Board continued to operate effectively during the year and no major areas requiring improvement were highlighted.

The performance during 2016 of the Non-executive Directors and the Group Chief Executive was evaluated by the Chairman in individual meetings. Philip Remnant, the Senior Independent Director, led the Non-executive Directors in a performance evaluation of the Chairman.

Executive Directors are subject to regular review and the Group Chief Executive individually appraised the performance of each of the Executive Directors as part of the annual Group-wide performance evaluation of all staff.

The following themes were identified as areas for focus in 2017:

Subsidiary governance – The Board evaluation recognised that the appointment of independent non-executive chairs and directors to the Group’s material subsidiaries had been well executed, and a good governance framework established. The Board’s focus for 2017 would be on ensuring good subsidiary governance was maintained and best governance practices were shared between the material subsidiaries. Ensuring that reporting by the material subsidiaries to the Board and its Committees continued to be of a high standard would also be emphasised.

Board agenda – The Board agreed to continue to ensure time spent at its meetings reflected the Group’s strategic and operational priorities. One of the primary ways to achieve constructive debate is to ensure pre-Board preparation is of a very high standard with papers continuing to be delivered on time with succinctly presented facts creating, where needed, a clear decision path. The Board also agreed to build on the work done in 2016 to further increase the Board’s focus on products and customers.

Senior employee focus – The Board evaluation noted the number of successful internal promotions over 2015 and 2016, and that management’s focus was now on rebuilding strength in the senior management teams around the Group below GEC level. In 2017, the Board will ensure it remains properly updated in this area and that it continues to have opportunities to meet senior management across all the Group’s businesses.

Remuneration – The Board evaluation noted the growing complexity of remuneration across all UK-listed companies and also the pace of changes in these areas as a result of focus by government and institutional investor groups over recent months. The Board will implement an annual training session for any Non-executive Directors not on the Remuneration Committee to discuss the Directors’ Remuneration Policy and the remuneration structures contained in it, as well as broader market practice information.

The Board will track its progress in addressing these themes at its meetings throughout the course of 2017 and report on actions taken in its next Annual Report.

Directors’ development

The Chairman is responsible for ensuring that induction programmes are provided for all new Directors. These are tailored to reflect the experience of each Director and their position as either Executive or Non-executive Directors. Anne Richards’ induction was carried out by both Group and M&G, and included updates on the Group’s results, the role of the Board and its Committees, the Group’s key risks and the risk management framework, as well as the compliance environment in which the Group operates. M&G provided a detailed briefing on product range, the markets in which it operates and the overall competitive environment.

The Chairman is also responsible for ensuring that all Directors update their skills, knowledge and familiarity with the Group. Directors regularly receive reports on the Group’s businesses and the regulatory and industry-specific environments in which it operates. All Directors have the opportunity to discuss their development needs as part of the annual Board effectiveness review and Directors are asked to provide a record of training received externally on an annual basis.

In 2016, the Board took time for particular focus on the Group’s US and Asian businesses. During visits to the US and Malaysia, the Board received updates on key products and distribution, risks and performance in the US and in the Asian businesses, including regulatory developments and their potential impact on future business. The Board’s overseas visits also allowed the Directors to meet with the local senior management teams.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

  • Prudential Malaysia
    • Overview of life insurance industry and comparative position in the marketplace
    • Products and strategy
    • Financial performance
    • Update on Takaful business: governance, performance, strategy
  • Asia financial performance, strategy and growth update, risk profile and risk function development, and HR planning
  • Overview of Eastspring Investments

Lansing, USA

  • Regulatory update – impact of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule on Jackson and the industry
  • Jackson:
    • Comparative position in the marketplace and marketing
    • Products and operating environment
    • Financial performance
    • Risk function development
  • PPM America performance
  • Cyber security within the North American business

The Board was kept updated on key political and regulatory developments, including Solvency II implementation and reporting, the US Department of Labor fiduciary rule, the Senior Insurance Managers Regime, the UK regulator’s thematic review of annuity sales and the implementation of the Market Abuse Regulation. In addition, Directors were provided with updates at each Board meeting on other legal and regulatory changes and developments that could impact the industry or the Group.

Committee members received updates at Committee meetings on areas of particular relevance to the respective Committees and were kept updated on ongoing developments in regulations, as well as the impact these have on the Group. The Risk Committee received in-depth information on a number of business areas and products in 2016, focusing on the particular risks arising and how these are managed. Some of those topics were also shared with the Audit Committee to ensure it was appropriately briefed to assess any impact on financial reporting and internal control. In 2016, the Audit Committee and Risk Committee held a joint session in which they were provided with an update on the impact of Solvency II on the 2015 results.

Diversity

Given the global reach of the Group’s operations, and our business strategy and long-term focus, the Board makes every effort to ensure it is able to recruit directors from different backgrounds, with diverse experience, perspective and skills. This diversity not only contributes towards Board effectiveness but is essential for successfully delivering the strategy of an international Group, as reflected in our Group Diversity and Inclusion Policy.

The Board is committed to recruiting the best available talent and appointing the most appropriate candidate for each role, while at the same time aiming for appropriate diversity on the Board. This approach informed the Nomination and Governance Committee’s ongoing activities carried out during 2016 in respect of succession planning for Executive and Non-executive Directors.

The Board does not endorse quotas as these may generate unintended consequences, but continues to commit to developing a robust and diverse talent pipeline and increasing representation of women in senior positions in the Group and on the Board. As part of this commitment, the Board may endorse relevant measurable objectives for increasing diversity. For example, in 2016 the Board decided to sign the HM Treasury Women in Finance Charter, with the aim to have in place at least 30 per cent women in senior management positions by the end of 2021.

Shareholder engagement

As a major institutional investor, the Board recognises the importance of maintaining an appropriate level of two-way communication with shareholders.

The Company holds an ongoing programme of regular contact with major shareholders, conducted by the Chairman, to discuss their views on the Company’s governance. The Senior Independent Director offers meetings to major shareholders as needed and other Non-executive Directors are available to meet with major shareholders on request.

Shareholder feedback from these meetings is communicated to the Board.

In addition, a full programme of engagement with shareholders, potential investors and analysts, in the UK and overseas, is conducted each year by the Group Chief Executive and the Chief Financial Officer, led by the Director of Strategy and Capital Market Relations. As part of this, a conference for investors and analysts has been held on a regular basis since 2010, with in-depth business presentations and opportunities for attendees to meet with members of the Board and senior management through the course of the event. Most recently, the Group held a conference for investors in November 2016. The Group Chief Executive, Chief Financial Officer and investor relations team also attend major financial services conferences to present to and meet with the Company’s shareholders. In 2016, as part of the investor relations programme, over 360 meetings were held with approximately 800 individual institutional investors across the UK, in continental Europe, the US and Asia.

The Annual General Meeting is an opportunity for further shareholder engagement, for the Chairman to explain the Company’s progress and, along with other members of the Board, to answer any questions. All Directors then in office attended the 2016 Annual General Meeting.

Details of the 2017 Annual General Meeting are available on www.Prudential.co.uk under ‘Investors’.

Next page:

Reporting tools

Save pages of the report
to download, print or email

View your pages

Feedback

Your comments and ideas
help us to shape future reports
to suit your needs

Tell us your views