Here is some of the feedback we have had from our recent clients.
‘The WG&S Board were very pleased with the tailored approach taken by the Equity Communications team, and the genuine interest with which all views were taken into account. The succinct distillation of issues in the final report was thought provoking, and the open discussions ensuing, have been very helpful in further improving board effectiveness.’ Quote: from a William Grant and Sons Supervisory Board Member, July 2018.
‘EquityCommunications Ltd undertook an extensive evaluation for the Board of KWERE plc in late 2016/early 2017. We asked them to first conduct a questionnaire-based assessment and then follow this up with interviews based on the key issues arising from the questionnaire.
‘As the Chair, I really valued the thorough and diligent approach that they adopted, enabling us to reflect on the many highly positive characteristics that our Board displays. Crucially, it has also enabled us to focus on a small number of areas where we can make adjustments – often fairly minor – in order to improve even further. Throughout this process, they kept me fully briefed and I valued their honesty, frankness and support in working with me to deliver even better processes.’ Charlotte Valeur, Non-Executive Chair, Kennedy Wilson Europe Real Estate plc
‘In 2016 EquityCommunications Ltd carried out an interview based assessment for our Board. This was the second time their team had undertaken this for Compass, the first being in 2013. I feel they were able to generate a really valuable report for us, partly because they built upon the platform they had established three years earlier, despite there having been several Board changes in the intervening years.
‘Their style is relaxed and open. The conversational approach helps to make the process more fruitful, while the goal of gleaning accurate and valuable information for us to use, is very clear. Our Board should be encouraged by the outcomes, and while the report was highly positive, there are still areas that have been highlighted by EquityCommunications for us to consider. The process was efficiently and smoothly handled in line with our timetable and requirements.’ Mark White, Group General Counsel and Company Secretary, Compass Group PLC
‘Marshalls plc had, for a number of years, completed board evaluations via a process managed by the Chair and the Company Secretary. Whilst this was generally regarded as both effective and of value, we decided that it would be appropriate to conduct the 2016 evaluation through an external evaluator. We tendered the process, and selected Equity Communications based on their overall proposition which combined flexibility and a good understanding of our requirements with a pragmatic approach to pricing.
‘The evaluation was conducted within the agreed timescale and in accordance with our brief. The interviewers were engaging and professional, and the resulting report succinct and on point, with helpful suggestions and no surprises. We were generally happy that the work done by Equity Communications met our requirements and will enable us to report in accordance with best practice for the 2016 financial year.’ Cathy Baxandall, Group Company Secretary and General Counsel, Marshalls plc.
‘Renishaw first used Equity Communications for a questionnaire-based evaluation in 2013 and then an interview- based evaluation in 2016. Their understanding of our culture and approach was key in our decision to appoint them to help our Board evolve in a fast-growing business. Equity Communications worked efficiently and discreetly to our timescales, and I would have no hesitation in using them again in future.’ Norma Tang, General Counsel & Company Secretary
‘EquityCommunications delivered a Board evaluation report for Senior plc in January 2016. In a former role as Chairman of another listed company, I had engaged EquityCommunications to undertake evaluations of that Board. Based on my previous experience of working with them, I had no hesitation in asking them to carry out this work, at Senior plc. (2016)
‘Their comprehensive report accurately captured the Board’s high levels of functionality, its strengths and its shared goals. More importantly to me, as Chairman, it reflected some key areas where we needed to focus in order to conclude several positive lines of Board ‘attack’, and provided some specific suggestions to aid us in the pursuit of our current ambitious agenda.’ Charles Berry, Chairman, Senior plc
‘As a FTSE Small Cap company we are not required to undertake externally facilitated reviews of our Board’s effectiveness. However, we decided that we wanted to adopt “best practice” and so we asked EquityCommunications Ltd to assist us with an assessment which was based on Board interviews.
‘The process has yielded some really valuable feedback. We had undertaken some fairly recent Board changes and it was a good opportunity to monitor how these changes had impacted on the Board. It was very encouraging to receive positive reactions to the way we have settled down as a team. But it has also helped us to focus on some changes – in some cases, small but important changes – that we can adopt as we continue to evolve and improve.
‘The process was discreet and relaxed. The report was delivered on time and the team and EquityCommunications handled it all efficiently with minimal impact on Board members or executive time.’ Stuart Marriner, Company Secretary & General Counsel, Connect Group plc
‘Our Board team is small, and at the time of the questionnaire-based evaluation conducted by EquityCommunications Ltd, we had seen considerable changes in membership, both Executive and Non-Executive. The whole process was expertly guided by EquityCommunications. The project was therefore less onerous than might otherwise be the case. The final report was not just a “tick-box” product that fulfilled our regulatory duties – it genuinely captured a very accurate picture of how we operated and performed, as a board, as well as suggesting ways in which we might make some changes to ensure we continued to perform at our best.’ Ian Houghton, Company Secretary, WH Smith plc
‘EquityCommunications Ltd was appointed to conduct an interview-based evaluation of the Board of Halma plc. This was completed in early 2015. The EquityCommunications team worked closely with me, as Chairman, and with our Company Secretary, to draft interview questions that reflected the areas I felt the Board needed to focus on. They clearly have experience of conducting individual interviews with sensitivity and in a focused but relaxed manner which encourages full and open contributions and makes the best use of Board time. The resulting comprehensive report, including specific recommendations, was illuminating and really valuable. This evaluation has contributed positively to our continuing evolution, as a Board team – and as a Group.’ Paul Walker, Chairman, Halma plc
‘The Trustee Board of the Compass Group Pension Plan invited EquityCommunications Ltd to undertake an interview-based evaluation in September 2015. The interviews were conducted with all Board members and this was extended to include key external contributors and partners, at a time of transition for the Plan when the administration of the Plan was in the process of being out-sourced and a new Pensions Manager had been very recently appointed. As Chairman, I was keen to capture all the views and input from the Board and others via an independent organisation, and EquityCommunications was able to do this for us. The process was handled with sensitivity and tact by the interviewing team. They were able to provide the Trustees with a comprehensive report, and a series of highly practical suggested “action points” for us to consider.’ Philip Whittome, Chairman, Compass Pension Board
‘I have been an active attendee and participant at the London Company Secretary Forums run by David over a number of years. The forum provides a valuable opportunity to pose the “what’s on my mind” questions and hold an open and non-judgmental conversation, with positive intent to help each other. David’s knowledge of the challenges facing Company Secretaries and his engaging and inclusive style of running the meetings, has led me to be proactive in promoting topics for discussion and to keep coming back meeting after meeting, year after year.’
Paul Tunnacliffe, Company Secretary, Diageo plc
‘The questionnaire-based evaluation conducted by EquityCommunications Ltd for the Board of Colt Group plc took place at a time of change for our Board. They assisted us to compile a series of questions that both covered all the regulatory requirements, and at the same time, sought to capture the dynamics of the Board at that critical moment. The resulting report and the specific sections which EquityCommunications Ltd suggested as areas for further focus, were helpful in two ways. They illustrated our considerable strengths, which we needed to maintain as change approached and highlighted a few specific areas for improvement. The report was produced in a timely manner, meeting tight deadlines for the Board.’ Caroline Griffin-Pain, Company Secretary, Colt Group SA