Reporting and stakeholder engagement webinar summary

This week we were joined by an experienced panel of speakers for our IR Webinar: Reporting and Stakeholder Communications, to discuss and offer advice on a range of ever more important topics.

This included the adoption of the revised Corporate Governance Code and how organisations should be thinking about issues such as stakeholder engagement and their purpose and culture, and successfully integrating these factors into their reporting narrative. We also looked at some of the implications of the current crisis for company reporting and communications and considered how it is likely sharpen investor focus on ESG issues.   

Key considerations: 
• The basic principles of annual reporting remain unchanged – a logical flow, clear navigation and strong narrative are essential. Only around 12% of stakeholders read the report in full.
• The revised 2020 Stewardship Code is focused on outcomes and companies need to consider how they are addressing and communicating the issues that that are becoming a greater priority for investors. 
• Reports detailing stakeholder engagement will attract a much broader audience and should provide insights into stakeholder priorities and how the board has engaged both directly and indirectly and considered stakeholders in its decision making.  
• The revised Corporate Governance Code places a much greater emphasis on purpose and culture and this should permeate every aspect of the Annual Report including the strategic report, strategy and business model. 
• Reporting on stakeholder engagement and purpose and culture presents challenges due to the difficulty in measuring these factors. The FRC Lab’s Workforce Report includes practical examples for companies to consider.      
• ESG is still at the heart of the agenda. The current crisis has highlighted how interconnected companies are with their stakeholders, and the social aspect will become an even greater focus for investors as we emerge from the crisis.
• The FCA has an open consultation on its proposal to introduce a ‘comply or explain’ regime for the TCFD framework, consistent with Government expectations for listed companies to disclose in line with the recommendations by 2022.
• When planning your Annual Report, sit down with key content owners as early as possible to discuss ideas and agree on timeframes for deliverables. Focus on a few key areas for development each year. 

Thank you to our speakers: 
Sean Bride - Senior Investor Engagement Consultant, Radley Yeldar 
Susan Swabey - Company Secretary, Smith & Nephew
Hannah Boore – Senior Corporate Reporting Manager, Lloyds Banking Group
Phil Fitz-Gerald - Director, FRC Financial Reporting Lab

Thanks also to Orient Capital for sponsoring this event. 

A replay of the webinar is available in our events achive.  

Published 9 April, 2020

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