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Relations with shareholders and others
Set out below are some of the ways in which the Company interacts with investors and others, and keeps abreast of their views:
Board – Investor relations and external communications and media reports are circulated before every Board meeting. The investor relations report contains a commentary on recent market events, share price performance, investor feedback, analyst recommendations and investor relations activities. The external communication and media report was a new report this year, with existing media reporting expanded to provide detail of upcoming communications campaigns, key issues, media coverage and spotlights on various issues (for example, the naming of Experian North America as #1 Top Workplace by the Orange County Register for dedication to culture). The Chief Communications Officer provides regular updates at Board meetings.
Engagement with investors – The Chairman of the Remuneration Committee wrote to our major shareholders and the main UK and US proxy advisory bodies twice this year. In April 2020, he provided an update on the Group’s proposed approach to remuneration, ahead of the AGM, specifically in relation to proposed enhancements to the Directors’ remuneration policy. In November 2020, he provided an update on the 2020 long-term incentive plan (LTIP) targets, which the Committee had delayed setting and disclosing until there was more clarity on the business impact of COVID-19, and which were disclosed to the market in November 2020. He also provided a further update to investors on the impact of COVID-19 on our business and key stakeholders, and shared further insights on how we have supported our people during the pandemic. As always, the Chairman is available to meet with investors and did so virtually during the year (while complying with COVID-19 restrictions), as did the Audit Committee Chairman, to discuss a wide range of issues, including how Experian was handling the pandemic, sustainability, information security, risk matters and external audit.
Investors and analysts – The executive team runs an ongoing programme of dialogue with institutional investors and analysts, through which they discuss a wide range of issues including strategy, performance, management and governance. Experian also engages with investors through industry conferences and by hosting events with members of the senior management team. The announcements of the annual and half-year results and trading updates provide opportunities for us to answer questions from analysts, covering a wide range of topics. This year, executive management attended virtual conferences and investor meetings in May and November 2020.
Annual General Meeting – The AGM provides a valuable opportunity for the Board to communicate with shareholders and, in normal years, to meet them informally before the main business of the meeting. In response to COVID-19, restrictions had been introduced by the Irish Government in relation to travel and public gatherings at the time of the 2020 AGM. To comply with these restrictions and public health advice, and in order to ensure the safety of the Company’s shareholders, employees and directors, shareholders were not permitted to attend the Company’s 2020 AGM. However, we invited shareholders to submit questions, and we also engaged with investors in relation to AGM voting. After the AGM, we updated the Experian website with a document summarising the themes of the questions that had been received from shareholders. Voting levels at the AGM were 76.24% of the Company’s issued share capital. The 2021 AGM will take place on Wednesday 21 July 2021 in Dublin, Ireland, and the specific arrangements for this year’s meeting (in the context of COVID-19) are outlined in the notice of AGM which has been sent to shareholders or appears on the Experian website, www.experianplc.com. We encourage shareholders to use proxy voting on the resolutions put forward, all of which (except for procedural resolutions) will be taken by a poll.
Private shareholders – The Company Secretary, Charles Brown, oversees communication with private shareholders, and ensures direct responses as appropriate in respect of any matters raised by shareholders. The Company issues a ‘Shareholder Questions’ card each year, together with the AGM documentation. As well as placing the themes on our website this year, Charles Brown responded to shareholders directly, as appropriate, following the meeting.
Investor relations app – This contains information about our financial performance, together with reports, presentations and news of upcoming events.
Website – Our website is an important channel for communicating with all stakeholders, including shareholders. All material information reported to the regulatory news services is published at www.experianplc.com/investors/ regulatory-news together with copies of annual and half-year results announcements and trading updates.
Other stakeholders – information on Group-wide engagement with key stakeholders can be found in the Strategic report here. You can also find out more on Board activities regarding key stakeholders, including engagement, summarised in the Governance section.
Considering our stakeholders in our decision-making - all material business cases considered in the Group (for example, mergers, acquisitions and major capital investments) include an analysis of stakeholder impact considerations, anticipated impact and mitigations. This process, which has been reinforced during the year ended 31 March 2021, helps the Board to perform the duties outlined in Section 172 of the UK Companies Act 2006 and provides assurance to the Board that potential impacts on stakeholders have been considered in the development of the proposal.
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