Corporate governance

Our Approach

Aberdeen is committed to effective and transparent corporate governance in running its own business. The Group aims to be transparent in all our activities and reports and follow best practice in day to day operations.

Also, as an investor in global companies on behalf of clients around the world, Aberdeen looks for companies with financial strength and sound corporate governance practices in which to invest. Once invested, the Group exercises responsible ownership, in party by voting proxies, with a conviction that companies adopting best practices in corporate governance will be more successful in their core activities and deliver enhanced returns to shareholders.

Meetings of the Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is scheduled to meet eight times each year to review financial performance and strategy and has a formal schedule of matters reserved for its decision, which includes the setting of company goals, objectives, budgets and other plans.

Board Committees

The Board has set up the following committees to assist in the execution of its duties. All of these committees operate on written terms of reference where the chairman of each committee reports to the Board.

  • Audit Committee
  • Nominations Committee
  • Remuneration Committee
  • Risk Committee

Adherence to the Combined Code

Throughout the year the Company has been in compliance with the code provisions set out in section 1 of the 2008 Combined Code on Corporate Governance.

Shareholder Relations

The Group places a great deal of importance on communication with its shareholders and aims to keep shareholders informed by means of regular communication with institutional shareholders, analysts and the financial press throughout the year. Annual and Interim reports are widely distributed to other parties who may have an interest in the Group’s performance and these documents are also made available on the Company’s website.

The Chief Executive and Finance Director make regular reports to the Board on investor relations and on specific discussions with major shareholders and the Board receive copies of all research published on the Company. Shareholders are encouraged to attend the Annual General Meeting at which an opportunity is provided to ask questions of the Chairman and the Board.

Proxy Voting, Shareholder Advocacy and Engagement

The Group’s framework on corporate governance, proxy voting and shareholder engagement in relation to the companies in which it has invested or is considering investing is outlined in the Aberdeen Corporate Governance Principles documents.

Aberdeen recognises its obligation to be involved in monitoring Board activities and to actively participate in the corporate governance process. The Company also engages investee companies on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues to keep abreast of these activities.

Aberdeen, as a responsible shareholder, votes proxies in support of: positive social and economic impacts, transparent corporate governance practices, and the reasonable disclosure of company policies and financial returns, with special attention given to those issues which impact the fair and equal treatment of shareholders.

In order to achieve comprehensive voting for the SRI portfolios we manage, we have appointed RiskMetrics Group (RMG) to facilitate the proxy voting process. RMG notifies the Company of upcoming company meetings and provides specific research on the tabled resolutions. This research is not automatically followed, instead it is the Company’s policy, as laid out in the Principles document, to make all proxy voting decisions according to the interests of the Company’s investors and on the basis of its own independent research and company knowledge.