Candid reporting leads to wins for GSK and Lonmin

London, 13 November 2014 – GlaxoSmithKline PLC and Lonmin plc scooped the top prizes for corporate reporting at ICSA’s 6th Excellence in Governance Awards at The Brewery in London last night. The awards, undertaken in association with Hermes EOS, recognise those companies demonstrating ‘best in class’ disclosure practices and both firms were considered worthy winners for the clarity and quality of their reporting.

Lonmin had a triple win, picking up the awards for best annual report and best remuneration report in the FTSE 250 category and with Rob Bellhouse winning the award for Company Secretary of the Year for a listed firm.

This year’s winners include:

  • Best annual report (FTSE 100) – GlaxoSmithKline PLC. A strong report, with a very well written strategic report providing good market context and a clear explanation of the business model and KPIs. The Chairman’s statement was clear, well-written and honest, specifically referring to the allegations of fraudulent behaviour in China, which are also reflected in the CEO’s review and elsewhere in the report. By providing helpful sections on the business units and strategic priorities, a strong picture of how GSK creates value emerged. 
  • Best annual report (FTSE 250) – Lonmin plc. A very good report, with a clear description of the company’s strategy and business model and how they deliver value. The report was informative with well-presented risks and KPIs clearly linked to strategy. It was also honest about bad news and the principal risks section was very open. 
  • Best FTSE Small Cap and AIM report – The VITEC Group plc. Clear, well written and informative, with an excellent section of the business model which gave a real sense of culture. 
  • Best annual report (unlisted) – John Lewis Partnership. A clear, well produced and user friendly report done ‘in the John Lewis way’. It plainly explained the organisation and how its business model and strategy are underpinned by the founding principles of the company.

“The winners were chosen because they have succeeded in bringing governance alive through the pages of their annual reports,” said Peter Swabey, Policy & Research Director at ICSA. “We reviewed the annual reports of all companies in the FTSE 350 as well as those others submitted to us, and the majority of them were well constructed, honest and coherent. It is clear that many companies are trying to do the right thing in terms of disclosure and corporate reporting is generally of a much higher standard than when we originated these awards back in 2009. Transparency is on the increase and many reports are really focussing on the bigger picture for the company, which is exactly as it should be.”

The awards also recognise the contributions that individuals and teams make to their organisations. Being recognised for excellence in their field are:

  • Company Secretary of the Year (Listed) – Rob Bellhouse FCIS, Lonmin plc. A steadfast presence in the boardroom regardless of the extreme challenges faced by the business, Rob has not just performed his role in an exemplary fashion but, as one of the first companies to report under the new strategic and remuneration reporting requirements, has played a part in leading and shaping the profession, taking an active role in liaising with Government and regulators. His chairman, Brian Beamish, describes Rob as “unstinting in his enthusiasm and commitment to make a difference to the profession and the world of governance.” 
  • Company Secretary of the Year (Unlisted) – Michael Seabrook, Thales UK Limited. An excellent sounding board and confidant showing exemplary leadership and management, Michael has gained a reputation at board and senior management levels as the ‘go to’ person. 
  • Company Secretary of the Year (Not-for-Profit) – Paul Howard, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The judges regarded Paul as the standout candidate given the innovation and external focus demonstrated within his role and in the wider sector. Paul has remained abreast of developments in the NHS and acknowledged the need to change working practices as a result. 
  • Outstanding Achievement Award – Alan Theakston FCIS. Alan was singled out for praise for his work for ICSA and for improving the efficiency of businesses, charities and educational establishments in a career that spans almost 50 years. ‘Governance is not just about complying with codes’, says Alan, ‘it can help businesses and organisations grow and achieve sustainability. In short, it is what is needed to ensure long-term prosperity.’

“All our winners are high-performing individuals who have demonstrated significant activity above and beyond their daily work,” according to Simon Osborne, Chief Executive of ICSA. “The judges were impressed by their ability to solve commercial problems and sectorial challenges, and by their commitment to the profession and the world of governance.”

- Ends -

For further information, please contact Maria Brookes, Media Relations Manager:  
+44 (0)20 7612 7072
+44 (0)7890 649 143

Notes to Editors:

  1. An independent panel of judges, chaired by Dame Alison Carnwath, reviewed shortlists prepared for the corporate awards by Hermes EOS and for the individual and team awards by ICSA.
  2. The complete list of winners can be found online at 
  3. ICSA (Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators) is the chartered membership and qualifying body for professionals working in governance, risk and compliance, including company secretaries. Our members work in all sectors and at every level of seniority. With over 120 years of experience, we champion high governance standards by providing qualifications, training, high-quality guidance and support (including technical resources, publications and software), and through our work with regulators and policy makers. 
  4. Hermes Investment Management

    Hermes is focused on delivering superior, sustainable, risk adjusted returns for our clients – responsibly.

    Hermes manages assets on behalf of more than 200 clients* across equities, fixed income, alternatives and real estate, with £27.4 billion* assets under management. In Hermes Equity Ownership Services, we have the industry’s leading engagement resource, advising on more than £108.6 billion* of assets.

    We believe in Excellence, Responsibility and Innovation

  • Excellence: We aspire to excellence in everything we do. This manifests itself most visibly in our investment performance. We will only offer products to our clients where we believe there is a strong investment thesis and where we can deliver sustainable alpha. 
  • Responsibility: We believe it is our responsibility to lead discussion and debate about the fiduciary responsibilities of fund managers to our clients, their stakeholders and, ultimately, society at large. We have always sought positive engagement with the firms in which we invest.
  • Innovation: We have the entrepreneurial culture to identify forward-looking products that meet those needs, along with the resources and speed-to-market mentality to develop them rapidly.

    Our structure gives clients globally the benefit of access to a broad range of specialist, high conviction investment teams operating within an established and robust operating platform.

    Hermes' investment solutions include:
  • Equities: Global, Emerging Markets, Small & Mid Cap, Europe, Asia Ex Japan, Greater China
  • Fixed Income: Inflation-Linked, Government Bonds, Investment Grade, High Yield, Multi Strategy
  • Real Estate: Segregated, Unitised, Debt, UK, US Residential, European, UK PRS
  • Alternatives: Multi Asset, Infrastructure, Private Equity

    *Please note the total AuM figure includes £3.6bn of assets managed or under an advisory agreement by Hermes GPE LLP (“HGPE”), a joint venture between Hermes Fund Managers (“HFM”) and GPE Partner Limited. HGPE is an independent entity and not part of the Hermes group. £0.4bn of total group AuM figure represents HFM mandates under advice. Source: Hermes as at 30 June 2014.
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