IIRC meets in London

4 June, 2015

The International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) has held its first meeting of 2015, during which Council members considered the ambition for <IR> in the next phase of strategic activity from 2018 onward.
The strategy discussion was introduced by Claudia Kruse, Managing Director, Head of Governance & Sustainability, APG and Simon Walker, Director General of the Institute of Directors. Walker called upon Council members to ensure companies of all sizes understand that, “good corporate governance, transparent reporting and responsible practice drives business performance.”To mark the Council’s presence in London, the IIRC hosted several meetings and events throughout the week. A networking event, sponsored by Deloitte and attended by over 200 guests, focused on ‘promoting stewardship and longer-term value creation in capital markets’. Speaking at the event, Stephen Haddrill, CEO, Financial Reporting Council UK (FRC) praised the IIRC for promoting a common global vision for corporate reporting that was helping to turn the tide from cynicism about reporting to innovation. He pointed to several developments that are creating a more positive environment, including the introduction of stewardship codes which are encouraging more forward looking engagement between company boards and investors. Haddrill challenged the IIRC to embrace the small listed companies’ sector, businesses that do not traditionally attract a great deal of analyst attention. The FRC itself will shortly be producing a discussion paper setting out ways to support smaller listed companies.

Mr Haddrill also issued a challenge to investors, calling on them to engage with <IR> to ensure that corporate reporting evolves to reflect their need for broader sets of information. Euan Munro, CEO, Aviva Investors responded to this challenge, accepting that investors have previously resorted to making decisions based on numbers alone. He called on his industry to take further interest in <IR>, and stated that Aviva Investors will lead the way, for example, by moving towards an integrated investment model that will see them no longer having separate ‘ethical’ funds as the same decisions will now be applied across all their funds.

Throughout the week of the Council meeting, engagements were held to evaluate the IIRC’s work with investors and the sustainability community. It was also an opportunity for the <IR> Business Network and the Public Sector Pioneer Network to meet, prompting discussions with organizations both new to <IR> and those already on the road; inspiring greater uptake. Blogs by the IIRC’s Sarah Grey (<IR> Business Network) and Grant Patterson (Public Sector Pioneer Network) are available to give an insight into these meetings.

Leaders from UK institutions, predominantly business and investor associations, also met during this week to consider how they can further collaborate to promote long-term value creation in the UK. This is a high-priority area for many professional bodies and other institutions, with active agendas covering a wide range of stakeholder groups. The energy in the room indicated that there is a wide acknowledgement that <IR> can play an important role in reaching many of their individual goals.