SECTION 172(1) STATEMENT
In performing their duties under s172, the directors of the Company have had regard to the matters set out in s172(1) as follows:
A-Plan Holdings' long-term success depends on the support of its key stakeholders, including its shareholders. This is enshrined in our mission statement, which is "To be the public's choice for insurance, the insurers' distributor of choice, and to be a great place to work where our people can flourish". A-Plan Holdings has a clearly defined strategy which is accompanied by a five-year financial plan. The Board reviews and updates the strategic plan formally at least annually. Progress is monitored against this plan on a regular basis both in the board meetings and with the wider management team. The acquisition by Howden brings further opportunities meaning the Company is well positioned to deliver its strategic plan.
The Board make decisions with a long-term view of the sustainability of the business in mind, as evidenced by the business enjoying more than 30 years of unbroken revenue growth. This long-term outlook is demonstrated by our significant investment in recent years in building a modern broking and CRM platform and data capabilities, which improve the experience of our people and our clients, as well as improving results for our insurer partners and shareholders. Shareholder representatives are regularly consulted to ensure that the shareholder's interests are aligned with decisions that are made by the Board. The Board is supported in this by a number of committees as part of our governance framework, which are designed to ensure that the Company strives continuously for high professional standards. The Board regards a positive, open and transparent engagement with the FCA, the principal regulator, as a key part of the business strategy and operating model. See the Strategic Report for further details.
A key philosophy of the business is the delegation of authority, within a well-defined operating framework, to empowered managers who take account of the needs of their own stakeholders to drive local decision making at branch level, supported by the robust governance framework.
We aim to provide a highly rewarding environment for our people where they can develop and flourish. The Company operates an 'open door' policy whereby staff can see or telephone any senior manager or director at any time without formality. There is a full programme of communication including a staff intranet, weekly newsletters, regular email and video updates from the CEO, and annual surveys which feed into the development of our policies. See also the Employment Policies and Training and Development sections of the Directors' Report.
A-Plan Holdings' ethos is that the client is at the heart of business thinking and processes. We work hard to deliver a responsive and personalised client service, with direct client contact, on a local basis. We aim to be easily accessible to our clients both in branch and over the telephone, which was ably demonstrated during lockdown, with our market-leading net promoter score improving during this period as we remained responsive and accessible for our clients. We conduct regular client satisfaction surveys, the results of which are presented to the Board each month as well as being fed back at a local branch level to inform decisions on branch recognition as well as identifying training and client needs. See also the Conduct Risk section of the Strategic Report.
Our model is based on developing good working relationships with our underwriters, aiming to deliver market leading loss-ratios by attracting good quality risks, ensuring the underwriter gets the correct risk premium and arranging policies based on overall value, not just price. This creates a virtuous circle where underwriters can work with A-Plan Holdings to attract more clients. We hold regular meetings with our insurer panel to review performance. Our policy is to pay local suppliers by return of post on receipt of invoice.
Local engagement is a critical part of the A-Plan Holdings model, being a branch-based community broker. Each branch aims to be at the heart of its local community. We encourage managers to support local charities and local events through sponsorship and active involvement.
We are conscious of the needs of the environment and have taken a number of steps to reduce our carbon footprint, which includes replacing all of our lighting to lower energy LED lighting panels over the last five years. We have also taken active steps to reduce our consumption of paper through the electronic delivery of documents and letters to our clients.
*Where references are made to the Directors’ Report and Strategic Report, please note that these are available from the Companies House website: Get information about a company - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)