Chairman's overview

The Board continues to believe that good corporate governance underpins good business performance. As a Board we are accountable to our shareholders for ensuring that governance processes are in place and are effective and we are fully committed to meeting the required standards of corporate governance.

The reports that follow are intended to give shareholders an understanding of our corporate governance arrangements and how they operated in FY17.

Board focus

Over the last year we have delivered strong profit growth while continuing to implement our customer focused growth strategy. We have continued to seek out new opportunities to grow our business, investing in Checkatrade and acquiring Habitissimo, two innovative online businesses, and completing the acquisition of Utility Service Partners in the US.

As a Board we regularly discuss and review:

  • Our business performance and our progress towards our strategic goals
  • Our customers and how we can ensure that they are at the heart of everything we do
  • Our people and how we can develop and support them to provide the service our customers expect
  • Our shareholders and how we communicate with them
  • Our governance and controls.

Board changes

Having served as Chief Financial Officer since September 2012, Johnathan Ford was appointed to the new role of Group Chief Operating Officer on 20 June 2016. Johnathan now provides focus and support to all of our businesses in order to ensure high levels of operational effectiveness across the Group as it grows. He is leading the development and implementation of plans to deliver the Group’s operating objectives, sharing best practice and maximising the returns from investments in new systems and technology.

Following a selection process to identify a successor to Johnathan, David Bower was appointed as Chief Financial Officer on 6 February 2017. David joined HomeServe in 2005 and has undertaken a number of senior divisional and group finance roles including six years as Group Finance Director.

We have today announced the appointment of three new Directors to the Board with effect from 23 May 2017. Tom Rusin has been appointed as an Executive Director and Katrina Cliffe and Edward Fitzmaurice have both been appointed as Non-Executive Directors. Katrina will also join the Audit & Risk Committee.

Tom has been Chief Executive Officer of HomeServe USA since July 2011 and is currently a member of the HomeServe plc Executive Committee. Prior to joining HomeServe he was at Affinion Group where he undertook a number of roles culminating in three years as President and Chief Executive Officer of Affinion Group’s North American Division.

Katrina has spent her career in retail financial services, credit cards, customer service and marketing. Most recently she was General Manager at American Express Global Business Travel, EMEA, having previously been General Manager, Global Corporate Payments, UK.

Katrina is currently a non-executive Director of Cembra Money Bank, ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) and Shop Direct Finance Company where she chairs the Risk Management Committee.

Edward joined Hastings Insurance Group in 2008 as Chief Executive Officer and was part of the MBO team of the business in 2009. He served as the Non-Executive Chairman of Hastings Insurance Services Limited until October 2015 and a Non-Executive Director of Hastings Group Holdings plc until March 2017.

Prior to joining Hastings he spent three years at HomeServe as Chief Executive of HomeServe Warranties.

I am delighted to welcome David, Tom, Katrina and Edward to the Board. HomeServe is becoming a bigger and broader-based business and these appointments expand and strengthen the executive and non-executive presence around the Board table. Tom’s appointment reflects the increasing significance of North America to the Group. Katrina and Edward both bring a wealth of experience in financial services and their extensive commercial experience will be of great benefit as we continue to develop and expand the business.

Board effectiveness

During the year, a review of the Board and its committees was undertaken by Lintstock Limited, an external facilitator. Based on this review and my experience as Chairman, I am satisfied that the Board and its Committees are performing efficiently and that there is an appropriate balance of skills, experience, knowledge and independence to enable the Board to discharge its duties effectively.

JM Barry Gibson
23 May 2017