bLEND's board of directors is comprised of recognised industry experts who provide invaluable guidance and strategic input into the development of bLEND's business.
The Board appoints a Senior Non-Executive Director.
The appointed Senior Non-Executive Director is Shirley Smith.
All directors are non-executive with the exception of Piers Williamson, the Chief Executive, Fenella Edge, the Group Treasurer, and Ray Walker, Finance Director. With the exceptions mentioned above the Board has determined that all remaining non-executive directors are independent and free from any material relationship that could interfere with their ability to discharge their duties.
All non-executive directors are limited to nine years’ service on the Board. Independent directors are normally elected for terms of three years and may offer themselves for re-election at the conclusion of the first and second terms. The Chairman may serve for a maximum term of six years and is subject to re-election annually at the Annual General Meeting. The Board will select each chairman in accordance with the rules of Blend.
Directors’ attendance at bLEND Board and Board committee meetings during the year will be accessible via bLEND’s report and accounts. Where a Director was unable to attend a meeting he or she was scheduled to attend, the Chairman received a sound reason for the non-attendance. Special Board meetings are those called at short notice principally to approve the documentation of borrowing and lending. It is not expected that every Board member attends each special meeting, only that a quorum is present, though all Board members are given notice of the meeting and informed of the business to be conducted.
The Board sets the strategic objectives of bLEND, determines investment policies, and agrees performance criteria and delegates to management the detailed planning and implementation of those objectives and policies in accordance with appropriate risk parameters. The Board monitors compliance with policies and achievement against objectives by holding management accountable for its activities through quarterly performance reporting and budget updates.
The Board holds six scheduled meetings each year which cover both standard and adhoc business. Standard business is tracked via a Board diary and determines the standard section of the agenda and details the key items of business that are considered by the Board. A rolling agenda is maintained to record emerging issues that will require Board consideration at future scheduled meetings. Adhoc meetings are convened as when required where Board approval is required outside of the scheduled meetings.
Certain matters are dealt with exclusively by the Board. These include approval of financial statements, strategy, major capital projects, changes to the Group’s management and control structure and approval of all borrowing loan agreements and the standard form of all lending loan agreements.
All key decisions are taken by the Board or its committees. Where necessary the Board or committee will delegate certain decisions to management within clearly defined parameters which are minuted.
The roles of Chairman and Chief Executive are not fulfilled by the same individual. The Board reviews and approves the Chief Executive’s operational authorities on an annual basis. This document also determines which items are reserved for Chairman’s or non-executive approval. All other decisions require Board approval.
All directors may call upon independent professional advice at the expense of bLEND.
Our diversity and inclusion ambition is to support an inclusive environment where everyone can contribute to our success. Our Board seeks to ensure that its composition reflects a wide range of different skills, experience and perspectives. The importance of having a diverse workforce is also recognised because we aspire to reflect the composition of our stakeholders and the wider community. A review of talent takes place annually to assess the composition of the Board and its Committees and this includes considering succession planning, the balance of skills, experience, independence and knowledge of the board with the aim of increasing diversity wherever possible.