John Nicholas


Succession planning and appointment of senior leadership is a critical responsibility of the Board. We were very pleased to appoint Johnny Thomson as Chief Executive Officer in January this year and it was particularly helpful to the Group’s businesses that he was able to start work with them from February. Johnny brings a wealth of experience gained from a much larger company and has made good progress in preparing the Diploma organisation for future growth. In September, the Board had no hesitation in confirming their support for Johnny’s refreshed strategy for the Group that we were pleased remained based on the strong foundations of the previous strategy which has proved to be resilient and very successful over many years.

As the year closes, the Board continues with its focus on succession planning with its search for a new non-Executive Director to join the Board and its support of Johnny and our new Group HR Director in seeking a successor to Nigel Lingwood, our long-standing Group Finance Director.

The changes in Executive Board leadership of the Group has encouraged the Board to ask our Remuneration Committee Chairman to bring forward by one year the triennial review of the Company’s Remuneration Policy. The new Policy has been updated to reflect both the changes in recent corporate governance regulation regarding Executive remuneration and recognition that the Group is now almost twice the size it was when the Policy was last reviewed. Details of these proposed changes to the Company’s Policy are set out by  the Remuneration Committee Chairman in the Policy Change Table on page 48 of the Annual Report & Accounts.

The Audit Committee Chair has also been busy this year with making sure that new financial reporting standards which impact both this year’s and next year’s financial statements have been properly implemented and the impact fully explained. Again more details on these matters and other work carried out by the Audit Committee during this year is set out on pages 41 to 44 of the Annual Report.

The Board and its Committees are now setting up processes to apply the new requirements set out in the 2018 UK Corporate Governance Code and I look forward to reporting on these exercises in next year’s Annual Report & Accounts.

I hope that as shareholders in the Company you will be able to find time to attend our AGM on Wednesday, 15 January 2020 to meet the Board of Directors and challenge them on any matters you feel are important to the future development of the Group.

Read the full Corporate Governance Report 2019