The Supervisory Board’s overall responsibility is to supervise the policies adopted by the Board of Management and the Executive Committee and over the general conduct of the business of the company. This specifically includes supervision of the achievement of the company’s operational and financial objectives, the corporate strategy designed to achieve the objectives, the design and effectiveness of the internal risk management and control systems, the main financial parameters, compliance with applicable laws and regulations and risk factors. The Supervisory Board also provides the Board of Management and Executive Committee with advice. In fulfilling their duties, members of the Supervisory Board are guided by the interests of the company and its affiliated enterprise, taking into consideration the relevant interests of the company’s stakeholders. Major investments, acquisitions and functional initiatives are subject to Supervisory Board approval. The Supervisory Board is governed by its Rules of Procedure, which are available on the company’s corporate website. The Rules of Procedure include the profile and the Charters of the Committees and sets out the tasks and responsibilities of the Supervisory Board.
The composition of the Supervisory Board is such that the Supervisory Board members are able to act critically and independently of one another and of the Board of Management and the Executive Committee. Each Supervisory Board member is capable of assessing the broad outline of the overall strategy of the company and its businesses. The composition of the Supervisory Board is such that it is able to carry out its duties properly. The Supervisory Board – which currently consists of eight members – is constituted in a balanced manner to reflect the nature and variety of the company’s businesses, their international spread and the desirability to have available expertise in fields such as finance, economic, societal and legal aspects of international business, government and public administration. Consequently, the current members have a diverse and appropriate mix of knowledge and experience of the markets in which AkzoNobel operates, as well as insights from different markets and non-operational areas. A further aim of the Supervisory Board – which its members believe is currently being met – is that at least one-third of the members should meet the diversity criteria of gender (female) and/or nationality (outside of the European Union). This is in compliance with provision III.3.1 of the Dutch Corporate Governance Code, which ensures that its composition better reflects both society at large and the markets in which the company operates.
The Chairman of the Supervisory Board determines the agenda, chairs the meetings of the Supervisory Board, monitors the proper functioning of the Supervisory Board and its committees, arranges for the adequate provision of information to its members and acts on behalf of the Supervisory Board as the main contact for the Board of Management. He also initiates the evaluation of the functioning of the Supervisory Board and the Board of Management and chairs the Annual General Meeting of shareholders. The Chairman of the Supervisory Board is Mr. Vuursteen.
The Supervisory Board is assisted by the Secretary. All members have access to the advice and services of the Secretary, who is responsible for ensuring that procedures are followed and that the Supervisory Board acts in accordance with its statutory obligations under the Articles of Association.
Members of the Supervisory Board are nominated, appointed and dismissed in accordance with procedures which are the same as those previously outlined for the members of the . As a general rule, based on the rotation schedule, a Supervisory Board member’s tenure is four years. In principle, members are eligible for re-election twice, each time for a period not to exceed four years. However, in deviation from the Code (provision III.3.5), a member can be nominated for re-election more often if, in specific circumstances, including but not limited to reasons of succession planning, this is considered to be in the company’s interest.
Members may be requested to step down prior to the end of their term.
Board appointments 2011:
- Mr. Bufe was reappointed as a member of the Supervisory Board
- Mrs. Bruzelius was reappointed as a member of the Supervisory Board
Conflict of interest
The Rules of Procedure include detailed provisions on how to deal with conflicts of interest and potential conflicts of interest between members of the Supervisory Board and the company. In 2011, no transactions were reported under which a member had a conflict of interest which was of material significance to the company.
Supervisory Board members receive a fixed annual remuneration and attendance fee, which is determined by the Annual General Meeting of shareholders. More information on the remuneration of the members of the Supervisory Board can be found in in the Financial statements.