Section 172 Statement
The Section 172 Statement for the year ended 31 December 2019 is below:
The Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of O.C.S. Group Limited (“OCS”) and following a review by the board of OCS last year of its corporate governance arrangements it determined to adopt the Wates Corporate Governance Principles for Large Private Companies, following the introduction of The Companies (Miscellaneous Reporting) Regulations 2018 (“the Regulations”). Under the Regulations it is necessary for large companies as defined under the Regulations to publish a statement of their corporate governance arrangements in their directors’ report and on their website, including whether they follow a formal code, for accounting periods commencing on or after the 1st January 2019. Also, under the Regulations there is a requirement to set out how a board has taken account of stakeholder views and met the requirements of s172 of the Companies Act 2016. Within the directors’ report of OCS which can be found at www.ocs.com OCS has set out its corporate governance arrangements and how they have met the requirements s172 of the Companies Act 2006 and this report below serves as the Company’s Section 172 statement. As set out in section 172(1)(a) to (f) of the Companies Act 2006 the directors have a duty to promote the success of the company and Section 172 states:
A director of a company must act in the way he considers, in good faith, would be most likely to promote the success of the company for the beneﬁt of its members as a whole, and in doing so have regard (amongst other matters) to:
- the likely consequences of any decision in the long term;
- the interests of the company’s employees;
- the need to foster the company’s business relationships with suppliers, customers and others;
- the impact of the company’s operations on the community and the environment;
- the desirability of the company maintaining a reputation for high standards of business conduct and;
- the need to act fairly as between members of the company.
As the Company is part of OCS Group the Board and the Senior Leadership Team of the Company work closely with the Executive Directors of OCS Group to develop the strategy of the Group which is to be a leading professional workspace provider in the UK and to operate in line with the OCS Group Shared Purpose which can be summarised as:
- Generate consistent, sustainable returns in line with industry peers from the portfolio of businesses in the OCS family. These returns will come from both income and capital growth, with consistent income generation of primary importance.
- Manage the business within an agreed level of debt and risk, thereby ensuring its safe passage to future family generations.
- Operate with sustainable core values that will deliver the desired future. These values to be based on sound ethical principles and recognising our responsibilities for colleagues, the communities in which we operate and the environment.
The Board supports the above principles and operates in line with the corporate governance arrangements which OCS have adopted under a scheme of delegated authority. The CEO and CFO submit and present a monthly operating report to OCS Group highlighting both financial and non-financial matters which ensures an open and transparent dialogue.
As part of the development of Landmark we engaged with several customers and other stakeholders in various sectors and markets to understand their views on what was important to them and how they expected us to operate. Through this consultation process we developed our Core Values and these have been adopted in the way we operate each day and are expressed as follows:
What does it say about our business if everyone looks and acts smart and proud? It shows you have the highest respect for your colleagues and clients.
So whatever your role, you’ll enjoy looking and being ultra-professional. You’ll show warmth and politeness, without leaving your personality outside. And while you’re a stickler for high standards, you like to do everything with humour and a smile.
Property businesses are about bricks and mortar. We’re not. We’re all about people, so you’ll have an absolute passion for creating outstanding customer experiences.
You’ll picture yourself as a warm, welcoming host; who makes colleagues and clients feel that they belong and are part of the family. You’ll get to know them and resolve any niggles quickly and without fuss. You’ll always have time for them, and do something unexpected or special that delights.
It’s not just what we do, but how we go about it that makes us who we are. We’ll take it as a given that you’ll be honest in all your dealings with colleagues and customers, but you’ll also have a strong moral compass: you know what’s right and wrong, and you’re not afraid to say so.
While you’re not averse to speaking your mind, you’ll actively listen to what other people have to say, and respect their right to say it. You live by the maxim ‘do as you would be done by’ and trust others to feel the same.
We need leaders at all levels of the business, people who can take ownership of issues and not expect others to pick up the pieces.
You won’t blame others when things go wrong, as they will from time to time. You won’t dwell on what has happened. You’ll focus on finding a solution. You’ll front up to making mistakes, and you’ll be positive, proactive and collaborative in looking for opportunities.
Embracing the Best
The only constant in our world is change, so we’ll only succeed if we wholeheartedly embrace it. That means taking the best the modern world can offer – whether it’s buildings, fit-out, people or working practices – and continuously improving it.
You’ll always be thinking about fresh ideas and never say: ‘we’ve always done it this way’. You’re thrilled by the idea of change and embrace the opportunity to learn, to grow and to experiment. You’ll have the occasional failure, but your determination to pick yourself up and try again is an inspiration.
The success of the Group is dependent upon our colleagues living and delivering on our core values day in day and day out but their safety and that of others is paramount in everything we do. We operate on the principle that every colleague, client and visitor deserve to go home each day safely. We are committed to visible leadership from the Board downwards instilling safe behaviours and creating a strong safety culture which embraces our Core Values. This is undertaken by providing colleagues with the correct training and tools to enable them to do their job safely, adopting best practice in our work procedures, empowering colleagues to make the right decisions about their safety and others, reporting health and safety incidents promptly including ‘near misses’, monitoring, reviewing and reporting our health and safety performance accurately and thereby continually improving our health and safety procedures.
The wellbeing of our colleagues is important and we have a number of colleague assistance programmes available with a 24/7 helpline available to colleagues, providing support and advice for many lifestyle problems, helping to identify and resolve personal concerns that may affect job performance. The service is entirely confidential and helps us to retain a happier, healthier workforce.
At the beginning of 2019, we held a conference for our colleagues to clearly communicate the Group strategy and to develop our Core Values. This was to ensure total alignment of the strategy of the Group and to ensure colleagues had an opportunity to engage in the process. As part of our overall approach we engage with our colleagues in many forms to understand their views. The engagement process begins with induction programmes for new employees, training, compulsory e-learning modules, on the job chats, employee surveys and many other forms. This then continues with regular communication through the Company intranet which allows two-way feedback, regular management business updates and meetings.
Our colleagues are integral to delivering on the promises we make to our clients. It is therefore vital that we recognise and reward those colleagues who make such an important contribution to our business and place our Core Values at the heart of their day-to-day activities. We have various schemes in place way to say ‘thank you’ to our colleagues who have demonstrated our values and have performed in an exceptional way. All colleagues share in the success of the business through an annual profit performance bonus scheme.
We are a proud supporter of Apprenticeship Programmes provided by LDN Apprenticeships. One of our Apprentices who assists in our technology team is currently working on his Level 4 Network Infrastructure Apprenticeship. The course is 18 months long and once completed will allow him to be accredited by the BSC, British Institute for IT. By the end of his apprenticeship he will be a full-time Systems and Infrastructure Engineer. In addition to his 4 professional vendor certifications from Level 3, he will also take on an additional 3 advanced level vendor certifications.
The Group offers equal opportunities to all employees and applicants regardless of race, creed, sex, ethnic origin, age or disability. People with disabilities are considered for employment where they have the appropriate skills and abilities to perform the job required. Employees who become affected by a disability during their working life with the Group are retained in employment wherever possible and are given help with any necessary rehabilitation, reasonable adjustment and retraining.
We serve over 15,000 people every day, from fast-growing companies to established SMEs and we represent our clients’ businesses, so our standards of service must be exceptional every time. During the year we undertook a Client Survey to understand how we were performing, and the results from the main areas were: Reception services – Overall satisfaction with the services provided by our reception teams is 9.2 out of 10; Overall satisfaction – Our average rating across the business increased again this year to 8.5 out of 10 and Meeting rooms – Overall satisfaction with the services provided by our meeting rooms is 9.7 out of 10.
Our teams are professionally trained to Institute of Customer Service standards to deliver an unrivalled service and this assists us in understanding the needs of our clients. We hold networking events for our clients at our various centres which assist in fostering good relationships and understanding of how we can continuously improve our customer experience. We engage on a daily basis with many of our clients and their guests which allows us the opportunity to understand their needs as they arise. We also use Net Promoter Score (NPS) for assessing our services and during the year our score has increased from 46 to 47 demonstrating that we are in the upper quartile of customer satisfaction ratings.
We operate from 54 centres and have relationships with over 50 landlords and look to foster a positive, proactive and collaborative working relationship to ensure that they are fully aware of our strategy and the development of our business. Our dealings are both direct and through managing agents where we meet as appropriate to discuss any relevant issues under the terms of the leases. Under the terms of our leases we are required to pay service charges which represent a significant cost to the Group. The Group has no direct contractual relationship with the various suppliers of the services, but the Group works with the landlords and managing agents to ensure that the services meet the standards required by the Group and represent value.
We actively engage with our suppliers and have open conversations about how they can help us develop. We believe in the value of true collaboration within the supply chain and feel it is vital for success. As each of our clients use part of our supply chain, whether the IT infrastructure or the coffee machines we deploy at our centres, the relationship with our suppliers is key to our ability to provide services to our clients. This is particularly relevant when working with design teams and fit-out contractors to ensure the working environments we create meet the needs of our clients. It is therefore necessary that we require a high performing, sustainable supply chain that operates to a consistent set of operating standards. We require our suppliers to adhere to our Core Values and follow our various policies including Healthy and Safety, Modern Slavery and Bribery. This process builds on the strong preferred supplier contractual arrangements we have built up over many years which fosters an effective relationship. We recognise the importance of payment terms with our suppliers, and work to agree terms at the commencement of the trading relationship.
The Group participates in the OCS Group banking arrangements and has entered into unlimited multilateral cross company guarantees in respect of borrowings by certain companies in the OCS Group. The Board believes this participation will help promote the success of the Group for the beneﬁt of its members as a whole and will allow the Group to have access to working capital as the needs arise.
As stated above the Group operates in line with the corporate governance arrangements of OCS Group which are detailed in a Code of Conduct which is issued to all colleagues to help guide them in ‘how’ we go about our business day to day and give them the support mechanism to report any concerns or wrongdoing anonymously via our third-party whistleblowing provider. The policies we have in place and the eLearning platforms enable our colleagues to understand the sound ethical principles we operate under. The monitoring and review of the effectiveness of the Group’s internal controls and risk management systems are undertaken by the Board and reviewed by the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee of OCS Group as part of their oversight in ensuring high standards of business conduct are operated throughout the OCS Group.
Our business is subject to the Money Laundering Regulations and the Group is supervised by HM Revenue and Customs (“HMRC”). The Group pro-actively undertakes training of colleagues in understanding their responsibilities under the Money Laundering Regulations and ensures that the system and processes are in place to ensure compliance. During the year HMRC undertook an audit of Landmark Space Limited to assess whether it was complying with the requirements of the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 from 26 June 2017. Based on the audits, HMRC were satisfied that the business had been able to demonstrate its understanding of, and compliance with, the Money Laundering Regulations.
The Community and the Environment
The Group proactively promotes participation in volunteer activities within the communities the business operates within and all colleagues are entitled to two paid volunteer days per annum. These activities range from volunteering at animal shelters to helping school aged children to write their own resumes.
Our business is managing its energy consumption and associated costs through the adoption of robust energy management strategies. These include periodically upgrading plant and equipment to improve its reliability and overall efficiency. Many more of our centres are now fitted with highly efficient LED lighting with automatic presence detection. We ensure best value is obtained on all our utility energy contracts and monitor our consumption and costs every month against specific energy benchmarks. Energy audits have been undertaken on key sites to identify and implement potential energy saving opportunities. Finally, we are continually working in partnership with our landlords, staff and clients to raise awareness on the mutual benefits of better energy efficiency and a lower carbon footprint.