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Relations with shareholders

All shareholders were again encouraged to attend the annual general meeting held in July 2014, which provided shareholders with the opportunity to ask questions of the board and chairmen of all the board committees. At the meeting, all resolutions were put to a vote on a poll, with the results being published on the company’s website, and on the London and Johannesburg stock exchange news services. As the geographic spread of shareholders inevitably means that not every shareholder can attend a meeting in the UK, a video film and a full transcript of the proceedings of the meeting were published on the company’s website. 

We maintain a dedicated investor relations function which reports to the Chief Financial Officer. The investor relations team builds and maintains long-term relationships with institutional investors and analysts and, in partnership with our corporate and divisional management teams and within the scope of regulatory constraints, gives presentations on group performance and regional businesses and strives to ensure that these are understood across the global equity markets, including in one-to-one meetings with investors. Dialogue on sustainable developments and socially responsible investment matters is handled by the Senior Vice President Sustainable Development, who undertakes focused meetings with interested investors and stakeholders.

In addition to scheduled management-led programmes in which executives interact with investors and analysts, the Chairman annually contacts all shareholders (or their representatives) holding more than 1% of the issued share capital of the company, to enable him to address any queries which shareholders may have about the governance of the company or non-operational aspects of company strategy. It is also, more broadly, designed to give the board a greater awareness of shareholder concerns. The Chairman and the Deputy Chairman met with a number of institutional shareholders in April and May 2014. The Chairman, Deputy Chairman, the Corporate Affairs Director, the Company Secretary and the chairmen of our board committees are also available to discuss issues with shareholders, and views expressed by shareholders are communicated to the board. As part of this initiative the Chairman also offers to meet with significant shareholders in the month before the annual general meeting specifically to deal with issues arising from the annual report and notice of the annual general meeting. Institutional and shareholder comment on the annual report is conveyed by the Company Secretary to the full board and to the audit and remuneration committees and the CARAC in relation to matters within their respective terms of reference.

As described in our remuneration report, in both 2013 and 2014 shareholders were invited to meet with the chairman of the remuneration committee to discuss our remuneration philosophy.