During the year under review the audit committee was chaired by
Mr Manser, an independent non-executive director. Mr Manser
was first appointed to the committee on 1 June 2001 and chaired
his first meeting of the committee on 28 May 2002. Mr Manser
qualified as a chartered accountant in 1964 and was made a
Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in 1976. He has
held the following senior positions: managing director of Jardine
Fleming Hong Kong, managing director of the Save and Prosper
Group, group chief executive of Robert Fleming Holdings and
chairman of Robert Fleming Holdings Ltd.
Lord Fellowes, Mr Levett, Mr Morland and Ms De Lisi served
on the committee throughout the year. Mr Levett and Mr Morland
have been members of the committee from its first meeting on
13 April 1999. Lord Fellowes was appointed to the committee
on 1 June 2001 and Ms De Lisi was appointed on 4 September
2002. Apart from the chairman, those members of the committee
with financial experience and expertise are Mr Levett (actuary),
and Ms De Lisi (accountant).
The new Combined Code requires that the audit committee be made up entirely of independent non-executive directors. As
the relationship agreement with Altria requires that a nominee of
Altria serve as a member of the audit committee, full compliance
will not be feasible.
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