Section 172 Statement

The directors of OAC have carefully considered their duties to promote the success of the company in line with the requirements of Section 172 of the Companies Act 2006.

The directors make the following comments:

Section 172 reporting

The directors consider the company’s key stakeholders to be:

  • The employees of OAC and SAL: our success depends on the professionalism and dedication of the people employed in the business. In turn our people rely on us to provide a stable working environment and opportunities and support to reach their full potential.
  • Our shareholders: we rely on our investors to provide capital to support the business. They rely on us to protect and manage this capital investment to generate long term, robust value.
  • Clients: our clients rely on us to provide timely, reliable advice and reliable software. A number of clients also rely on us to fulfil a statutory role.
  • Our partners: we work with a small number of partners who work alongside our employees for certain projects, they rely on us to provide clear communication and a productive working environment.
  • Regulators and professional bodies: we seek to enjoy a constructive and cooperative relationship with the bodies that regulate our business activities which helps us maintain a reputation for high standards.

Section 172 of the Companies Act 2006 requires directors to promote the long term success of the company having regard to a number of factors as discussed below:

Having regard to the likely consequences in the long term

The Board regularly discusses the long term strategic direction of the company, considering the trade off between providing an income and reinvesting for growth.

In recent years this has led to investing in the software by growing SAL, tripling the size of the team and engaging experienced leadership to direct and develop the software and moving the client relationships from OAC to SAL.

Having regard to the interests of the Company’s employees

Embedded cultural values of inclusivity and honesty, a flat management structure and open culture means that ideas and concerns are shared freely. Mentoring programmes and speaking up policies and training reinforce this.

Each employee is invited to an annual roadshow where the CEO shares and discusses company strategy in small groups. Regular employee engagement surveys are completed and the results considered by the Board.

Having regard to the need to foster the Company’s business relationship with suppliers, customers and others

We work closely with key suppliers who we consider to be partners, they are integrated into our teams for the duration of projects that they are involved with. Our open culture and core values extend to partners when they are working with us.

We aim to build collaborative relationships with clients so that we can work together to meet their needs and regular client surveys are conducted.

Employees are encouraged to take part in industry events and working groups organised by bodies such as the Association of Financial Mutuals and Insurance and Life Assurance Group both of which we are members.

Having regard to the impact of the Company’s operations on the community and the environment.

OAC has effectively used a homeworking business model since its inception, ie. for over twenty five years. This model supports the company’s desire to reduce adverse impacts on the environment avoiding the unnecessary travel and the impact of running an office. The use of public transport is encouraged when travelling to meetings and old equipment is repurposed for use in charities and schools wherever possible.

Having regard to the desirability of the company maintaining a high standard of business conduct

The board has identified reputational risk as a key risk. This is mitigated by employing qualified staff and supporting their continuing professional development and by our ongoing membership of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ Quality Assurance Scheme.

We have a research and development lead who has allocated time to monitor and coordinate information relating to regulatory changes. Our redress calculations are reviewed by a qualified actuary.

Having regard to the need to act fairly between members of the company

The Company has one class of shares in issue and so all shareholders benefit from the same rights as set out in the Company’s Articles of Association and the Companies Act 2006. The majority of these shares are held within the same family and the board has a nominated director that coordinates shareholder communications.