London, November 13 2023 For Immediate Release
REFRESHED QCA CORPORATE GOVERNANCE CODE READY TO GUIDE GROWING COMPANIES
The Quoted Companies Alliance (QCA) today releases the latest version of its QCA Corporate Governance Code, a flexible set of principles designed to help growth companies operate better for their staff, investors, partners and wider stakeholders.
It is the first update in five years for the Code, which is used by almost 900 companies, whose shares are traded on AIM, the Main Market, the Aquis Stock Exchange and by private companies which may opt to float in the future.
This new version builds on the 2018 edition and provides companies with the tools to achieve good practice through a user-friendly, proportionate and flexible ten-point plan.
After consulting widely, a working group drawn from the QCA’s Corporate Governance Expert Group has created a Code which places greater emphasis on corporate purpose, environmental and social impacts, risk management, the function and make-up of the board and corporate communications.
“In the ten years the QCA has been publishing the QCA Corporate Governance Code, governance expectations have transformed, as has the quality of information growth companies have willingly shared with investors and the market,” said James Ashton, Chief Executive of the Quoted Companies Alliance.
“This has happened without prescribing rules, but merely setting out a series of principles developed collaboratively by our membership. Our latest Code update represents a sensible evolution, couched with trademark flexibility so that companies can attain good governance without compromising on their mission.
“I hope hundreds of companies will find this new version useful – and that it prompts many of them to consider taking out a QCA membership which includes access to our busy events programme, a chance to take part in our policy and campaigning work, exclusive discounts on partner-run courses and professional services, plus some great business development opportunities.”
The Code Document is available free to QCA members and can be bought at a cost of £450 by anyone else. Members will also receive support documents to assist with its adoption and an invitation to a free Code workshop.
In addition, the QCA’s trademarked Code Badge, for display on company websites or in annual reports, is available to members as well as those who have bought the Code Document from the organisation.
The QCA recommends that any company which claims to apply the QCA Code in respect of accounting periods commencing on or after April 1 2024 should be applying the new QCA Code.
The new version has been welcomed by senior industry stakeholders.
Chris Cummings, Chief Executive, Investment Association, said:
“We welcome the new QCA Corporate Governance Code; good governance is important to shareholders as it helps to ensure that companies are being run to deliver long term returns.
“The principles-based nature of the Code, rather than prescribing a specific form of governance, will provide companies with the flexibility to choose the right approach for their company, board and business strategy. This is particularly helpful for smaller companies with less resources, so they can take the approach which is most appropriate for their business model and strategy.”
Marcus Stuttard, Head of AIM & Head of UK Primary Markets, London Stock Exchange Group, said:
“AIM is home to a broad range of exceptional companies which have exciting growth potential and investors that understand the support they need. Good governance should support the long-term growth of these companies by providing a framework for meaningful engagement with their investors whilst not being overly prescriptive or burdensome for either party.
“The QCA Code is established as the benchmark for the majority of smaller quoted companies and the updated version will continue to help these companies adopt best practice.”
Alasdair Haynes, Chief Executive, Aquis Stock Exchange, said:
“The Aquis Stock Exchange has been a long-term supporter of the QCA Corporate Governance Code. We strongly believe that corporate governance for growth companies must be proportionate, whilst also remaining robust. Adherence to the QCA Corporate Governance Code gives investors confidence, and helps quoted companies to appropriately manage the requirements of a public listing.
“The new Code contains helpful further clarification of existing guidelines, including increased disclosures around ESG and more detailed guidelines on independence and the role of the Non-Executive Director.”
Richard Moriarty, Chief Executive, Financial Reporting Council, said:
“The FRC welcomes the publication of the QCA Corporate Governance Code. Good corporate governance is integral to the UK’s global reputation for high-quality regulation and contributes to making it an attractive place to do business.
“The FRC is pleased to see that the voluntary principles outlined by the QCA reflect and support the measures of the UK Corporate Governance Code in ensuring that corporate governance boosts the resilience of the UK economy, continues to attract talent and investment, and help support its long-term growth.
“The FRC remains committed to providing proportionate and effective regulation that will build an environment of trust, transparency, and accountability necessary for fostering long-term investment, financial stability, and business integrity.”
For further Information please contact:
Communications Officer, The Quoted Companies Alliance
T: 020 7397 8140