Corporate
Governance

Champion REIT is committed to attaining global best practices and standards for all activities and transactions conducted in relation to the Trust and any matters arising out of its listing or trading on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited. The current corporate governance framework adopted by the REIT Manager emphasises accountability to all Unitholders, resolution of conflict of interest issues, transparency in reporting, compliance with relevant regulations and sound operating and investing procedures. The REIT Manager has in place a comprehensive set of compliance procedures and guidelines which set out the key processes, systems and measures used to implement this corporate governance framework.

 

The Board of Directors (the "Board") of the REIT Manager plays a central support and supervisory role in the corporate governance duties and bear primary responsibility for ensuring the maintenance of appropriate standards of conduct and adherence to proper procedures. It regularly reviews the Compliance Manual and other policies and procedures on corporate governance and on legal and regulatory compliance, approving changes to governance policies in light of the latest statutory regime and international best practices, and reviewing corporate governance disclosures.

 

Board Composition

With the aim of creating a board structure that is both effective and balanced, the size of the Board has been set to provide for a minimum of five Directors and a maximum of thirteen Directors. The positions of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer are held by two different persons in order to maintain an effective segregation of duties.

The Board currently comprises seven members, with one Executive Director, two Non-executive Directors and four Independent Non-executive Directors.

 

 

Board Diversity and Nomination

The Nomination Committee of the REIT Manager has adopted a board divertisty policy concerning diversity of Board members. The REIT Manager believes that increasing diversity at the Board level is an important part of achieving its strategic objectives and to attract and retain the best people. Appointments to the Board shall be on merit, in the context of the skills and experience the Board as a whole requires to be effective, and against objective criteria and with due regard for the benefits of diversity. There are many considerations that factor into the Nomination Committee's nomination process including legal and regulatory requirements, best practices, and skills required to complement the Board’s skill set and the number of Directors needed to discharge the duties of the Board and its Committees. But it will not set any restrictions like gender, age, cultural or educational background when short listing candidates. The REIT Manager believes that a truly diverse Board will include and make good use of differences in the skills, regional and industry experience, background and other qualities of Directors. The Chairman of the Board should be a Non-executive Director of the REIT Manager and at least one-third, and a minimum of three members of the Board should be Independent Non-executive Directors. In addition, the Nomination Committee of the REIT Manager has adopted a nomination policy. It sets out, inter alia, selection criteria and evaluation procedures for nominating candidates to be appointed or re-appointed as Directors of the REIT Manager.

 

Delegation

The Board of the REIT Manager may establish Board committees with clear terms of reference to review specific issues or items. The four standing Board committees established are the Audit Committee, Disclosures Committee, Nomination Committee and Finance and Strategic Planning Committee.

 

Board and Board Committee Meetings

Directors make fruitful contribution by attending meetings and sharing views, advice and experience on matters material to the Trust's affairs, with the common goal of further enhancing the interests of the Trust and the Unitholders. Board meetings of the REIT Manager are held regularly at least four times a year at approximately quarterly intervals. Proposed dates of the regular Board and Board Committee meetings for each new calendar year are set out in a schedule and notified to all Board members before the beginning of the year concerned with a view to facilitating their attendance. Additional meetings are convened as and when circumstances warrant.

 

Proceedings of the Board and Board Committees

  • At least 14 days' formal notice of regular Board and Board Committee meetings will be given by the Company Secretary to all Directors, and all Directors are given the opportunity to include any matters for discussion in the agenda. For special Board and Board Committee meetings, reasonable notice will be given.
  • An agenda and accompanying Board papers will be sent to all Directors at least 3 days in advance of every regular Board meeting or Board Committee meeting.
  • The Company Secretary assists the Chairman in preparing the agenda for the meeting and ensures that all applicable rules and regulations regarding the meetings are followed.
  • If a substantial unitholder or a Director has a conflict of interest in a matter to be considered by the Board which the Board has determined to be material, the matter will not be dealt with by way of resolution in writing or by a Committee (except an appropriate Board Committee set up for that purpose pursuant to a resolution passed in a Board meeting) but a full Board meeting will be held.
  • Minutes of all Board and Board Committee meetings are kept by the Company Secretary and are available for Directors' inspection. Draft and final versions of minutes are sent to all Directors in a timely manner for their comment and record.

 

The REIT Manager established an Audit Committee and adopted the terms of reference in 2006. The written terms of reference of the Audit Committee are available upon request. The role of the Audit Committee is to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the REIT Manager's risk management and internal control systems. The Audit Committee also reviews the quality and reliability of information prepared for inclusion in financial reports issued by the REIT Manager. The Audit Committee is responsible for the nomination of external auditors and reviewing the adequacy of external audits in respect of cost, scope and performance.
The REIT Manager established a Disclosures Committee and adopted the terms of reference in 2006. The written terms of reference of the Disclosures Committee are available upon request. The role of the Disclosures Committee is to review matters relating to the disclosure of information to Unitholders and public announcements. It works with the management of the REIT Manager to ensure the disclosure of information is accurate and complete.
The REIT Manager established a Nomination Committee in 2019 and adopted the terms of reference in 2020. The written terms of reference of the Nomination Committee are available upon request. The role of the Nomination Committee is to formulate policy and make recommendations to the Board on nominations, appointment and re-appointment of Directors and Board succession planning, to identify individuals suitably qualified to become Board members and make recommendations to the Board on the selection of individuals nominated for directorships and to assess the independence of the independent non-executive directors. The Nomination Committee shall consider all individuals recommended to be Directors by any Directors or shareholders of the REIT Manager in accordance with the Nomination Policy of the REIT Manager.
The REIT Manager established a Finance and Strategic Planning Committee (the “Committee”) and adopted the terms of reference in February 2021. The role of the Committee is to enhance the corporate governance and control in respect of the financial performance and strategic planning of the REIT Manager and the Group. The Committee discharges its duties under the terms of reference so delegated by the Board and reports and makes recommendations to the Board and it is distinct and separate from the Audit Committee. The Committee shall have no executive authority with regard to its findings and recommendations.

The REIT Manager has instituted various procedures to deal with potential conflicts of interests issues, including but not limited to:

 

  • In respect of matters in which a Director has an interest, direct or indirect, in any contract or arrangement to which Champion REIT (whether through the REIT Manager or the Trustee) is a party, such interested Director shall disclose his/her interest to the Board and abstain from voting on the resolution concerned at a meeting of the Directors.
  • The REIT Manager is a dedicated manager to Champion REIT and will not manage any other real estate investment trust or be involved in any other real property business.
  • The majority of the Board is not related to Great Eagle Holdings Limited ("Great Eagle") and the Independent Non-executive Directors will act independently for the interests of Champion REIT.
  • The management structure of the REIT Manager includes the Audit Committee, the Nomination Committee, the Disclosures Committee and the Finance and Strategic Planning Committee to promote a high level of corporate governance and address any potential conflicts of interests with Great Eagle.
  • The REIT Manager has adopted the Compliance Manual and Operations Manual which set out detailed compliance procedures in connection with its operations.
  • The REIT Manager has employed a team of senior management and employees on a full time basis who will not maintain any other roles apart from their roles within the REIT Manager.
  • All connected party transactions are managed in accordance with the requirements set out in the REIT Code, the Compliance Manual and other relevant policies and guidelines issued for and adopted by Champion REIT.
More information is available at the Financial Report.