Chair Elect Q&A
The financial information set out below does not constitute the company's statutory accounts for the years ended 30 April 2022 or 2021 but is derived from those accounts. Statutory accounts for 2021 have been delivered to the registrar of companies, and those for 2022 will be delivered in due course. The auditor has reported on those accounts; their reports were (i) unqualified, (ii) did not include a reference to any matters to which the auditor drew attention by way of emphasis without qualifying their report and (iii) did not contain a statement under section 498 (2) or (3) of the Companies Act 2006.
The full Annual Report and Financial Statements for the Year Ending 30 April 2022 can be found here.
Catherine, you joined the Board around 9 months ago and have been appointed as Chair Elect, what can you tell us from your experience so far?
After a long and successful executive career, what do you enjoy most about being a Non-Executive Director?
I enjoy the variety of matters that come up across my portfolio; companies big and small have some very similar issues to deal with as well as some very different ones. I believe that the read across between companies is mutually beneficial to all. Above all, for me, the people are important and make a role enjoyable or not. At Polar we have some excellent people who are very well qualified and a pleasure to work with.
What do you hope to bring to your role as Chair of the Board?
Sarah is a fantastic chair so these are big shoes to fill but I would like to build on her work so far and bring some of my perspectives to bear. I have had experience of both investment and control environments and in the new hybrid and digital age the control environment can get stressed. Besides, investors pay us for investment management and not for operational risk.
What are you looking forward to as Chair of Board?
I am looking forward to working with my colleagues and I see us very much as a team with every one bringing their own experience and viewpoints to the table. I believe these should be as diverse as possible so I am expecting some healthy debates! I am also looking forward to building on the relationships with our key service providers and Polar Capital in particular, with whom we have a long history.
What do you think the key areas of focus will be for the year ahead?
Sarah is leaving the Company at a very interesting time, certainly in terms of performance. The eternal optimism of investors in technology companies and growth ones in particular is being challenged. Keeping investors informed and meeting their expectations is always a priority but is going to be harder in these markets. Maintaining a dialogue with Ben and his team as well as with our other service providers is going to be a focus. I fully expect these dialogues to be constructive but it is important we oversee them and hold them to account as appropriate. Finally, there is also our developing stance on ESG which we need to keep progressing.
What interests you about the technology sector and the trust?
When I choose the roles I would like to undertake I look for a balance of my being able to use my experience together with the presence of the lure of something for me to learn. The Company is in the sector of fund management in which I have much experience but its focus on technology stocks feels to me like an insight into the future. I love science fiction and what might be possible and I was certainly the one around the table who had read Neal Stephenson’s novel Snow Crash where the term ‘metaverse’ was first used. Watching science fiction become reality is thrilling.