Corporate Governance

Value Chain Boundaries

Impacts of this topic reach Argos’ procurement processes and the supply chain.Supliers
Impacts of this topic are evaluated throughout all Argos operations.Argos
Impacts of this topic reach our industrial and/or retail clients.Clients
Impacts of this topic reach our communities, authorities and other individuals of the society.Society

Our management approach

Added value to the company

Our corporate governance ensures accountability at every level through an efficient decision-making process that is transparent to all stakeholders, preventing potential conflicts and providing mechanisms for their resolution.

Added value to society

Our corporate governance practices guarantee that our interactions with all our stakeholders take place in accordance with the highest standards of integrity, transparency, respect, and equality.

102-26 Initiatives, commitments, and policies


New York Exchange (NYSE)

Latin American Companies Circle

Organization for Economics Cooperation and Development (OECD)

Code of Good Governance

Code of Business Conduct

Sustainability Policy

Human Rights Policy

Global Compact

Upcoming challenges

To maintain the Colombian Stock Exchange IR Seal and the Colombian Financial Superintendence Known and Recurring Issuer certification.

In 2016, we implemented the changes we had introduced in our Code of Good Governance in 2015. We continued with the construction of policies that complement those amendments in order to guarantee compliance with the highest industry standards in the corporate governance field. Some of the measures that were implemented were:

  • A minimum deadline of 30 calendar days to call regular meetings of the General Assembly of Shareholders and 15 calendar days for extraordinary meetings.
  • Creation of mechanisms that allow shareholders to propose agenda items.
  • New rules for the Company’s securities negotiation by directors, senior management, and employees.
  • Update of the Board and its committees’ duties.
  • Consolidation of the supporting committees of the Executive Committee.

102-18 102-19 102-20 102-22 Governance Structure

In recognition of our high transparency, compliance, and corporate governance standards, we were awarded the Colombian Stock Exchange’s IR Seal for the second year in a row, and we were certified by the Colombian Financial Superintendence as a Known and Recurring Issuer for the third year in a row.
The General Shareholder Meeting is the highest corporate body constituted by shareholders in the company. The ordinary meeting must be held once a year and as many extraordinary meetings should be held as required for adequate fulfillment of all the duties assigned to it by the Corporate Bylaws and the Code of Good Governance.
Executive Committee at Panama

Board of Directors

Board of Directors skill matrix

NOTE: According to the previous analysis made by the Appointments and Compensation Committee of the Board, there are no gaps between the profiles of current members and those enshrined in the Code of Good Governance.

All Directors have skills allowing them to perform properly. These include the following: analytical and managerial skills, a strategic view of the business, objectivity, and the ability to assess top managerial situations. In addition, they are able to understand and question financial information and business proposals and work in a global context.

102-23 102-27 Seven non-executive members compose our Board of Directors. They all have skills and experience related to economic, environmental, and/or social issues, and none of the members are shareholders of a major supplier or customer.

The minimum required attendance for Board of Directors sessions is 90 percent, and the average during 2016 was 92.38%.

Grupo Argos S. A.| CEO
Patrimonial | Non Executive
Member since March 2016

Board Committee

Appointments and Remunerations

Number of memberships to other Boards of Directors
  • Cementos Argos S.A.
  • Grupo de Inversiones Suramericana S.A.
  • Celsia S.A.
  • Compas S.A.
  • Odinsa S.A.
Sustainability skills

Yes

Attended board meetings

14/15*

*CEO average
Note: None of the Executive Directors is a shareholder of a relevant vendor / customer of the company.

Grupo Argos S. A. | VP. Corporate Affairs
Patrimonial | Non Executive
Member since 2012 (reelected in 2014)

Board Committee

Sustainability and Corporate Governance

Number of memberships to other Boards of Directors
  • Cementos Argos S.A.
  • Compas S.A.
  • Pactia S.A.S.
Sustainability skills

Yes

Attended board meetings

14/15

Corporación Bioparque | CEO
Independent | Non Executive
Member since 2012 (reelected in 2014)

Board Committee

Sustainability and Corporate Governance

Number of memberships to other Boards of Directors
  • Cementos Argos S.A.
  • Bioparque Proyectos S.A.S.
  • Fundación Botánica y Zoológica de Barranquilla.
Sustainability skills

Yes

Attended board meetings

14/15

Amalfi S. A. | CEO
Independent | Non Executive
Member since 2009 (reelected in 2014)

Board Committee

Finance, Audit and Risks

Number of memberships to other Boards of Directors
  • Cementos Argos S.A.
  • Gases de Occidente.
  • Promigas S.A.
  • Sociedad Portuaria de Cartagena.
Sustainability skills

Yes

Attended board meetings

14/15

Independent
Independent | Non Executive
Member since 2012 (reelected in 2014)

Board Committee

Finance, Audit and Risks

Number of memberships to other Boards of Directors
  • Cementos Argos S.A.
  • Continental Gold. (Canada)
Sustainability skills

Yes

Attended board meetings

15/15

Cámara de Comercio de Cali | CEO
Independent | Non Executive
Member since 2012 (reelected in 2014)

Board Committee

Finance, Audit and Risks

Number of memberships to other Boards of Directors
  • Cementos Argos S.A.
  • Centro de Eventos.
  • Valle del Pacífico S.A.
Sustainability skills

Yes

Attended board meetings

13/15

Arrieta, Mantilla y Asociados | Partner
Independent | Non Executive
Member since 2012 (reelected in 2014)

Board Committee

Appointments and Remunerations

Number of memberships to other Boards of Directors
  • Cementos Argos S.A.
Sustainability skills

Yes

Attended board meetings

13/15

102-23 102-24 Nomination and election

The General Assembly of shareholders is the body responsible for electing or removing Board of Directors members and the statutory auditor; it is made up of an odd number of members large enough to ensure the proper performance of its duties, and it has no substitute members. The process to nominate and elect the Board of Directors follows the rules of the Bylaws, the Code of Good Governance, and the applicable law. First, candidates are proposed by the shareholders. Then the Appointments and Remuneration Committee reviews Candidates’ profiles to ensure fulfillment of the minimum requirements. The voting process (by slate) is held during the General Assembly every three years. Nevertheless, directors may be freely reelected and removed by the General Assembly even before their term is over.
Some of the new practices included in our Code of Good Governance are:

  • Retirement of the company’s president at the age of 62.
  • Establishment of a maximum age of 72 to serve on the Board of Directors.
  • Classification of members of the Board of Directors as executives, independent, and patrimonial.
  • For more detailed information, see the Code of Good Governance, Bylaws.

102-27 Training

Board of Directors are expected to undergo specific training sessions through which they are kept up to date on the Company and its subsidiaries, the business they conduct, and the risks associated to their activities. In 2016, the Board received training on sustainability issues including COP 21, the USA political outlook, business strategy, Value Added Special Products (VASP), CO2 emissions, taxes, and different social aspects.

102-28 Evaluation

Since December 2015, annual evaluations are alternated yearly between external assessments and self assessments. In 2016, we began with the self evaluation process, which is intended to gather results in the first semester of 2017. The results and main findings of the 2016 self evaluation process are disclosed in the Corporate Governance Report.

102-25 Prevention and management of conflicts of interests

Our Code of Business Conduct establishes clear guidelines for the prevention and management of conflict of interest. Our employees and directors are encouraged to restrain from engaging, directly or indirectly, for their on benefit or that of a third party. In situations that compete against Argos’ interests and that could affect the freedom and independence of their decisions.

Likewise, the Board of Directors is required to disclose conflicts of interest with the company through their letters of acceptance to their positions, and they, as well as all collaborators, must also disclose any potential conflict of interest on an annual basis. Furthermore, the Audit, Finance, and Risk Committee is in charge of reporting to the Board of Directors on any conflict of interest that it may be aware of.

102-35 102-36 102-37 Compensation

The General Assembly of Shareholders determines the Board of Directors’ compensation, taking into account its structure, duties and responsibilities, as well as the personal and professional qualities of its members and the time they dedicate to their activity.

One of the new duties, of the General Assembly is the approval of the Boards’ Remuneration and Succession Policy. The Board started the drafting of this policy during 2016 and it is expected to be approved by the General Assembly in an upcoming meeting.

Fixed compensation for 2014-2017
term: COP $4,500,000
monthly for members of the Board of Directors.

Variable compensation for the 2014-2017 term: In addition to the above, COP 6,000,000 monthly for being part of the Board of Directors committees (does not apply to members of Grupo Argos).

102-22 Board committees

There are three board committees that address specific strategic issues in order to support the Board’s responsibilities. The members of each committee are appointed based upon the skills and abilities of its members. Some of the responsibilities of the Board of Directors and its support committees are:

  • To promote a culture of control and risk management for the entire organization.
  • To monitor issues of regulatory compliance, fraud, corruption, money laundering, and the financing of terrorism, as well as the management of our Transparency Hotline.
  • To define and advise on the adoption of different compensation and remuneration programs, as well as assess the effectiveness of such programs.
  • To review the Sustainability and Corporate Governance practices implemented by the Company and ensure that employees and directors’ behaviors are aligned with the Code of Business Conduct and other internal and legal regulations.

 

102-30 102-29 Audit, finance, and risk

Responsibilities: To define the roles and responsibilities regarding internal control, risk management and evaluation, with clearly established reporting lines. It also assesses accounting procedures, management of relations with the Statutory Auditor and supervises the effectiveness of the internal control architecture and the Integrated Risk Management System (IRMS).
Members: Claudia Betancourt, Esteban Piedrahita, and Leon Teicher
Number of meetings: 4
Key decisions made:

  • Redefining of the materiality concept for financial reporting
  • Approval of the 2015 financial statements for presentation to the General Assembly
  • Approval of the internal audit annual plan and its follow up
  • Approval of the Corporate Risk Policy
  • Strategic risks review and update
  • Gap analysis on financial controls

 

102-32 Appointments and remuneration

Responsibilities: To determine the policies and standards for recruitment, compensation, and talent development for members of the Board of Directors and top management.
Members: Carlos Gustavo Arrieta and Jorge Mario Velásquez
Number of meetings: 3
Key decisions made:

  • Appoitment of Innovation and CCA VPs
  • Follow up on the 2016 CEO transition
  • Succession policies for top managers

 

102-32 Sustainability and corporate governance

Responsibilities: To advise on the adoption, follow-up, and improvement of sustainability and corporate governance practices used within the company
Members: Camilo Abello and Cecilia Rodriguez
Number of meetings: 2
Key decisions made:

  • Analysis of Grupo Argos and its subsidiaries’ Relationships Policy
  • Follow up on the Country Code implementation plan
  • Analysis of proposals to be presented for approval by the General Assembly
  • Self evaluation process of the Board’s performance
  • Analysis of DJSI results

102-31 102-33 102-34 Process to communicate sustainability issues to the Board

These are communicated through the agenda submitted, ahead of time which is developed during the meeting, followed by presentations on each topic to encourage discussion and generate an informed decision by the members. In the event of an urgent situation, a phone and/or emails are used to discuss the issue
and make the required decisions.

The main sustainability topics discussed by the Board in 2016 were:

  • COP 21 and its relevance to the organization
  • Analysis of the DJSI results
  • Strategic risks follow up
  • Health and safety KPIs follow up