Shareholder engagement

Each year, the Director of Strategy, Brand and Investor Relations (IR) prepares a scheduled programme of contact between the Company and its largest institutional investors. This  supports a regular dialogue with the Company’s institutional shareholders, where the CEO and CFO meet with investors to discuss the business further. Great care is exercised, however, during such meetings to ensure that any price sensitive information is not disclosed, as such information is only released at the same time to all shareholders, in accordance with the requirements of the Financial Conduct Authority.

Presentations are also provided to institutional shareholders and analysts following the publication of the Group’s financial results or for other selected topics in respect of the business. Copies of such presentations are made available on the Group’s corporate website, www.williamhillplc.com, for a  period following the event. The Chairman is available to discuss strategy and governance issues with shareholders and Sir Roy Gardner, as the Senior Independent Non-executive Director, is available to shareholders if they have concerns that have not been, or cannot be, addressed through the Chairman, CEO or CFO. Meetings between the Chairman, CEO and/or the CFO and shareholders can be held on request to discuss governance and corporate responsibility issues generally.

The Chairman and Chair of the Remuneration Committee facilitated a number of meetings with key investors during 2017 as part of the ongoing contact programme to discuss proposed arrangements for executive long-term incentives to be granted in year. This is discussed further in the Directors’ Report on Remuneration. The Group also liaised with certain key investors during the year to discuss an approach for the share capital authority resolutions which received in excess of 20% opposition at the 2017 AGM. The Group also obtains feedback from its corporate brokers and its investor relations adviser on the views of institutional investors on a non-attributable basis and the CEO and/or CFO, supported by the Director of Strategy, Brand  and IR, communicate the issues and concerns of major shareholders to the Board. As a matter of routine, the Board receives regular reports from the Director of Strategy, Brand and IR and from the Company’s external advisers on issues relating to recent share price performance, trading activity and general institutional investor sentiment. The Board also receives copies of relevant analysts’ reports on an ad hoc basis via the Company’s Investor Relations team and other matters of interest in the media via the Corporate Affairs and External Communications teams.