This Corporate governance statement has been prepared in accordance with the Finnish Corporate Governance Code 2020 (the “Corporate Governance Code”) and chapter 7, section 7 of the Finnish Securities Markets Act.
Oriola Corporation (hereinafter “Oriola” or “the company”) complies with the provisions of its Articles of Association, the Finnish Companies Act, the Finnish Securities Markets Act and other similar legislation. The company also complies with the rules and regulations applying to listed companies issued by Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd (Helsinki Exchange) and the Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority. The company’s head office is located in Espoo, Finland.
Oriola applies the Corporate Governance Code in its entirety without any exceptions. The information required by the Corporate Governance Code is also available on the company’s website www.oriola.com. An unofficial English translation of the Corporate Governance Code 2020 is in the public domain and available on the Securities Market Association’s website at www.cgfinland.fi.
Oriola prepares its consolidated financial statements and interim reports in accordance with the EU-approved IFRS reporting standards, the Securities Markets Act, applicable Financial Supervisory Authority standards and the rules issued by Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd. The Report of the Board of Directors and the parent company’s financial statements have been prepared in accordance with the Finnish Accounting Act and the guidelines and statements of the Accounting Board. The auditor’s report covers the Report of the Board of Directors, the consolidated financial statements and the parent company’s financial statements.
General meeting of shareholders
The general meeting of shareholders decides on the matters that under the Companies Act and the Articles of Association of Oriola are within its purview. Each shareholder is entitled to attend general meetings. Each class A share carries 20 votes and each class B share 1 vote at General Meetings. According to the Articles of Association, no shareholder may vote using an amount of votes that exceeds 1/20 of the total number of votes carried by the shares of different share classes represented at the general meeting.
The Board of Directors convenes a general meeting of shareholders. The notice of general meeting is published on the company's website or in one daily newspaper in Finland’s capital city no earlier than 2 months and no later than 21 days prior to the meeting. Oriola also publishes the notice of general meeting as a stock exchange release. The documents to be submitted to the general meeting and the draft resolutions to the general meeting are available on the company’s website. The notice of the general meeting contains the proposed agenda for the meeting.
A shareholder has the right to have matters that under the Companies Act fall within the competence of the general meeting dealt with by the general meeting, if the shareholder so demands in writing to the Board of Directors well in advance of the meeting so that the matter can be included in the notice of general meeting. The demand shall be considered to have arrived in time, when the Board of Directors has been informed about the demand at the latest four weeks in advance of the publication of the notice of the general meeting.
The basis of the company is that the chairman of the Board of Directors, a sufficient number of members of the Board of Directors and its committees, the President and CEO, and the auditor attend the general meeting. A person proposed for the first time as member of the Board of Directors shall be present at the general meeting that decides on his or her election unless there are well-founded reasons for absence.
The shareholders shall according to law and the articles of association exercise their power of decision at the general meeting. The Annual General Meeting is held by the end of May each year. The duties of the Annual General Meeting include:
- adoption of the financial statements;
- use of the profit shown on the balance sheet;
- election of the members of the Board of Directors and the decision on their fees;
- discharging from liability for the members of the Board of Directors and the President and CEO;
- election of the auditor and the decision on compensation, and
- proposals made by the Board of Directors and shareholders to the Annual General Meeting (e.g. amendments to the Articles of Association, repurchase of the company’s own shares, share issue, giving special authorisations).
Annual General Meeting 2020
The Annual General Meeting of Oriola, held on 17 March 2020, adopted the financial statements and discharged the members of the Board of Directors and the President and CEO from liability for the financial year ending 31 December 2019. According to the decision of the Annual General Meeting, a dividend of EUR 0.09 per share was paid on the basis of the balance sheet adopted for the financial year ending 31 December 2019.
The Annual General Meeting resolved, in accordance with Chapter 3, Section 14 a, subsection 3 of the Finnish Companies Act, on the forfeiture of the rights to all the shares entered in the joint account as well as the rights attached to such shares. This concerned, under Chapter 3, Section 14 a, subsection 3 of the Finnish Companies Act, the rights to all such Oriola Corporation’s shares entered in the joint account that had not been requested to be registered in the book-entry system in accordance with Chapter 6, Section 3 of the Act on the Book-Entry System and Settlement Activities prior to the resolution concerning the matter by the Annual General Meeting. On 24 August 2020, a total of 63,650 class A shares and 59,900 class B shares on the Joint Account became the company’s treasury shares. The provisions of the Finnish Companies Act on treasury shares apply to the shares that became the company’s treasury shares.
The Annual General Meeting authorised the Board to decide on a share issue against payment in one or more issues, including the right to issue new shares or to assign treasury shares held by the company. The authorisation covers a combined maximum of 5,500,000 class A shares and 12,500,000 class B shares of the company and includes the right to derogate from the shareholders' pre-emptive subscription right. The authorisation is in force for 18 months following the decision of the Annual General Meeting.
The Board was also authorised to decide on a share issue against payment of class B shares in one or more issues including the right to issue new class B shares or assign class B treasury shares held by the company. The authorisation covers a combined maximum of 18,000,000 class B shares of the company including the right to derogate from the shareholders’ pre-emptive subscription right. The authorisation is in force for a maximum of 18 months following the decision of the Annual General Meeting.
The Annual General Meeting authorised the Board to decide on a share issue of class B shares without payment to the Company and on a directed share issue of class B shares in order to execute the share-based incentive plan for Oriola Group's executives and the share savings plan for Oriola Group's key personnel. The maximum number of new class B shares to be issued under this authorisation is 250,000, which represents of 0.14 % of all shares in the Company. The authorisation is in force for eighteen (18) months from the decision of the Annual General Meeting.
The Annual General Meeting authorised the Board to decide on repurchasing up to 18,000,000 of the company’s own class B shares. Shares may be repurchased also in a proportion other than in which shares are owned by the shareholders. The authorisation is in force for a maximum of 18 months following the decision of the Annual General Meeting.
All decisions of the Annual General Meeting 2020 are available on the company's website www.oriola.com.
Shareholders’ Nomination Board
The Shareholders' Nomination Board consists of five members appointed by the shareholders. In addition, the Chairman of the Board of Directors acts as an expert member of the Nomination Board.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors annually arranges a meeting to which the Chairman invites the company’s 20 largest shareholders, by votes, registered as shareholders in the company’s shareholders’ register maintained by Euroclear Finland Ltd by 31 August preceding the Annual General Meeting. The meeting of the 20 largest shareholders, by votes, elects the members of the Shareholders’ Nomination Board. One of the members is elected to serve as the Chairman of the Shareholders’ Nomination Board.
The term of office of the members of the Shareholders’ Nomination Board expires the year following the appointment upon the appointment of the new members of the Shareholders’ Nomination Board pursuant to the rules of procedure of the Shareholders’ Nomination Board.
The Shareholders’ Nomination Board is established to exist and serve until the Annual General Meeting decides otherwise.
The Nomination Board shall prepare a proposal concerning the composition of the Board of Directors for the company’s Annual General Meeting. The Nomination Board must submit its proposals to the Board of Directors no later than on the first day of February preceding the Annual General Meeting. The proposals are published as a stock exchange release and included in the invitation to the Annual General Meeting. The Nomination Board shall also present and provide grounds for its proposals to the Annual General Meeting.
The rules of procedure of the Shareholders’ Nomination Board are available on the Company’s website www.oriola.com.
The largest shareholders of Oriola Corporation elected on 24 September 2020 the following persons as members of the Nomination Board:
Pekka Pajamo was elected Chairman of the Nomination Board. Panu Routila, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Oriola, serves as an expert member of the Nomination Board.
On 27 January 2021, the Shareholders’ Nomination Board submitted its proposal to the 2021 Annual General Meeting concerning the composition of the Board of Directors as follows: The number of members of the Board of Directors would be six. The present members of the Board of Directors Juko-Juho Hakala, Anja Korhonen, Eva Nilsson Bågenholm, Harri Pärssinen, Lena Ridström and Panu Routila would be re-elected. Panu Routila would be re-elected as Chairman of the Board of Directors. Current member of the Board of Directors Mariette Kristenson has informed the Nomination Board that she is not available for re-election to the Board of Directors.
The biographical details of the proposed Board members are presented on the company’s website.
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors is responsible for the administration of the company and the appropriate organisation of its operations.
The Board of Directors is responsible for managing and supervising the company’s operations in accordance with the law, governmental regulations and the articles of association. The Board also ensures that good corporate governance is complied with throughout the Oriola Group.
The members of the Board of Directors are elected by the general meeting of shareholders. The Board of Directors uses the highest decision-making power in the Oriola Group between the general meetings of Shareholders. Pursuant to the articles of association, the Board of Directors consists of no fewer than five and no more than eight members. The term of the members of the Board of Directors expires at the end of the next Annual General Meeting following their election. The chairman of the Board of Directors is elected by the general meeting of shareholders. The vice chairman of the Board is elected by the Board of Directors from among its members.
The Board of Directors convenes in accordance with a timetable agreed in advance and also convenes as required. In addition to making decisions, the Board of Directors also receives during its meetings current information about the operations, finances and risks of the Group. Board meetings are also attended by the President and CEO, the CFO and the General Counsel (who acts as secretary to the Board). Members of the Group Management Team attend Board meetings at the invitation of the Board. Minutes are kept of all meetings.
Main tasks of the Board of Directors
The main tasks to be dealt with by the Board of Directors are listed in the Board’s rules of procedure. Accordingly, these are among others:
- approving the company’s strategy;
- approving financial targets, budgets, major investments and risk management principles;
- appointment and dismissal of the company’s President and CEO;
- consideration and decision of all significant matters concerning the operations of the Group and the business segments; and
- approving the charters of the Audit Committee and the Compensation and Human Resources Committee.
Diversity on the Board
The ultimate goal in electing members to the Board of Directors is to ensure that the Board of Directors as a collegium has a competence profile which supports Oriola’s existing and future business. Diversity supports the overall goal that the Board of Directors has an optimal competence profile to support the company’s business and is viewed as an integral part and a success factor enabling the achievement of Oriola’s strategic goals. Important factors for the diversity of Oriola’s Board of Directors are the mutually complementary expertise of the members, their education and experience in different professional areas and industrial sectors, businesses in various stages of development, leadership experience, as well as their personal capacities. The diversity of the Board of Directors is supported by experience in operating environments and industries relevant to the company as well as different cultures and by consideration of the age and gender breakdown of the members.
Oriola’s Board of Directors has approved the diversity policy of the Board of Directors in December 2016. According to the diversity policy of the Board of Directors Oriola’s objective is to maintain an appropriate balance of representation of both genders on the Board of Directors.
The company has upheld the requirements set for diversity in the composition of the Board of Directors. Oriola’s Board of Directors 2020 represents diversity related of nationalities, professional competencies and genders.
Board of Directors 2020–2021
The Annual General Meeting of Oriola held on 17 March 2020 confirmed that the Board of Directors of Oriola shall have seven members and elected the following persons as chairman and members of the Board of Directors:
In its constitutive meeting held later the same day, the Board of Directors elected Eva Nilsson Bågenholm as its Vice Chairman.
Members of Oriola’s Board of Directors 1 January–17 March 2020:
The Board of Directors has evaluated the independence of its members and determined that all members are independent of the company and its major shareholders. The Board has also conducted an assessment of its activities and working practices.
In 2020, the Board of Directors of Oriola convened 21 times, of which 1 was a per capsulam meeting.
The Board of Directors has an Audit Committee and a Compensation and Human Resources Committee. The committees’ charters are confirmed by the Board. The committees are preparatory bodies that submit proposals to the Board on matters within their purview. Minutes are kept of the committees’ meetings. The committees report to the Board at regular intervals. The committees do not have independent decision-making powers. Their task is to submit recommendations to the Board on matters under consideration.
In its constitutive meeting, held after the Annual General Meeting, the Board of Directors appoints, from among its members, the members and chairman of the Audit Committee and the Compensation and Human Resources Committee.
In addition to the Audit Committee and Compensation and Human Resources Committee, the Board of Directors may appoint ad hoc committees for preparing specific matters. Such committees do not have Board-approved charters and the Board does not release information on their term, composition, the number of meetings or the members’ attendance rates.
The task of the Audit Committee is to enhance the control of the company’s operations and financial reporting. According to the charter, the following in particular shall be addressed and prepared by the Audit Committee:
- reviewing the consolidated financial statements and interim reports, together with the auditor;
- reviewing together with the auditor any deficiencies in the supervision systems observed in control inspections and any other deficiencies reported by auditors;
- reviewing any deficiencies in the control system observed in internal audit and other observations and recommendations made;
- reviewing the plans of action for the control inspection and internal audit and giving recommendations to company management on focus areas for internal audits; and
- evaluating the appropriateness of the supervision of company administration and risk management and reviewing changes in the principles of company accounting and external reporting prior to their introduction.
In addition, the Audit Committee’s duties include preparatory work on the decision of electing the auditor, evaluation of the independence of the auditor, taking into account particularly the effect of the provision of related services on the independence, and carrying out any other tasks assigned to it by the Board. The Audit Committee has at least three members.
As of 17 March 2020, the Chairman of the Audit Committee is Anja Korhonen and the other members are Harri Pärssinen, Lena Ridström and Panu Routila. The members of the Audit Committee are independent of the company and its major shareholders.
Compensation and Human Resources Committee
According to the charter, the Compensation and Human Resources Committee reviews management and personnel remuneration policies and issues related to management appointments and makes proposals on such matters to the Board of Directors. The Committee’s responsibilities include:
- Developing and monitoring effective compensation principles that promote achievement of the goals of the company
- Making proposals to the Board on compensation and incentive schemes for management and other key personnel
- Evaluating performance management, succession planning and talent development processes and programmes
- Considering and preparing appointments of top management to be decided by the Board. Supporting and advising the President and CEO in the appointments of the Group Management Team
- Monitoring and evaluating the performance of the President and CEO
- Monitoring and evaluating the performance of the members of the Group Management Team based on the CEO´s proposal.
The Compensation and Human Resources Committee has four members. As of 17 March 2020, the Chairman of the Committee is Eva Nilsson Bågenholm and the other members are Juko-Juho Hakala, Mariette Kristenson and Panu Routila. The members of the Compensation and Human Resources Committee are independent of the company and its major shareholders.
President and CEO and deputy to CEO
The Board of Directors appoints and dismisses the President and CEO of Oriola and decides on the terms of his/her employment. At the end of 2020 the President and CEO of the company is Robert Andersson, M.Sc., MBA, born in 1960. Oriola announced on 1 February, that Robert Andersson leaves his position as President and CEO. For the period until a new permanent CEO is appointed Juko Hakala, a member of Oriola’s Board of Directors, M.Sc., born in 1970 serves as the President and CEO.
In accordance with the Companies Act, the President and CEO is responsible for the day to day executive management of the company in accordance with the instructions and orders given by the Board of Directors. In addition, the President and CEO also ensures that accounts of the company comply with Finnish law and that its financial affairs have been arranged in a reliable manner. The terms and conditions of the President and CEO’s employment are specified in a written service contract approved by the Board.
The Board of Directors also appoints, as necessary, a deputy to the President and CEO. At the end of the year 2020 the Company does not have an appointed deputy to the President and CEO.
Group Management Team
The Group Management Team consists of the President and CEO of Oriola as Chairman and persons appointed by the Board. At the end of the year 2020, the Group Management Team consisted of ten members, including the President and CEO, to whom the other Group Management Team members report.
The Group Management Team meets regularly to address matters concerning the entire Group. The Group Management Team is not a decision-making body. It assists the President and CEO in the implementation of Group strategy and in operational management and facilitates the group-wide distribution of information concerning the entire Group.
The following persons were members of Oriola’s Group Management Team on 31 December 2020:
- Robert Andersson, President and CEO
- Helena Kukkonen, CFO
- Katarina Gabrielson, Vice President, Retail business area
- Anne Kariniemi, Vice President, Operations
- Tuula Lehto, Vice President, Communications and Sustainability
- Charlotta Nyström, CIO
- Fredrik Pamp, Vice President, Pharma business area
- Petter Sandström, General Counsel
- Teija Silver, Vice President, Human Resources
- Anders Torell, Vice President, Consumer business area
Descriptions of internal control procedures and the main features of risk management systems
The risk management systems and internal control procedures related to Oriola’s financial reporting aim to ensure a reasonable certainty of the reliability of the company's financial statements and financial reporting, as well as the company's compliance to legislation and generally approved accounting principles.
The Board of Directors and the President and CEO have the overall responsibility for organising the internal control and risk management systems pertaining to financial reporting. The President and CEO, the members of the Group Management Team and the heads of the business units are responsible for the accounting and administration of the areas within their spheres of responsibility complying with legislation, the Group's operating principles, and the guidelines and instructions issued by Oriola's Board of Directors. The organising and leading of the financial reporting in the Group has been centralised under the subordination of the CFO.
Oriola Group follows the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) approved for application within the European Union. Instructions and accountancy principles for financial reporting are collected in an accounting manual that is updated as soon as standards change, as well as in the financial department's instructions that are followed in all Group companies. Group accounting is responsible for following and keeping up to date with financial statement standards, upholding the principles concerning financial reporting and distributing information about these to the business units.
Measurement and follow-up
The performance of the Group is monitored in the Group Management Team with monthly reports as well as in the monthly operational reviews of the business segments. The financial situation of the Group is also monitored in the meetings of the Board of Directors. The Audit Committee and the Board of Directors examine the interim reports and financial statements before their publication. Monitoring of the monthly reports also ensures the effectiveness of internal supervision. Each business segment must ensure effective supervision of its own operations as part of Group-level internal supervision. The business segments and the Group Finance organisation are responsible for the evaluation of the processes covering financial reporting. The evaluations must contain balances and analyses, which are compared with budgets, assessments and various economic indicators.
Internal control forms an essential part of the company's governance and management systems. It covers all of the Group's functions and organisational levels. The purpose of internal control is to ensure a sufficient certainty that the company will be able to carry out its strategy. Internal control is not a separate process but a procedural measure covering all Group-wide operating principles, guidelines and systems.
The purpose of Oriola’s internal supervision system is to support the implementation of the Group strategy and to ensure that rules and regulations are observed. The company’s internal supervision is based on a Group structure, in which the Group’s operations are organised into Business Areas and Group functions. Group functions issue Group-level guidelines laying down the operational framework and the persons responsible for the process. The guidelines cover such areas as accounting, reporting, financing, investments and business principles.
The guidelines aim to ensure that all risks connected to the achievement of the company’s objectives can be identified and managed. The control measures cover all Group levels and functions. All new instructions and guidelines are published on the company’s internal website and staff members can provide feedback to the management and anonymously report any questionable activities through the company intranet.
The Board of Directors of Oriola approves the company’s risk management policy in which the risk management operating model, principles, responsibilities and reporting are specified. The Board assess the Company’s long-term strategic risks and oversees the effectiveness of the risk management. The Board-appointed Audit Committee regularly reviews and monitors the implementation of the risk management policy in the Group and the risk management process.
Oriola has specified the company’s risk management model, principles, organisation and process in the Group Risk Management Policy. The Group Risk Management Policy defines the enterprise risk management system, objectives, roles and responsibilities within Oriola in order to identify and manage risks related to execution of the Company’s strategy and operations. The Group Risk Management Policy is the main risk management document within Oriola and must be followed by all Oriola business units, subsidiaries and entities. Additionally, the Group has a Code of Conduct policy, a Treasury policy and an Approval policy covering compliance and financial risks. Oriola’s risks are classified as strategic, operational, financial and hazard risks. Risk assessment and management are key elements in the strategic planning, operations and daily decision making in the company.
Risk management and the most significant risks are described on the company’s website at www.oriola.com.
Other information to be provided in the CG statement
Oriola uses an outsourced internal audit function for the purpose of fulfilling its internal audit requirements. The outsourced internal audit function is an independent and objective assurance activity reporting directly to the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors. The internal audit assignments are carried out on the basis of an Internal Audit Charter approved by the Board of Directors as well as an Internal Audit Plan annually reviewed and approved by the Audit Committee.
Oriola complies with the insider holding guidelines issued by Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd (January 1, 2021) and the Market Abuse Regulation (596/2014, “MAR”). Oriola has issued its insider guidelines (“Guidelines”) which are based on applicable EU and Finnish legislation (especially MAR and the Securities Markets Act 746/2012), the insider guidelines of Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd, and the regulations and guidelines of the European Securities Markets Authority and the Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority.
Members of the company’s Board of Directors, the President and CEO, the members of the Group Management Team that have operational responsibilities leading a business area of the company as well as the CFO, CIO and Vice President Operations are considered the management of the company (“Management”). Management and their related parties shall notify all transactions with the company’s securities or financial instruments made on his or her own account to the company and the Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority without delay and three working days from the execution of the transaction at the latest. The guidelines set trade restrictions prohibiting Management and the persons who participate in the preparation of interim and annual financial statements of Oriola from making transactions with the company’s securities or financial instruments related to them during a closed period of no less than 30 days before a financial report of Oriola is made public (closed period).
Oriola is obliged to draw up the insider lists and keep them up-to-date. For the time being, Oriola has determined not to include any persons as permanent insiders. Consequently, all persons with inside information will be included in the event-based insider list for relevant insider projects. Oriola instructs the persons entered in the event-based insider list on their obligations and any possible consequences. In addition, Oriola monitors and supervises the proper management of insider issues.
Related party transactions
Oriola abides by applicable legislation concerning related party transactions. Oriola’s related parties are the related parties of a listed company in accordance with the Companies Act and IAS 24. The related parties include Management, their close family members as well as companies in which the individuals mentioned, alone or jointly with others, exercise control. Oriola maintains a list of parties that are related to the company.
Oriola assesses and monitors transactions to be made with related parties to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations, including the Corporate Governance Code, e.g. to safeguard that potential conflicts of interest are adequately taken into account in the company’s decision making.
Management of the company has confirmed for 2020 that neither they nor their related parties have engaged in business transactions with Oriola during the year in question.
The company has one auditor, which must be a firm of authorised public accountants. The auditor is elected annually by the Annual General Meeting for a term that expires at the end of the next Annual General Meeting following the election. The task of the auditor is to audit the consolidated financial statements, the financial statements of the parent company, the accounting of the Group and the parent company and the administration of the parent company. The company’s auditor submits the auditor’s report to the shareholders in connection with the annual financial statements, as required by law, and submits regular reports on its observations to the Board’s Audit Committee.
The Board of Directors and the Audit Committee are responsible for monitoring the independence of the auditor. For this reason, the company has implemented a policy covering the provision of non-audit services by the elected auditors.
The Annual General Meeting of Oriola held on 17 March 2020 re-elected KPMG Oy Ab, a firm of authorised public accountants, as the company’s auditor, with Kirsi Jantunen, Authorised Public Accountant, KHT, as the principal auditor. The fees for the statutory audit paid to the member firms of KPMG network in 2020 totalled EUR 226,553. In addition, EUR 58,704 was paid for other consultation provided to Group companies.