Shareholder relations

The Company places considerable importance on communications with shareholders and responds to them on a wide range of issues. It has an ongoing programme of dialogue and meetings between the executive directors and its major institutional shareholders, where a wide range of relevant issues including strategy, performance, management and governance are discussed within the constraints of the information already known to the market. As and when considered appropriate, the Company seeks the views of major investors, particularly on remuneration issues, both directly and through consultation with the Association of British Insurers.

At its Annual General Meetings, the Company complies with the UK Corporate Governance Code as it relates to the disclosure of proxy voting, the separation of resolutions and the attendance of committee chairmen. The notice of the Annual General Meeting is sent out at least 20 business days before the meeting, to ensure that shareholders have sufficient time in which to consider the items of business.

The Company's annual report is designed to present a balanced and understandable view of the Group's activities and prospects. The chairman's statement, group chief executive's review and business operating and financial reviews provide an assessment of the Group's affairs and position and will be supported by a presentation to be made at the Annual General Meeting.