Orientation and continuing education
The Governance and Nominating Committee is responsible for Director orientation and education. The orientation and continuing education program is designed to assist the Directors in fully understanding the nature and operation of the Corporation’s business (and the businesses of its major operating subsidiaries), the role of the Board and Board Committees, and the contributions that individual Directors are expected to make.
All newly elected Directors are provided with a comprehensive orientation as to the nature and operation of the business and affairs of the Corporation and as to the role of the Board and Board Committees. New Directors are provided with information on a number of topics, including:
- the structure of the Board and Board Committees including Charters and position descriptions;
- the legal framework of the organization, including By-Laws and Articles of Incorporation;
- information on the management organization structure;
- current strategic, financial and capital plans;
- the responsibilities of the oversight functions (Actuarial, Compliance, Finance, Internal Audit and Risk);
- Board approved policies, including the Code of Conduct and the Insider Trading Policy; and
- public disclosure documents including the Annual Report, Management Proxy Circular and Annual Information Form.
In order to orient new Directors as to the nature and operation of the Corporation’s business, new Directors participate in a comprehensive orientation program that is designed to provide a general overview of the financial products and services distributed by the Corporation and its subsidiaries, as well as the financial and regulatory issues affecting their operations. New Directors are also given the opportunity to meet with the Chair of the Board, the Chairs of Board Committees, the Chief Executive Officer and each of the Chief Operating Officers, members of the Corporation’s executive management team and members of the executive management teams of the Corporation’s major operating subsidiaries to discuss their businesses and activities.
The Corporation’s continuing education program is designed to ensure that Directors have opportunities to update their knowledge of regulatory developments, business initiatives, risk and risk management, new products and any matters affecting the Corporation’s operations. To enhance the effectiveness of the Board, Directors participate in ongoing continuing education which includes:
- regulatory development updates on governance matters and emerging governance trends globally; and
- presentations on, among other matters, the Corporation’s RAF and risk management, key business segments, International Financial Reporting Standards, capital management, technology initiatives and cyber security, capital and regulatory changes, and reinsurance.
For prompt dissemination of information to Directors, the Corporation maintains a secure electronic delivery system that includes a comprehensive Resource Centre. The Resource Centre contains corporate governance documents including By-Laws, Articles of Incorporation, Board and Board Committee meeting minutes, Board and Board Committee Charters and position descriptions, an overview of principal business units, Board approved policies and publications of interest.
A sub-set of the Board attends education sessions in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
In addition, Directors are provided with materials and presentations, and encouraged to attended conferences and seminars, on topics related to the business of the Corporation and its subsidiaries.