Solvay governance in practice

Solvay governance bodies – the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee – are responsible for setting out the Group’s long-term strategy, upholding the vision of Solvay’s founder and implementing our transformation strategy. 

 

How is Solvay implementing an effective corporate governance?

Solvay is administered by a Board of Directors and run by an Executive Committee. The Board of Directors is entrusted with challenging and supporting the executives in the development of strategies. The Executive Committee, in turn, oversees the Group’s business operations. 

Solvay’s Governance Bodies reflect the culture of collaboration that the Group aims to reinforce across its teams. The Chairman of the Board of Directors and the Chairman of the Executive Committee and CEO maintain regular and constructive dialog, sharing information and embodying this culture at the highest level.

Detailed respective functions and responsibilities are defined in Solvay Governance Charter, available in the downloadable documents below.

Solvay governance bodies

Shareholders & shareholders' meetings

Main corporate governance documents

Solvay has adopted the Belgian Code of Corporate Governance (second edition) published on March 2009 as its reference Code taking into account the specific international aspects of the Company. As part of these rules, Solvay, as a publicly traded company, has adopted a Code of Business Conduct, including a Code of Share Dealing.

The Corporate Governance Charter established by the Board of Directors aims at providing a comprehensive and transparent disclosure of the Company’s governance. It defines the system of checks and balances between the shareholders/investors, the Board and the management to shape an efficiently functioning company, ideally geared to produce long-term, sustainable value. It will be continuously updated as required.

Articles of Association & by-laws

Solvay SA is incorporated in Belgium, with its registered office at rue de Ransbeek 310, 1120 – Brussels. See below Solvay Articles of Association updated in 2012, 2014 and 2015.

Solvay Board of Directors

Solvay’s Board of Directors promotes good governance practices that create transparent dialog with the Group’s stakeholders. It makes overall strategy and policy decisions and supervises their implementation. Its members collaborate as a team with a shared vision and purpose and are fully aligned behind the company’s strategy.

All together, Board members work on topics such as Innovation, Strategy and Sustainability, receiving training through dedicated sessions and workshops. Once a year, a Board session focuses on trends in global sustainable development, including climate change and risks and opportunities.

Four specialized committees (Nomination Committee, Audit Committee – both led by an independent Director –, Finance Committee and Compensation Committee) provide the Board with advisory opinions in their individual areas of competence:

Solvay Board of Directors' Committees

 

Audit Committee

The Audit Committee assists the Board in its responsibility of monitoring the management of Solvay and the Solvay Group as a whole.

The committee hears reports from the Chief Financial Officer (Karim Hajjar), the head of the Group Internal Audit and the auditor in charge of the external audit (Deloitte, represented by Michel Denayer). It also examines the quarterly report from the Group General Counsel on significant ongoing legal disputes and reports on tax and intellectual property disputes.

It meets alone with the auditor in charge of the external audit whenever deemed useful.

The Chairman of the Executive Committee and Chief Executive Officer (Ilham Kadri) and all other Board members are invited, once a year, to discuss the major risks to which the Group is exposed.

7 members (85% independent)
  • Rosemary Thorne (Chair and Independent Director)
  • Agnès Lemarchand (Independent Director)
  • Matti Lievonen (Independent Director)
  • Bernard de Laguiche (Director)
  • Marjan Oudeman (Independent Director)
  • Charles Casimir-Lambert (Independent Director)
  • Baron Hervé Coppens d’Eeckenbrugge (Independent Director)
Finance Committee

The Finance Committee’s role is to give an opinion on financial matters such as the amounts of the interim and final dividends, the levels conditions and currencies of indebtedness, monitoring the credit strength of the Group’s balance sheet, hedging foreign exchange and risks, the hedging policy for the long-term incentive plans, the content of financial communication, and financing major investments. 

It also finalizes the preparation of the press releases announcing results. 

When called upon, it gives opinions on Board policies on the above matters and makes recommendations to the Board of Directors.

6 members (50% independent)
  • Nicolas Boël (Chair)
  • Ilham Kadri (Director)
  • Bernard de Laguiche (Director)
  • Baron Hervé Coppens d’Eeckenbrugge (Independent Director)
  • Gilles Michel (Independent Director)
  • Matti Lievonen (Independent Director)
Compensation Committee

The Compensation Committee fulfills the duties imposed by Article 526 quarter section 5 of the Companies Code. It advises the Board of Directors on: 

  • The Company’s compensation policy and principles; 

  • The compensation levels for members of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee; 

  • The Chairman of the Executive Committee’s compensation, short-term incentives and long-term incentives, and performance assessment; 

  • The determination of the new CEO's compensation package, including short-and-long term incentives;

  • The allocation of long-term incentives (performance share units and stock options) to the Company’s senior management.

It prepares the annual compensation report for the Corporate Governance Statement and receives a yearly report about the compensation of General Management.

6 members (65% independent)
  • Nicolas Boël (Chair)
  • Jean-Marie Solvay (Director)
  • Evelyn du Monceau (Independent Director)
  • Françoise de Viron (Independent Director)
  • Amparo Moraleda (Independent Director)
  • Gilles Michel (Independent Director)
Nomination Committee

The Nomination Committee gives its opinion on appointments to the Board of Directors (chairman, new members, renewals, and committees), to Executive Committee positions (chairmanship and members), and to general management positions.

6 members (65% independent)
  • Amparo Moraleda (Chair and Independent Director)
  • Nicolas Boël (Director)
  • Jean-Marie Solvay (Director)
  • Evelyn du Monceau (Independent Director)
  • Françoise de Viron (Independent Director)
  • Gilles Michel (Independent Director)

Members of Solvay Board of Directors

Solvay Executive Committee

As Solvay’s principal executive organ of governance, the Executive Committee plays an entrepreneurial role and fosters operational agility. 

The Executive Committee is collectively responsible for Solvay’s overall performance, protecting the Group’s interests and ensuring that it is looking to the long term. It gives shape to the strategy, steers the Group’s business portfolio, and ensures that value creation targets are met. Each member is responsible for overseeing a number of Global Business Units (GBUs), Functions, or Zones. 

Although Solvay’s GBUs have a high level of autonomy, the Executive Committee is responsible for optimizing the allocation of human, financial, and material resources to achieve the highest possible level of sustainable performance and value creation.

 

Members of Solvay Executive Committee