Umicore is a publicly listed company. As such, we interact with many parties who have an interest in the way we conduct business. The relationship that we foster with these parties or stakeholders has a direct impact on our success. Stakeholder engagement at Umicore is based on a localised approach whereby all sites are required to identify their respective stakeholders and establish suitable ways of engaging with them. In many cases, such as the dialogue with customers and suppliers, the stakeholder relationships are primarily managed by the business units themselves, in line with our decentralised approach to unit management.
Associate and joint venture companies
Umicore has investments in various business activities over which it does not exercise full management control. Associate companies are those where Umicore has a significant influence over financial and operating policies, but no control. Typically, this is evidenced by ownership of between 20% and 50% of the voting rights, while joint ventures usually entail a 50:50 split in ownership and control. Joining forces is a way to speed up technological developments or gain access to specific markets. Umicore has management control in half of the four associate and joint venture companies in which we hold a stake. Where management control is not exercised by Umicore, representation on the board of directors is the way in which we are able to guide and control the management and monitor business developments. Although we cannot impose our own policies and procedures on any associate (or indeed any joint venture where we do not possess majority voting rights), there is a clear communication of our expectations that the operations be run in accordance with the principles of the Umicore Way.
Umicore is rigorous in safeguarding any intellectual property that is shared with associate or joint venture partners. For a full list of associate and joint venture companies see Statements, note F5.