Our Approach to Sustainability and Governance

Our clients and shareholders place enormous trust in Link Group. We work hard to earn and keep their trust by utilising a high degree of information security, deploying innovative new products and maintaining stringent corporate governance practices and oversight.

At the same time, we strive to understand and manage the risks posed to Link Group by globalisation, technological, regulatory and demographic change, developments in business and evolving community expectations. We also seek to capture the opportunities these create. Our clients want a partner who understands the rapidly changing business landscape and shares their values. As a leader in our sector, we believe it is our responsibility to use our business and technological skills to respond proactively to changes in society and to contribute to the wider community.

We present and analyse our sustainability performance in the 18 jurisdictions in which we operate in our FY2018 Sustainability Report, available on the Link Group website at www.linkgroup.com (under About Us, then Sustainability).

Our Governance

Link Group recognises that a strong corporate governance culture underpins sustainable value creation for shareholders and all of our stakeholders.

While the Board is ultimately accountable for implementing and overseeing an effective corporate governance framework, Executive Management and all Link Group people are responsible for upholding the high corporate governance standards that we set.

These standards are set through our core values of Professionalism, Integrity, Respect, Commitment and Teamwork and in the Group Policy Framework, including our Code of Conduct and Ethics.

We comply with the ASX Corporate Governance Council’s Principles and Recommendations (Third Edition).

For more on our corporate governance practices, see our 2018 Corporate Governance Statement and related key governance documents at www.linkgroup.com (under About Us, then Corporate Governance).

Our Environment

Link Group is a service-based company that sells intangible products, operates from leased offices and makes limited use of physical resources.

Despite having a small energy and resources use footprint compared to companies producing physical products, we take our environmental responsibilities seriously.

This year, we report across the expanded Link Group for the first time, and we are now working to introduce suitable 2023 targets for our emissions next year and to introduce further appropriate environmental targets in future years.

Our Community

We undertake a range of activities to assist people, the environment and the wider community in which we operate. We focus on education, health, the environment, overcoming both physical and economic disadvantages and cultural inclusiveness. Senior Executives champion specific initiatives and employees are encouraged to propose programs that align with our values and objectives. Our overall goal is to promote good health and wellbeing, to work towards gender equality, to ensure inclusive and quality education for all and to promote lifelong learning.

We encourage engagement and participation in programs through a number of activities, including:

Our Supply Chain

Suppliers play a crucial role in Link Group’s business success. They can make a significant contribution towards improving our overall environmental footprint and can potentially expose us to reputational or other risks. For these reasons, we analyse and report on our supply chain in Australia and plan to report on the supply chain in other jurisdictions in which we operate in future years.

Some 85% of our annual supplier spend is contracted through larger suppliers. We believe that higher-risk practices are less likely to occur among our own direct suppliers and more likely to occur further up the supply chain. By working with our direct, tier-one and tier-two suppliers, we seek to influence them to make a positive change.

Our Clients

Our relationships with clients are critical to the future of Link Group and our stakeholders, and we work hard to build and maintain high levels of trust.

Innovative technology: We continuously seek to enable clients, their fund members, employers and shareholders to access information and transact on their accounts by providing user-friendly, secure and, in some cases, award-winning platforms that offer a choice of ways to access services.

For listed company clients we provide: The Investor Centre desktop platform and mobile site; the miraqle® investor-relations desktop platform, tablet and mobile apps; client-branded investor relations websites; a mobile voting app that allows direct shareholder voting; and virtual AGMs, that let investors view meetings live and ask questions.

For superannuation fund clients we offer: Member portals so members can access accounts and transact via desktop and mobile sites; a mobile app with full transactional capability; employer portals; and a custom employer app and Compliance Payment Checker app. Security and privacy: The security of member and investor data is critical to Link Group and we make stringent efforts to protect it, with ISO27001 certification, strict policies and procedures, significant system protections, limited access and mandatory compliance training for all employees. Privacy is equally important and all staff receive regular training on their legislated privacy obligations, with processes to promote compliance.

Our IT security controls include: Utilisation of the latest cyber security tools; restricting access to systems and data; having to authorise transactions; protecting assets; maintaining and upgrading our systems; reducing recovery times from system interruptions; monitoring compliance; and monitoring suppliers.

Business continuity and disaster recovery: Our Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery plans are reviewed and tested at least annually. Under almost all likely scenarios we expect to be able to resume operations from alternative locations within contractual requirements.

Ethical standards: Acting ethically is a fundamental requirement of anyone working with us. Our Code of Conduct and Ethics is complemented by a series of policies and practices. While we believe that ethical issues such as bribery, corruption and fraud are at limited risk of happening to Link Group, we stringently apply our risk management frameworks to prevent or mitigate such risks and expect all employees to undertake annual ethics training.

Shared values: We seek to work with clients and suppliers who share our values and commitment to ethical behaviour. We seek to limit risks to our business, reputation and existing clients by undertaking due diligence on prospective suppliers and clients in potentially sensitive sectors or countries and by protecting the interests of our clients in our daily work.