The Corporate Department ensures that each decision-making body – from the Board of Directors to all the constituted Committees – is properly informed so that it can take appropriate decisions on matters within its remit.
“To do this, we prepare the agendas and the topics that need to be discussed with the Executive Chairman, and with the heads of each department, if necessary”, explains Joëlle Micha, Head of Corporate Affairs. “The function also includes shareholder relations and relations with the supervising authorities – such as the FSMA in Belgium – to which IMMOBEL is accountable as a listed company. This is to ensure that the market is properly informed. Lastly, we perform the role of compliance officer: we ensure that the company and its directors comply with the ethical rules, mainly regarding conflict of interest and insider dealing, during securities transactions (buying and selling shares, etc.)”.
“The Corporate Department is also responsible for organising the shareholder meetings, both ordinary and extraordinary”, adds Frédéric Hovine, Corporate Affairs Coordinator.
“We also monitor certain specific projects, for example, the implementation of the personal data regulation – the so-called GDPR regulation –, and we monitor new regulations such as the recent reform of the Code des sociétés [Companies’ Code]”, notes Joëlle Micha.
Cross-functionality at the service of the core business
A function central to the decision-making processes: it requires detailed knowledge of all the projects undertaken within the Group to facilitate coordination between all the departments.
“We work very closely with the Legal and Finance Departments. We also play our part in assisting the developer in the purchase of a plot or a building and during project development. In this way, as a support function, we draw up the necessary mandates and powers of attorney to buy or sell the property once the decisions have been taken within the appropriate bodies”, explains Frédéric Hovine.
“We also collaborate with the Marketing and Communication departments during the preparation of the Annual Report and, in general, for the press releases which include regulated or classified information”, adds Joëlle Micha.
IMMOBEL: unique organisation and longevity
Organisation is therefore key for this position of trust, which guarantees both transparency and confidentiality in strategic decision-making.
“I am involved in the discussions on the Group’s development and am a member of the management team, which means I have a cross-functional view of the Group’s main activities. IMMOBEL is a very vibrant company. Things happen quickly thanks to the vision of our Executive Chairman”, continues Joëlle Micha. “History is also an important feature of IMMOBEL, which has been in existence for more than 150 years! I am glad to have been part of the company for so many years, so I can use my knowledge of the history of past projects to assist all the departments”.
Supporting the Group’s expansion
With the growth of IMMOBEL comes the need to be able to rely on a dependable and effective support structure. Often, the decision-making process involves not only the parent company but also the subsidiaries – of which there are many –in Belgium and abroad.
“We have an exciting job”, note Joëlle Micha and Frédéric Hovine in conclusion. “There’s never a dull moment with all the international development projects initiated by the Group and by our Executive Chairman”.