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The Board is responsible for risk management and determining the overall risk appetite. The Audit Committee assesses and monitors the risk management framework and specifically reviews the controls and assurance programmes in place.
Principal risks and uncertainties
The execution of the Company’s investment strategy is subject to risk and uncertainty and the Board and Manager have identified a number of principal risks to the Company’s business. As part of this process, the Board has carried out a robust assessment of the principal risks facing the entity, including those that would threaten its business model, future performance, solvency or liquidity.
The Company considers its principal risks (as well as a number of underlying risks comprising each principal risk) in four categories:
Investment Risks – the risk to performance resulting from ineffective or inappropriate investment selection, execution, monitoring.
External Risks – the risk of failing to deliver the Company’s investment objective and strategic goals due to external factors beyond the Company’s control.
Operational Risks – the risk of loss or missed opportunity resulting from a regulatory failure or the failure of people, processes or systems.
Financial Risks – the risks of adverse impact on the Company due to having insufficient resources to meet its obligations or counterparty failure and the impact any material movement in foreign exchange rates may have on underlying valuations.
Emerging risks are regularly considered to assess any potential impact on the Company and to determine whether any actions are required. Emerging risks include those related to regulatory/legislative change and macro-economic and political change, which in the current year have included the impact of ESG on the Company and the UK’s trade negotiations with the EU.
Following the year end, there have been significant developments in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak. These developments are unprecedented and likely to have a material impact on a number of our principal risks, in particular on investment performance risk and valuation risk. The Manager and the Board are working closely to understand and mitigate the immediate and potential future impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and its economic fallout, on the Company. The Manager is in regular contact with the underlying managers, who have a strong operational focus, to understand the impact on their portfolios and mitigating actions that they may take. In addition, the Company has drawn £40m on its bank facility since the year end to further strengthen its liquidity position. Given the rapid escalation of the crisis, we currently have limited visibility on the short and longer-term impact of COVID-19 on the global economy. It is difficult to fully assess the impact on the Company at this stage, but clearly a number of risks are heightened currently.
Other risks, including reputational risk, are seen as potential outcomes of the core principal risks materialising. These risks are managed as part of the overall risk management of the Company.
A comprehensive risk assessment process is undertaken regularly to re-evaluate the impact and probability of each risk materialising and the ﬁnancial or strategic impact of the risk. Where the residual risk is determined to be outside of appetite, appropriate action is taken. Further information on risk factors is set out within the financial statements.