As a family-owned company, shareholders consider potential reputational risk for them, their children and their grandchildren. Southwire’s leadership is committed to maintaining the highest level of financial and business integrity. Clear communication up and down the organization supports Southwire’s robust governance structure.
Southwire works to model our governance structure on publicly owned companies, incorporating a majority of independent directors on the board and requiring financial accountability. We strive to implement this model while continuing to benefit from the flexibility and confidentiality that come with private ownership.
Southwire’s shareholders, the Richards family, and board of directors determine the company’s strategic direction. Our board includes 11 members: three are shareholders, one represents top management and seven—a majority—serve as independent directors elected to the board by the company’s shareholders. While Southwire is a family-owned company, we take pride in our independent leadership.
Our Risk Oversight Committee, with three executive sponsors, brings together 12 individuals from different functions across the company to look at risk from various perspectives. The committee meets quarterly, and information flows both up to the board and back down. Southwire forms task forces to address the greatest identified risks, such as cybersecurity or resource scarcity.
Southwire has a strong internal sustainability structure and culture of accountability that cascades down throughout our company via tactical committees and groups. As a progressive private company, Southwire has had a Sustainability Committee of the board of directors for more than a decade. This committee regularly reviews our sustainability practices and provides guidance as needed. Southwire’s Environmental Leadership Committee focuses on the company’s environmental issues, while the EHS Steering Committee sets Southwire’s environmental, health and safety strategy. Working teams, such as Environment, Health and Safety, and other special teams meet monthly and regularly report their progress. Southwire’s senior vice president of sustainability, safety and environmental provides quarterly updates to the Sustainability Committee and our full board of directors regarding initiatives.
External audits can assure business accountability. Southwire has a goal to assure the accuracy and integrity of financial, environmental and safety management systems by completing annual third-party financial audits every year and environmental, health and safety audits every two years. An external auditor reviews Southwire’s financial statements to provide an accurate, unbiased report of the company’s financial condition, helping to ensure integrity in our fiscal reporting. Because Southwire is privately owned, our financial statements are not publicly available. However, the board scrutinizes the company’s financial performance carefully, with a close eye on profitability, strategy and business ethics.