Innovation Committee

Introduction and Scope

The Board of Aberdeen Asset Management PLC believes that:

  • innovation is a catalyst to growth
  • organisations that are innovative focus on customer needs and opportunities.  They achieve profitable operations by constantly looking for new generations of products and services that their clients will want.
  • innovation is a collaborative process where people from many different parts of the Group contribute to the creation and implementation of new ideas
  • the Group can improve profits and performance by providing staff with the opportunities and resources to innovate, in addition to their core tasks
  • a shared vision will help the entire company to innovate.

To that end, they have created an Innovation Committee to encourage members of staff to share their ideas of where the Company can grow, and to input to the existing corporate culture so that it is more innovative.

The Committee’s remit covers the entire Group.


The Committee has the responsibility to:

  • define innovation for the Aberdeen environment
  • input to the Aberdeen culture to support the creation of and a process for innovations
  • encourage staff to offer their ‘blue sky thinking’, looking at ways of using Social Media, for example, to communicate with staff and clients
  • focus on the prioritisation and exploration of new ideas
  • create, resource, manage and reward innovation teams to develop and bring ideas forward
  • administer a Suggestion Scheme for the Group
  • produce proposals for the introduction of innovative ideas and present these to the GMB for approval
  • benchmark against other organisations and identify what they have done to create a culture of innovation.
  • identify the driving and restraining forces for innovation
  • communicate and promote the Innovation Committee throughout the Group.
  • maintain appropriate confidentiality of Committee discussions.


The Committee recognises that there are two approaches in relation to innovation:

1)Continuous and incremental innovation where the Committee intends to identify where it can develop innovative ideas and create an experimental and creative culture within the Group, initially focusing on distinct solutions across categories including Customer, Efficiency, Brand & Talent; and

2)Transformative innovation where the Committee will seek to identify innovation threats and opportunities

impacting the wider sector. With such transformative innovations, the Committee may seek to present  

suggestions to the PLC Board.


The Committee is appointed by the PLC Board, from which it receives its authority and any material change to these Terms of Reference must be approved by the PLC Board.

The Committee is authorised to:

  • seek any information it reasonably requires from any member of staff of the Group in order to perform its duties
  • obtain, at the Company’s expense, outside legal or other professional advice on any matters within its terms of reference
  • have a budget to enable it to conduct research into new ideas or to purchase third party technology if appropriate
  • call any member of staff to assist at a meeting of the Committee, to sponsor an innovation, or to assist with communications, as and when required
  • invite external attendees as Guests where appropriate.

The quorum is 50% of the members.

Meetings are expected to be held approximately eight times a year or as required to enable the Committee to fulfil its obligations.

The Committee reports to the PLC Board verbally through its Chair.

Composition, Organisation and Administration

The Standing Members of the Committee are:

  • Val Rahmani (Chair)
  • Julie Chakraverty (Senior Independent Non Executive Director)
  • the Deputy Chief Executive Officer
  • the Global Head of Human Resources

The Ordinary Members of the Committee (such number of which shall vary from time to time) shall represent the different divisions and regions of the Company and are selected to provide valuable insights into both customer problems and future trends. The Committee will look to rotate Ordinary Members after an appropriate period, on the Committee.

Decisions are by majority vote of members present at a meeting. The Chair has a casting vote in the case of equality of votes.

A member of the Group Company Secretarial Team acts as Secretary to the Committee.


The Secretary maintains copies of all Committee papers, including minutes of meetings, and are available on request from the Secretary. All documents are retained indefinitely.


The Committee shall, at least once a year, review its own performance, organisation and terms of reference to ensure that it is operating effectively and, if relevant, to recommend any changes necessary to the PLC Board. Such review is minuted.


These Terms of Reference were approved by the PLC Board at a Board Meeting held on 20 July 2016.