As a group, your board is aware that effective
governance is more than a matter of simple compliance with legal
obligations, or even with best practices.
It is also a matter of contributing to corporate performance by shaping
values, refining judgments and advising management in its pursuit
of long-term shareholder value.
Our task is not to manage the organization
but to ensure effective management. By applying
our collective experience in reviewing, counselling, coaching and
challenging senior management on strategy and other major corporate
decisions, the board can enhance management’s ability to generate
returns for shareholders.
A strong governance culture fosters the structures and relationships
by which the board’s influence
can be effectively expressed. Your board is a team
that possesses a balanced combination of skills and perspectives
of members who make a significant investment of time to properly
fulfill their responsibilities. The respective roles of the board
and management are defined and respected, with the board’s
involvement focused in key areas.
Each director of the company is actively engaged
in providing sound guidance to maximize the overall performance
of the company. While the board is
not the principal creator of strategy, directors are management’s
key advisors. Informed, active, ethical and independent directors
contribute from a diversity of thought, background and culture.
Individually, and as a group, we take seriously our mandate of
advising and supervising management, in matters ranging
from financial performance to risk management, from strategic development
to management evaluation
and succession planning.
Your Board of Directors is proud to actively
participate in the achievements of Royal Bank of Canada. As your
Chairman, I commit to providing independent leadership, cultivating
a team approach and keeping the board focused on its objectives.
We look forward to working with management in the coming year towards
our shared goal of creating long-term shareholder value.
Chairman of the Board
December 20, 2004