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Syngenta is the world's leading agribusiness, dominating the market for crop protection and ranking third in high-value, commercial seeds.

It achieves a careful balance between maximising the safety of its products, minimising their impact on the environment, and continuing to increase shareholder value in highly competitive markets. Shares in Syngenta lead the chemicals sector and have outperformed the FTSE Eurotop 300 index since the company was formed.

Our close relationship with the business began in 1997 in the product safety function of what was then Zeneca, the speciality chemicals business that demerged from ICI in 1993. In November 2000, a year after Zeneca had merged with Sweden's Astra to focus on pharmaceuticals, its agrochemicals division merged with that of Novartis to form Syngenta. We worked with managers in the company's product development function in Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States to review organisational structure, operational effectiveness, managerial accountabilities and related controls.

As Syngenta's business groups have bedded down, we have sustained a reputation for providing constructive and independent challenge to help retain and unite the best elements of Zeneca and Novartis in new ways of working. It is imperative to ensure that the technical and regulatory affairs functions in Syngenta combine scientific rigour with a fully commercial outlook. Our contribution has centred on ensuring that these functions should:

  • be aligned with the company's global strategy
  • develop their capability to operate effectively across international boundaries
  • offer value for money, and provide the appropriate framework for measuring and controlling performance.