Corporate Secretary

Corporate Secretary Think Tank - Best Practices

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Shearman & Sterling offices, New York, NY

About the event

The think tank is an invitation-only event exclusively for GRC professionals. It is free to attend and our unique format enables participants to network extensively, discuss, debate and dissect best practices and topical issues in the corporate governance world.

  • Listen as seasoned GRC professionals discuss in detail their successful practices
  • Learn key take-aways that you can implement immediately in your own practice
  • Network with the best of the best in GRC

What makes our format so unique?
It is far removed from the traditional conference set-up as the event consists of a series of panel sessions followed by roundtable discussions on select GRC issues. These interactive sessions are an opportunity to share experiences with and learn from other top-rated corporate governance professionals. All discussions are confidential and none of the participants’ comments are attributed. This allows attendees to talk freely and have frank, open discussions.

Topics and agenda

  • 08:15 AM
    Breakfast & registration

  • 09:00 AM
    Welcome and opening remarks

    Stephen Giove, corporate transaction & governance partner, Shearman and Sterling
    Ben Maiden, editor, Corporate Secretary

  • 09:15 AM
    Panel 1: Risk management and the board of 2018

    • The growing appetite to hire CROs
    • What are the new/top risks facing companies going into 2018?
    • How should boards ensure they oversee risk effectively?
    • Discuss US policy changes, market trends and their impact on GRC professionals going into 2018

    Moderator: Denise Jackson, senior vice president, general counsel & corporate secretary, AMN Healthcare Services
    Kelly Mahon Tullier, executive vice president and general counsel, Visa
    Derek Windham, vice president and associate general counsel for corporate, securities and finance, Hewlett Packard Enterprises

  • 09:45 AM
    Panel 2: Diversity and recruitment trends

    • Discuss how corporate governance changes can boost diversity at the board level and in the C-suite
    • What have been the recruitment trends of 2017?
    • How can IR and corporate secretaries co-ordinate to maximize the value gained from increasing diversity?

    Moderator: Stephen Giove, corporate transaction & governance partner, Shearman and Sterling
    Christina Lai, vice president of corporate legal affairs, Applied Materials
    Karen McCarthy, vice president, associate general counsel and secretary, Royal Bank of Canada
    John Seethoff, corporate secretary, vice president and deputy general counsel for corporate legal group, Microsoft

  • 10:15 AM
    Roundtable discussions on Risk Management, Diversity and Governance

    Participate in structured group discussions focused around challenges, issues and opportunities mentioned in the previous 2 sessions.
    Share your own experiences and solve problems as a group in an interactive environment.

  • 10:45 AM
    Refreshment break

  • 11:00 AM
    Panel 3: Preparing board materials and preparing for proxy season

    • Explore best practices on using portals and creating minutes
    • Learn about hot regulatory topics to be included in board materials for 2018
    • Working with outside counsel and IR teams
    • Getting ready for the AGM – dealing with protests, venue, shareholder proposals, shareholder outreach

    Moderator: Molly Doran, director of advisory & design services, Labrador
    Ericka Alford, vice president & deputy general counsel, Iconix Brand Group
    Joan Conley, corporate secretary, Nasdaq
    Stacey Maris, senior vice president, assistant general counsel & secretary, AT&T

  • 11:30 AM
    Panel 4: Environmental and social issues and preparing for activism

    • With investors being increasingly held responsible for their investments and with several high profile proxy contests around ESG, how do you ensure boards have sufficient oversight of the risks?
    • Addressing the concerns of inconsistency between the different reporting standards
    • When is a good time for boards to get involved when dealing with activists?
    • How should the lead director be briefed when meeting those who may be influential in an upcoming contest?

    Moderator: Ben Maiden, editor, Corporate Secretary
    Hope Melhman, Chief Governance Officer, Regions Financial Corporation
    Barbara Pomfret, Managing Director ESG, Joele Frank
    Jeff Westphal, chairman, Vertex

  • 12:00 PM
    Lunch and learn - Discussions over lunch

  • 12:15 PM
    Roundtable discussions on ESG, board materials and preparing for proxy season

    Participate in structured group discussions focused around challenges, issues and opportunities mentioned in the previous 2 sessions.
    Share your own experiences and solve problems as a group in an interactive environment.

  • 12:45 PM
    Discussion wrap-up

    Ben Maiden, editor, Corporate Secretary

  • 13:00 PM
    Event concludes

Discussion leaders and panellists


We are pleased to announce this year’s event will be hosted at:

Shearman & Sterling 
599 Lexington Avenue
The Shearman Room, Floor 2
New York, NY 10022


Request invite

This event is exclusively for senior GRC professionals. To request an invitation, please fill in the form below and if you are eligible, you will receive a confirmation email with further event details. If you are a service provider and are looking for ways to get involved in the event, please contact Renee Walton at or on +1 212 430 6872. If you have any questions or require any assistance, please contact Alice Kenning at or on +44 20 8004 6214.

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Corporate Secretary