Corporate Secretary

Corporate Governance Awards
Celebrating excellence

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Cipriani, 25 Broadway, New York

About the awards

On Wednesday, November 18, over 400 industry professionals in the governance, risk and compliance world will gather to celebrate the best of the best at Corporate Secretary’s annual Corporate Governance Awards.

For our awards, individuals and companies have the opportunity to nominate themselves or others, free of charge, for aspects of GRC. More information about the categories, criteria, and judging process can be found below.

Join us on the night to meet the companies that are consistently raising the bar and pushing the profession forward through innovation.

Awards categories

For our awards, individuals and companies are given the opportunity to submit written entries, free of charge, to be put forward to a panel of expert judges made up of corporate governance professionals and Corporate Secretary editorial members.


The 2020 nomination process is now underway and you can submit an entry by clicking here.

The deadline for nominations is midnight on Friday, July 31. Should you have any questions about this year's nomination process, please contact Lauren Wilson at [email protected] or call +44 20 8004 5339

View the 2019 winners here

Best AGM

Best AGM

**NEW FOR 2020** In this category, the judges will be looking at the work of corporate secretaries, general counsel and governance teams in preparing for and running annual meetings – either in-person, virtual or hybrid – that meet the governance needs of both the company and shareholders. Consideration will be given to fulfilling regulatory obligations, training and preparing management and board members, and ensuring shareholders have the opportunity for engagement before and during the AGM.

Best compliance and ethics program

Best compliance and ethics program

This award will look at coordination of governance, compliance, ethics and risk management processes across the entire corporation (including all subsidiaries).The judges will consider the level of understanding and integration of good governance principles across all disciplines and a truly non-silo approach to achieving an ethical governance environment.

Best ESG reporting

Best ESG reporting

This entry should comment on the quality and robustness of ESG-related reporting. This includes exposure to environmental risk factors such as global warming, employee health and safety, foreign corrupt practices, consumer safety, social responsibility and corporate sustainability. The judges will also look at a company’s understanding of the role it plays in the community, both locally and globally.

Best global entity management

Best global entity management

**NEW FOR 2020** In this category, the judges will be looking at the work of general counsel, corporate secretaries and their teams in creating and running effective and innovative global entity management programs that ensure the organization remains in compliance with all local laws. Issues for consideration include: using technology in new ways, ensuring efficiency in the program and adapting to new circumstances, rules and conditions.

Best governance by a cross-listed company

Best governance by a cross-listed company

**NEW FOR 2020** The judges will be looking for the best overall governance, compliance and ethics program by an individual or team at a company whose shares are listed both in the US and on a non-US exchange. Areas of consideration include: shareholder engagement, ESG reporting, use of technology to aid governance, board diversity, board assessments and training, and other areas of the company’s governance operations.

Best proxy statement

Best proxy statement

This award will examine the completeness of legal disclosures, effectiveness of communication elements, readability, timeliness of filing, visual design elements and overall layout. Specific elements such as compensation discussion and analysis, MD&A, director profiles and ESG challenges will be given particular consideration.

Best shareholder engagement

Best shareholder engagement

Engaging in dialogue with shareholders around governance issues has taken on new importance in the era of say-on-pay. This category, introduced in 2014, will focus on ways that companies are reaching out to proxy decision-makers, often outside of proxy season, to discuss their compensation strategy and other aspects of corporate governance. Formal programs, which may include governance roadshows, shareholder forums, independent director participation, surveys and other means of engagement, will be assessed for both qualitative and quantitative results such as strengthened relationships with institutional investors or a measurable increase in proxy voting support.

Best use of technology

Best use of technology

The use of technology is becoming an integral part of the way corporate secretaries and other governance professionals communicate with their colleagues and with investors. Entrants should be able to show how their use of new technological tools, social media and the internet has helped to advance governance within their firm. Areas of consideration include, but are not limited to: the use of technology in board communications, shareholder engagement, company meetings, records management and information governance and the successful use of technology to facilitate transactions. The judges will also consider the accessibility of the corporate secretary, general counsel and board of directors using technology, and the quality of information distributed.

Governance professional of the year

Governance professional of the year

The judges will be looking for the most outstanding individual in a governance, compliance or legal function. Entrants should be able to show exceptional performance in advancing governance and compliance activities at their company. Areas of consideration include, but are not limited to: board structure, shareholder communications, regulatory filing, annual reports and all other areas of the company’s governance operations.

Governance team of the year

Governance team of the year

The size and scope of teams involved in achieving sound governance are growing. Some companies have dozens of people working solely on compliance and governance. This award will look at the best overall governance team in the country, and what it has achieved in the past 12 months. How does the size of the team compare with the size of the company? How have team numbers changed in recent years? Who is involved and what training do they get?

Rising star

Rising star

The judges will be looking for the best newcomer to a governance or compliance role. This person will have been in the profession less than five years, achieving demonstrable success in driving good governance or implementing change at his or her company, advancing academic thinking or making a significant contribution to the governance community at large.

The judging process is made up of three simple phases:

Phase 1: The Corporate Secretary editorial team reviews all submissions, selects finalists in each category and sends judges those submissions.

Phase 2: Judges review submissions for finalists individually.

 Phase 3: Judges come together to discuss all finalist submissions and determine the winners in each category.

The judges scores will not be shared with nominees, however, comments may be published in articles or reports after the event. The judges are not required to make comments against every submission. This year’s judging panel will be announced shortly.


Who attends?

We have over 400 professional at our awards ceremony. Attendees are primarily nominees of our corporate governance awards for that year. Each guest is someone with an established track record and a strategic GRC role within his or her company. In addition to our nominees, 2019 attendees included:

Click here to request the full attendee list

Job title Company Job title Company
Assistant general counsel & vice president Bank of America SVP & director, legal Citizens Financial Group
Chief compliance officer Nouryon SVP chief ethics and compliance officer Guardian Life Insurance
Chief governance officer Regions Financial SVP, general counsel – corporate & secretary Nielsen Holdings
Chief legal officer, ombudsman and corporate secretary Interac Corp SVP, general counsel & corp secretary The AES Corporation
Chief regulatory counsel Change Healthcare Vice president and assistant corporate secretary Bank of America
EVP & general counsel Change Healthcare Vice president and deputy general counsel, corporate, securities and M&A Hewlett Packard Enterprise
EVP, chief operating officer, legal Citizens Financial Group Vice president, assistant general counsel & secretary IBM
EVP, general counsel and chief legal & risk officer, corporate secretary Caesars Entertainment Vice president, assistant secretary & associate general counsel AXA Equitable Holdings
Executive vice president and chief legal officer AXA Equitable Holdings Vice president, chief sustainability officer and group general counsel Travelers
Executive vice president, general counsel & secretary PVH Vice president, corporate governance Prudential Financial
Executive vice president, general counsel and secretary Atlas Air Worldwide VP, assistant general counsel & assistant secretary Coeur Mining
President and chief executive officer Atlas Air Worldwide VP, associate general counsel – employment & litigation PVH
Senior vice president and chief sustainability officer Metlife VP, chief counsel, corporate & securities, assistant secretary Caesars Entertainment
Senior vice president and corporate secretary Kelly Services VP, compliance Comscore
Senior vice president, US general counsel & global head of Litigation RBC VP, learning & development Change Healthcare

Click here to request the full attendee list

On the night

Make a day of it: Think Tank

Taking place on the day of the awards ceremony, the Corporate Secretary Think Tank is an invitation-only event exclusively for senior 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.

Visit our think tank website


Attendees say

"The awards are external validations for the work being done by the governance groups within companies whose work might go unseen by the average employee. Having a physical trophy is a good representation of the hard work of those teams"

Ethics Officer & Manager, International Ethics Operations, Lockheed Martin Corporation

"It is important that the good work done by many members of the corporate governance community be highlighted, and I particularly appreciate the opportunity for recognition offered to smaller companies and rising stars"

Managing Director, Argyle

"As was said by many, compliance is a critical function in today’s corporate world. Yet, those engaged in that effort receive insufficient attention. Corporate Secretary, generally, and this event in particular, shine appropriate light on not only the substance of ethics, compliance and good governance, but also put faces to the names who lead in this field"

Senior Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel, Graybar Electric Company


Book your seats

Sign up for the complete experience below. You will have full access to the welcome drinks reception, the glamorous dinner, the prestigious awards ceremony and the fun-filled after party!

Please note that these are our early-bird prices and any bookings made after September 25, 2020 will be charged at the standard rate. If you have any questions regarding booking seats and tables for the awards, please contact Brigitte Toledano on +1 212 430 6861.

Venue and location

The Corporate Governance Awards 2020 will be held at Cipriani 25 Broadway. Designed by Benjamin Wistar Morris in 1921, with 65 foot high ceilings, soaring marble columns and murals painted by Ezra Winter, it is truly a sight to behold. See the space come to life at this year’s gala!

Cipriani 25
25 Broadway
New York, NY 10004

Corporate Secretary have arranged preferential rates for awards guests at nearby hotels. View the hotels and rates by clicking here.


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