Interactive discussions on the big questions facing Canadian GRC professionals
The forum took place as a virtual event designed for GRC professionals. It enabled participants to network, discuss, debate and dissect best practices and topical issues in the corporate governance world.
WHY SIGN UP?
Timely event: Covid-19 has further demonstrated the importance of identifying emerging risks and prioritizing investment in governance, risk and controls. With the year-end fast approaching, this event is perfectly positioned to help you take stock of the year-to-date, refocus and plan for 2020-2021
Benchmarking: it is a great opportunity to evaluate where you stand in comparison to your peers, how other companies have managed and overcome similar challenges
Unique format: far from a traditional webinar format, our virtual event platform enables attendees to have intimate discussions and participate in virtual roundtable debates with fellow GRC professionals
Discover something new: learn about new technologies, innovations, and services that are available to help to transform your governance strategy, increase productivity and make better decisions
Network with the community: meet with investors, analysts, experts, and GRC peers
Welcome to Corporate Secretary's Canada Forum 2020 - Live Networking
To kick the day off, please take some time to connect with another attendee via the ‘networking feature’. Like chat roulette, you will be matched at random with a fellow attendee where you can chat and swap contact details. Enjoy!
Opening remarks from the chair
Welcome and introduction to the event and platform from our Editor-at-large Ben Maiden.
How can the board be ready for the next crisis? Emerging stronger from Covid-19
Overseeing crisis management and business continuity planning is a key function of the board. This session will explore the ways in which governance professionals can help their boards be successful in this role, and prepare their companies to navigate turbulent times.
Brigitte Catellier, vice president, corporate governance and corporate secretary, Meridian Credit Union and Motus Bank
Amy Freedman, CEO, Kingsdale Advisors
Matthew Langford, corporate counsel, SSR Mining
Ben Maiden, editor-at-large, Corporate Secretary
Lessons learned from AGMs and managing the evolution to virtual
The pandemic has this year significantly changed the way companies maintained their relationships with investors. This session will explore and what that means going forward.
Simon Bryan, managing director, Americas, Lumi
Cathy Conlon, head of corporate issuer strategy, Broadridge
Carolyn Hadrovic, vice president and corporate secretary, Air Canada
Nizam Hasham, general counsel and assistant corporate secretary, Canadian Pacific Railway
Ben Maiden, editor-at-large, Corporate Secretary
Moving forward on ESG: how the pandemic has impacted ESG reporting & engagement
Contrary to some expectations, the Covid-19 pandemic appears to have only reinforced the importance of ESG issues for many investors, and the need for companies to address these.
Melanie Adams, VP & head, corporate governance & responsible investment, RBC Global Asset Management
Kathleen Keller-Hobson, corporate director, Premium Brands Holdings Corporation and Greater Toronto Airports Authority
Neil Stewart, director of corporate outreach, SASB
Ben Maiden, editor-at-large, Corporate Secretary
Interactive Session: Roundtable Discussion
Join our live, interactive roundtable discussion to share ideas and best practice on the biggest future trends for governance professionals. This session really benefits from participation so don’t be afraid to switch your audio and video on or comment in the chat box. Enjoy!
Improving efficiency in your governance team: future trends
Corporate secretaries and governance professionals continue to face growing demands, which they must meet often with little or no additional resources. This session will look to the future and discuss how they can run their teams more efficiently moving forward.
Diversity and inclusion: working with the board and beyond
The need is growing for greater diversity at the board level, and across management and workforces in general. This has been accelerated by the unequal social effects of Covid-19, and greater investor interest in diversity as an indicator of better corporate performance.
Nita Chhinzer, associate professor, department of management, University of Guelph
Marlon Hylton, CEO & senior counsel INNOV-8 Data Counsel & chair, CEO pledge committee, BlackNorth Initiative
Naveen Mehta, chief legal officer, MESH/diversity
Dottie Schindlinger, executive director, Diligent
Ben Maiden, editor-at-large, Corporate Secretary
People power: prioritizing the new focus on human capital
Human capital management has taken on renewed importance as a result of Covid-19 with companies looking at talent management and retention, and simply keeping employees safe. This session will look at the issues boards need to be considering and how governance teams can help.
Christelle Gedeon, chief legal officer, Aphria
Rani Pooran, senior advisor, social sustainability, BMO Financial Group
Brian Shurman, corporate social responsibility manager, Flight Centre Travel Group
Ben Maiden, editor-at-large, Corporate Secretary
Closing remarks & 1:1 networking
Close of conference
To inquire about speaking at future events, please contact [email protected] or call +44 20 8004 4818
Vice president and head of corporate governance and responsible investment
RBC Global Asset Management
Melanie is Vice President & Head, Corporate Governance & Responsible Investment for RBC Global Asset Management (RBC GAM) and a member of the Executive Committee. The CGRI team supports RBC GAM’s investment teams in integrating environmental, social and governance factors into the investment process, engages in active stewardship and provides meaningful client reporting on responsible investment. Melanie joined RBC GAM in 2014 and has also held roles in Fund Governance and Strategy. Prior to working at RBC GAM, Melanie was Senior Counsel, Litigation for another large financial institution, and Enforcement Counsel at the Ontario Securities Commission (where she spent time working at the Office of the Criminal Crown Attorney).
Managing director, Americas
Simon has extensive business development, marketing and operational experience with the application of technology to meetings, events, learning and research. After ten years of supporting global meetings & events clients from the UK, Simon arrived in the US in 2006. As Managing Director, Americas, Simon has overseen the growth of Lumi in the region, both organically and through acquisition.
Simon and his team have delivered hundreds of successful virtual shareholder meetings across the US and Canada this season, and will continue to evolve the Lumi platform ready for 2021.
Vice president, corporate governance and corporate secretary
Meridian Credit Union and Motus Bank
In January 2018, Brigitte joined Meridian Credit Union as Vice-President, Corporate Governance. With Meridian’s launch of a federal digital bank in April 2019, Brigitte was appointed Corporate
Secretary of Motus Bank. In January 2019, Brigitte joined York University as Adjunct Professor of Osgoode Hall Law School where she is Co-Director of the Investor Protection Clinic. Brigitte
is also a Subject Matter Expert for the Boardroom Dynamics and Risk Management modules of the Chartered Governance Institute’s certification program.
Prior to Meridian, Brigitte held positions at Sun Life Financial as Vice-President, Associate General Counsel and Corporate Secretary as well as Corporate Secretary and Head of Governance
of HSBC Bank Canada. Prior thereto, Brigitte spent close to a decade as Vice-President, Legal and Corporate Secretary of Astral Media Inc. and prior thereto, she was Associate General Counsel
and Associate Secretary of Canadian National Railway Company.
Brigitte obtained her BCL/LLB degrees from McGill University (National Program) in 1988 and was admitted to the Quebec Bar in 1989. She began her legal career at Norton Rose Fulbright where she was named Partner in Business Law. She also obtained the designation of Certified InHouse Counsel –Canada (CIC.C). She is a Fellow of the Chartered Governance Institute.
Associate professor of human resources at the department of management
University of Guelph
Dr. Nita N. Chhinzer is an Associate Professor of Human Resources at the Department of Management, University of Guelph. Her research is concentrated on Strategic Human Resources Management, with a strong focus on downsizing practices, procedures and ethics. Having completed her MBA in 2000, Nita Chhinzer went on to work in management positions at various companies including HP and Nortel. It was then she recognized that the execution, decisions and implementation of downsizing have significant individual, organizational and societal outcomes, prompting her to return to academe to advance our understanding of downsizing. She completed her PhD in Management from McMaster University in 2006, focusing on HR. Accordingly, her research area is largely focused on downsizing activities, antecedents, consequences and decision making.
She was the recipient of the 2019 Emerald Literati Award (Education +Training) based on her research about how employers define graduate student employability and in 2016, she was recognized as one of the top 25 HR Professionals in Canada.
She also co-authors the Human Resource Management in Canada textbook (now in its 14th edition) and the Management of Human Resources textbook (now in 5th edition).
Vice president and head of product and strategy
Cathy H. Conlon is Vice President and head of Product and Strategy for Broadridge’s Corporate Issuer business where she oversees business development activities including identifying and executing on acquisitions and partnerships, as well as management of the corporate issuer product portfolio. Cathy was responsible for the design, development and implementation of the Virtual Shareholder Meeting (VSM) platform and is an expert in the use of virtual meetings for public company annual meetings. Cathy’s background includes stints at Franklin Templeton and McGraw-Hill, and she graduated from Catholic University with a BA in Economics and Finance and an MA in Finance. Cathy is on the board of XBRL US.
Chief executive officer
Amy has been the CEO of Kingsdale Advisors since 2017 having joined the company in 2014 as Executive Vice President. A seasoned capital markets professional, with over 14 years of experience in investment banking, Amy is responsible for the leadership of Kingsdale Advisors with a focus on providing superior service and outstanding strategic advice to public company boards and management as they strive to enhance value for shareholders.
Amy began her career at Morgan Stanley in New York as an Associate, Investment Banking where she spent approximately four years executing lead managed equity transactions and client coverage. After being promoted to Vice President, she moved back to Toronto with National Bank Financial. Her most recent position was Managing Director, Equity Capital Markets for Stifel where she spent eight years with the organization and its predecessors, Thomas Weisel Partners as Managing Director & Chief Operating Officer for the Global Investment Bank, and Westwind Partners as a Director in Corporate Finance.
Amy has extensive experience leading transaction management, positioning companies for success in the marketplace across a broad spectrum of industries and a deep understanding of capital markets. Select transaction and special situation experience include acting for: Transalta Corp in defence against Mangrove Partners; Detour Gold in defence against Paulson Co.; Front Four & Sandpiper in their action against Granite REIT; PointNorth in their action against Liquor Stores; Sprott Asset Management in its $1 billion hostile bid for Central GoldTrust; Pacific Rubiales in a transaction contested by shareholder O’Hara Administration; TransCanada Corporation in defense against Sandell Asset Management; Oxford Park in its campaign at Extendicare; Wesdome Gold in its defense against Resolute Funds; Sherritt Corporation in defense against Clarke Inc.; K2 against Dominion Diamond; Graeme Roustan against Performance Sports; and Orange Capital against Innvest REIT.
Amy has a JD MBA from the University of Toronto. In addition to her current role at Kingsdale, Amy is a director of Mandalay Resources Corporation.
Chief legal officer
Dr. Christelle Gedeon, Chief Legal Officer has spent her entire career in the life sciences and pharmaceutical industry which has positioned her as a leader in the cannabis industry. Prior to joining Aphria, Dr. Gedeon was a Partner at Fasken, a pre-eminent bay street firm in Toronto, where her practice focused on all aspects of regulated health products such drugs, devices, food, cosmetics and cannabis. She is sought after for her expertise in navigating product approvals and licensing, designing and implementing international clinical trials, facilitating national product launches and overall intellectual property portfolio management. Dr. Gedeon received her LL.B./B.C.L. from McGill University and holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology from the University of Toronto. She is also a licensed trademark agent and is currently the Chair of the Canadian Association of Professionals in Regulatory Affairs.
Vice president and corporate secretary
Carolyn Hadrovic has served as Vice President and Corporate Secretary of Air Canada since 2006. She joined Air Canada in 1992 and has held various positions including Senior Counsel, Regulatory and International Law, as well as Corporate Secretary of ACE Aviation Holdings Inc. (former parent company of Air Canada) and its subsidiaries, Aeroplan and Air Canada Jazz.
Carolyn has also served as Chair of the Legal Committee of the Air Transport Association of Canada and represented Air Canada on the Star Alliance Legal Working Group and the Legal Advisory Council of the International Air Transport Association. She is the recipient of the 2001 Distinguished Alumna award from the University of British Columbia in recognition of her achievements in the field of transportation, and she has been recognized as one of Canada’s women leaders in aviation by Transport Canada. She has authored papers on international air law and global airline alliances.
Carolyn is a graduate of Dalhousie Law School and holds a Master of Laws degree in international business law and a Certificate in Air and Space Law from the University of London. She also has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of British Columbia.
General counsel & assistant corporate secretary
Canadian Pacific Railway
CEO & senior counsel, and chair, CEO pledge committee
INNOV-8 Data Counsel, The BlackNorth Initiative
A former partner at Cassels Brock & Blackwell, Marlon formed and built Cassels’ platform for delivering e-discovery and information governance services. Motivated by his keen interest in meaningful legal innovation and recognizing a gap in the market for a seamless platform designed to deliver flexible, sophisticated legal and technology expertise, innovative technology and resourcing models – all in one place, Marlon founded Innov-8 Data Counsel & Innov-8 Legal Inc. Innov-8 is a law firm and technology company, combining an understanding of the culture of law with deep business and technology expertise to create innovative solutions that suit the framework of the legal profession. He has been recognized by Best Lawyers as a leading practitioner in complex commercial litigation and was recognized by Who’s Who Legal as a global thought leader and national leader in the areas of complex commercial litigation and e-discovery.
Corporate director, board member
CCL Industries, Premium Brands Holdings Corporation, and the Greater Toronto Airports Authority
Kathleen Keller-Hobson is an experienced corporate director and serves on the boards of CCL Industries Inc. (a world leader in specialty label, security and packaging solutions), Premium Brands Holdings Corporation (a leading North American specialty food manufacturer and distributor), and the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (which manages and operates Canada’s largest airport). She is Lead Director of CCL Industries, and Chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee. She is a member of the Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee, and Compensation and HR Committee, of Premium Brands. She is Chair of the Governance and Stakeholder Relations Committee, and a member of the Planning & Commercial Development Committee, of the GTAA.
Prior to 2015, Kathleen was a business lawyer with 35 years of experience in M&A and corporate finance. She was a senior partner at three of Canada’s leading law firms: Torys (1979-2006), Bennett Jones (2006-2011), and Gowlings (2011-2014). Kathleen has broad international experience, including acting as Managing Partner of the Torys’ London, England office from 1986 to 1995.
Kathleen attended the University of Ottawa (LL.B. 1979) and is an inductee to the University of Ottawa Common Law Honour Society. She is a graduate of the ICD-Rotman Directors Education Program (ICD.D).
Matthew B. Langford is Corporate Counsel with SSR Mining Inc. in Vancouver, British Columbia, an intermediate gold company with four producing assets located in the USA, Turkey, Canada, and Argentina, combined with a global pipeline of development and exploration assets in the USA, Turkey, Mexico, Peru, and Canada. He is a senior business lawyer with extensive M&A and financing experience, and provides counsel to directors and executives on corporate governance, regulatory compliance, litigation, risk management, and securities and business law matters. Prior to joining SSR Mining, Matthew was an associate at McMillan LLP in the firm’s Toronto and Vancouver offices, practicing in the Business Law and Capital Markets Groups. He obtained his LL.B. from the University of Western Ontario, and his B. Comm. from Queen’s University.
Chief legal officer
Naveen is an award-winning diversity and inclusion strategist, coach and educator who
delivers cutting-edge, context and technology-supported diversity and inclusion training,
presentations and keynotes for over a decade. Before joining MESH/diversity, Naveen
spent 20 years as an accomplished litigator and then General Counsel. He is actively
involved in supporting the legal community work towards becoming a more
contemporary and inclusive profession.
Senior advisor, social sustainability
BMO Financial Group
Rani Pooran is a Senior Advisor on social sustainability issues at BMO Financial Group, focusing on diversity & inclusion, human rights, gender equality and just transition. At the bank, she has worked in the Anti-Money Laundering Remediation & Transformation Program in addition to the Inclusion and Sustainability Teams. Prior to joining BMO, Rani worked in the professional services industry in the UK, US and Canada. Most recently, she completed a Certificate of Advanced Studies at The Graduate Institute Geneva in Environmental Policy & Governance where her policy research focused on just transitions. Rani also holds a Masters in International & European Politics (University of Edinburgh) in addition to a Bachelor of Arts Hons. and Masters of Information Studies (University of Toronto). Rani is the current chair of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative’s Gender Equality Working Group. Rani has presented to: The Canadian Board Diversity Council, The Big Push, an accelerator for female start-ups, the UK Institute of Fundraisers, The University of Toronto, and The Conference Board of Canada.
Dottie Schindlinger is Executive Director of the Diligent Institute, the think tank and global governance research arm of Diligent Corporation, leading provider of secure corporate board communication and collaboration software used by over 650,000 directors and executives globally. In her role, Dottie provides thought leadership on governance, cybersecurity, and technology topics through presentations to boards and executives dozens of times each year at events around the globe. Her work has been featured in Fortune, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and multiple governance and technology publications. She is co-author of the book, Governance in the Digital Age: A Guide for the Modern Corporate Board Director, ©2019, John Wiley & Sons, and she co-hosts the fortnightly show, The Corporate Director Podcast.
Dottie brings over twenty years’ experience in governance-related roles, including serving as a director, officer, committee chair, senior executive, governance consultant and trainer for private, public, and nonprofit boards. She was a founding team member of the tech start-up BoardEffect – a board management software provider focused on healthcare and nonprofit boards, acquired by Diligent in late 2016. She serves on the Advisory Board of the Diligent Institute and is the Vice Chair of the Board of the Alice Paul Institute, and she is a Fellow of the Salzburg Global Seminar on Corporate Governance. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.
Corporate social responsibility manager
Flight Centre Travel Group
Bran is a Social Responsibility Manager first and foremost, well-established with a leadership background. His significant international experience, directorship roles, education and proven ability to foster relationships means effective business and the advancement of an invigorated corporate culture. Brian is adept at engineering and measuring cutting edge employee engagement and community support programs; be they local, coast-to-coast or cross-border. That experience includes governance over corporate environmental sustainability measures both internally and through external partnership support. Brian has a robust background in managing successful volunteerism and fundraising strategies for causes that align with company culture and citizenship measures. Identifying and implementing an ongoing Community Investment Strategy (CIS) is not only a passion but a strength
Director of corporate outreach
Neil Stewart joined SASB in 2020 as its New York-based Director of Corporate Outreach, bringing more than 25 years of experience in and around investor relations and corporate governance. Previously he was at Citigroup as VP IR Advisory on the ADR team and was formerly Editorial & Research Director of IR Magazine and Corporate Secretary magazine. He is currently president of NIRI NY
Broadridge, a global fintech leader with $4 billion in revenue, provides communications, technology, data and analytics. We help drive business transformation with solutions for enriching client engagement, navigating risk, optimizing efficiency and generating revenue growth. We power the entire investment lifecycle, from trading, portfolio management and financial advisory to omni-channel communications. Part of the Canadian financial services community for three decades, our footprint spans the big five banks, one-third of North American wealth management firms and 75 percent of the mailboxes in North America. We are uniquely positioned to help clients get ahead of today’s challenges and capitalize on what’s next.
Broadridge also delivers a single-source solution to help corporations simplify securityholder management, efficiently navigate regulatory and compliance communication requirements and gain insights to effectively serve and engage securityholders. Our smart, simple and strategic solutions for public companies and alternative investments, such as REITs help you build your brand and engage your securityholders. Our communication tools help gain efficiencies, cultivate goodwill toward your brand, educate and influence securityholders and increase participation. We simplify the annual meeting process by streamlining proxy communications that improve your annual meetings with solutions to efficiently, and effectively reach all of your securityholders and support your goals and priorities. We help you drive a successful proxy outcome with data-driven, predictive insights based on securityholder voting patterns. Our data and insights help you gain a greater understanding of securityholder behaviours and trends so you can make smart decisions that support good governance practices.
For more information please visit: www.broadridge.com
Diligent is the leading provider of secure corporate governance and collaboration solutions for boards and senior executives. Over 19,000 organizations and nearly 700,000 leaders in more than 90 countries and on all seven continents rely on Diligent to provide secure, intuitive access to their most time-sensitive and confidential information, ultimately helping them make better decisions. The Diligent Boards solution speeds and simplifies how board materials are produced, delivered and collaborated on via any device, removing the security concerns of doing this by courier, email and file sharing. Additional modular compliance solutions under Diligent’s Governance Cloud include Secure Messaging, Meeting Minutes, D&O Questionnaires, Board Evaluations and Entity Management. Visit www.diligent.com or follow us on Twitter @diligentHQ to learn more.
Our Services Include: Strategic & Defensive Advisory, Governance Advisory, Environmental and Social (E&S) Advisory, Compensation Advisory, Communications, Proxy Solicitation, Depositary Agent, Voting Analytics, Information Agent & Debt Services, Asset Reclamation, M&A and Creative Services.
For more information about Kingsdale Advisors click here.
Lumi is the leading digital platform facilitating in-room, hybrid and virtual AGMs for the world’s largest corporations, membership organisations, associations, legislative bodies, faith based organisations and partnerships.
It is the only platform that digitises the entire lifecycle of an AGM in a single solution that enables sophisticated meeting facilitation before, during and after the live meeting – including authenticated registration, live secure polling, Q&A management and relevant reporting.
Lumi is headquartered in Hampshire, UK where central functions including finance, product development and marketing are based, but has offices in 11 countries across EMEA, APAC and the Americas. Highly differentiated in the majority of markets where it is active, Lumi benefits from extremely strong, experienced and renowned MDs who head up each in-country team.
Its mobile solution enabled Lumi to facilitate the UK’s first electronic AGM held by a listed company, Jimmy Choo, in June 2016. The onset of the COVID-19 global pandemic rapidly accelerated the adoption of the Lumi virtual meeting platform, and Lumi has run over 2500 virtual and hybrid AGMs during 2020, in 35 different countries, including several hundred here in Canada.
For more information, visit www.lumiglobal.com
Governance Professionals of Canada (GPC) is an association focused on promoting good governance in Canada. As a principal advocate for the governance community, we offer a distinct, unified voice for governance professionals in Canada. Through timely and valuable information on recent changes and developments, GPC delivers unparalleled thought leadership through education and networking opportunities. We provide resources, best practices, tools and strategies to elevate the governance skillset, focused on an organization’s overall success, accountability and integrity. This professional association is for individuals across all industries and sectors, whose duties are principally tied to the corporate governance, ethics, risk, legal and compliance functions.
For more information, visit gpcanada.org