Corporate Secretary

Governance priorities in 2021
Managing renewed investor expectations

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Virtual event: Available on replay

About the event


The events of the past year have shaken up both the way companies look at themselves and how investors see them. Investors have evolving expectations of how companies – and their boards – are approaching issues ranging from social and racial equity to operational imperatives, human capital and the growing sense of urgency surrounding climate change.

Governance teams have key roles to play both in ensuring that boards are aware of these changing expectations and in helping address them through engagement, disclosures and internal processes. This special virtual event provided insight and practical guidance on fulfilling these roles and meeting the challenges they presented in 2021.


This forum is a best practice event enabling participants to network, discuss, debate and dissect topical issues and best practices in the corporate governance world.

Due to current restrictions, the event took place as a virtual experience using our bespoke, cutting-edge technology.

Our virtual event platform closely replicates attending in-person by facilitating interaction with speakers, one-to-one networking with fellow IR professionals, and group roundtable discussions. Going virtual helps you connect with a wider network from the comfort of your desk.



  Timely event: Covid-19 had further demonstrated the importance of identifying emerging risks and prioritizing investment in governance, risk and controls. This event was perfectly positioned to help you take stock of the year-to-date, refocus and plan for 2021-2022
  Benchmarking: it was 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 enabled attendees to participate in virtual roundtable discussions with fellow GRC professionals
  Discover something new: we learned about new technologies, innovations, and services that are available to help to transform your governance strategy and make better decisions
  Network with the community: attendees met with general counsels, corporate secretaries and experts in the governance, risk and compliance community


All times displayed are in Eastern Time (ET).

View the 2021 PDF agenda here

  • 10:45 AM
    Welcome to the forum: Virtual platform opens and networking begins

  • 10:55 AM
    Opening remarks: Keeping up with an evolving agenda

    Ben Maiden, editor-at-large, Corporate Secretary

  • 11:00 AM
    Executive compensation amid a pandemic and economic crisis

    This session will focus on how Covid-19 and the associated economic fallout have created great difficulties for boards in terms of setting and reporting on executive compensation. Our panel of experts will discuss investors’ expectations in terms of executive compensation this year, including linking rewards to ESG issues. They will also look at effective disclosure, how governance teams should approach the issue in engagement and how companies are approaching compliance with the CEO pay-ratio rule.

    Wendy Cassity, EVP and chief legal officer, Nuance Communications
    Todd Krauser, managing director, FW Cook
    Jonas Kron, chief advocacy officer, Trillium Asset Management
    Moderator: Ben Maiden, editor-at-large, Corporate Secretary

  • 11:45 AM
    Networking break

  • 12:00 PM
    Diversity on the board and beyond

    In this session, our panel will look at the growing pressure from investors to increase diversity on companies’ boards and address racial and ethnic inequities across their workforces. They will discuss issues such as how general counsel and corporate secretaries can help their boards recruit a wider variety of members and how they can approach reporting around workforce and board composition.

    Amy Augustine, director of ESG investing, Boston Trust Walden
    Lucy Fato, executive VP, GC and global head of communications and government affairs, AIG
    Kaley Karaffa, director of board engagement, Nasdaq
    Derek Windham, vice president and associate general counsel, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company
    Moderator: Ben Ashwell, editor, Corporate Secretary and IR Magazine

  • 12:45 PM
    What’s next for virtual shareholder meetings?

    Increased adoption of virtual shareholder meetings has highlighted the need to improve processes and policies surrounding the format. This session will discuss the practical and strategic issues around admitting beneficial shareholders and delivering an effective AGM. We will share lessons learned, challenges faced during previous virtual shareholder meetings and the practical steps you can take to provide access to beneficial owners.

    Douglas Chia, president, Soundboard Governance
    Sherry Murdock Moreland, president and chief operating officer, Mediant Communications
    Katie Sevcik, executive vice president and chief operating officer, EQ
    Moderator: Ben Maiden, editor-at-large, Corporate Secretary

  • 13:30 PM
    Networking break

  • 13:45 PM
    Lobbying and political spending in the spotlight

    Investors are increasingly looking for greater transparency into companies’ lobbying efforts, either directly or through industry groups, not least as they relate to ESG issues. The riot at the Capitol in Washington, DC on January 6 has also shone a spotlight on companies’ payments to political campaigns. Our panel of experts will look at the board’s role in assessing and directing these activities, best practices for disclosures and how to talk to investors about potentially sensitive topics.

    Bruce Freed, president, Center for Political Accountability
    Veena Ramani, senior program director, capital market systems, Ceres
    Moderator: Ben Ashwell, editor, Corporate Secretary and IR Magazine

  • 14:30 PM
    Summary and end of event

    Ben Maiden, editor-at-large, Corporate Secretary


To inquire about speaking at future forums, please contact [email protected] or call +44 20 8004 4818

What our virtual attendees say

"Panel format was well done. Behind the scenes organization was outstanding"

Frederic W. Cook & Co

"I really enjoyed the panel topics and length of the presentations"


"The interaction among the corporate governance professionals is always interesting and informative. "


"Incredible learning and networking opportunity with participation by everyone. Thanks. Job well done."


"Fantastic small group setting of engaged professional sharing best practices and solutions. Thanks for including me!"


Who attended

Our attendees are leading GRC practitioners with an established track record and strategic GRC role within their company. Below is a sample list of attendees that joined us at this year’s forum:

Job Title Attendee Company Job Title Attendee Company
Account director Nasdaq Law clerk Allstate Insurance Company of Canada
Associate director FINRA Manager, governance Viatris
Associate professor Temple University Fox School of Business Managing director & board secretary KPMG Canada
Board of directors – governance chair Microchip Technology Marketing manager DiliTrust Canada
Board trustee Alameda County Employees’ Retirement Association (ACERA) President & CEO TSSA
Chief legal counsel Banro Corporation Principal Hugessen Consulting
Chief legal officer Celestica Senior corporate governance counsel LTSE
Chief legal officer & corporate secretary Bladex SVP Organon
CLO & coporate secretary WSP Global SVP & head of shareholder services Citizens Financial
Company secretary Raven Russia Management Company (Cyprus) SVP, associate general counsel Kemper
Corporate counsel, corporate secretary Marine Atlantic SVP, chief corporate & securities counsel Synchrony
Corporate secretary Cordoba Minerals SVP, finance & investor relations Yelp
Deputy general counsel Rockland Trust Company VP & general counsel/corporate secretary Monolithic Power Systems
Director Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada VP, assistant secretary & associate GC Equitable
Director, ESG services NEI Investments VP, associate GC& corporate secretary Vontier Corporation
EVP, deputy general counsel Truist Bank VP, corporate legal Dolby Laboratories
EVP, external affairs & ESG Merck (Organon) VP, corporate secretary & associate GC The Clorox Company
General counsel Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority VP, corporate secretary & sustainability KBR
General counsel, North America Mastercard VP, corporate services RV Anderson Associates
General counsel/corporate secretary NAV Canada VP, general counsel and secretary Madison Gas and Electric Co
Group vice president corporate law Albertsons Companies VP, legal affairs & corporate secretary MGRC


Request full attendee list

Become a partner

Why partner with us?

The Corporate Secretary Forum brings together some of the most influential people in the GRC community.

The event offers an effective approach to targeting clients when they are exploring how they can improve their GRC practice. Through our unrivalled knowledge of the subject matters and commitment to in-depth agenda research, our events are guaranteed to attract a qualified audience.

The unique buzz we create at our virtual events – a far cry from a webinar – makes them multi-faceted and highly interactive with great engagement in particular from leading GRC practitioners. This allows our partners to have meaningful conversations with corporates who are deciding which parts of their GRC program to invest in, which service providers to engage and consultants to retain. By partnering with us on an event, you can generate leads, showcase your thought leadership and position yourselves as the partner of choice to the GRC community.

We’d love to have a chat with you about how you can get in front of a truly engaged and motivated audience at the Corporate Secretary Forum. Get in touch with Ian Richman or call on +1 212 430 6865.

In the last 12 months, Corporate Secretary’s virtual events have attracted the highest, most diverse and senior attendees and experts in governance


Sign up to access the replay

To access the replay, please fill in the form below and we’ll send through login instructions.

If you have any questions, please contact Chloë Rutter at [email protected] or +44 20 3002 0396.

Contact us

Privacy Policy

IR Media Group Ltd, the owner of IR Magazine, Corporate Secretary and IRspace, respect the privacy of every person who visits, registers with or subscribes to our websites and online publications, and is committed to ensuring a safe online experience. This privacy statement applies to all IR Media Group’s websites as listed under the heading ‘Sites’ and outlines the information IR Media Group may collect and how we may use that information. It also explains what we do with information about you when you register to attend one of our events.
To view our privacy policy in full, please click here.