Corporate Secretary

Corporate Secretary Forum ‒ Summer

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Clifford Chance offices, New York

About the forum

Learn from the 2023 Proxy Season

The SEC’s actions to date increase the focus on executive compensation, human capital, climate and cyber-security disclosures. Furthermore, a continued focus on empowering more shareholders to submit proposals will create additional challenges for companies this proxy season.

The Corporate Secretary Forum – Summer was positioned to help governance teams understand the latest proxy season trends, share best practices and prepare for new rules in 2023.

Attendees joined us to:

  • Gain insight into early shareholder proposal trends and voting outcomes
  • Understand which topics are a top priority for investors and which issues are most contentious
  • Learn how to adapt to SEC rule changes and prepare for an increased number of proposals
  • Hear examples of challenges and solutions from award-winning governance professionals

Agenda: 2023

Timings on the agenda are shown in Eastern Time (ET)

Click each individual title to read the full session description

Click here to see the full agenda as a pdf

  • 08:30 AM
    Registration and refreshments: Meet the attendees

  • 09:00 AM
    Opening remarks: Welcome to the forum

    Ben Maiden, editor-at-large, Corporate Secretary
    Benjamin Sibbett, partner, Clifford Chance

  • 09:15 AM
    Board briefing: How will companies address new issues in 2023

    Stay up-to-date with the evolving role of boards amid a backdrop of volatile markets and changing SEC regulations.

    This session explores the latest governance trends and how they impact boards of public companies. This session will better equip corporate secretaries to facilitate superior oversight and ensure their businesses are prepared to address any new issues that may arise in 2023, and beyond.

    • Hear about the evolving expectations for the board and corporate disclosures
    • Understand the governance trends created by the SEC’s regulatory agenda
    • Learn about the emerging challenges created by market volatility

    Moderator: Laurence Taylor, senior conference producer, IR Magazine and Corporate Secretary
    Melodie Craft, vice president legal affairs and risk management, corporate secretary, chief compliance officer, McGrath RentCorp
    Lisa Keith, executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary, Steve Madden

  • 10:00 AM
    Compensation: Adapting to pay vs. performance, clawbacks, and insider trading rules

    The SEC’s adoption of new rules on pay vs. performance, clawbacks and insider trading requires companies to disclose the relationship between company performance and executive compensation, allows companies to recover incentive-based compensation and prohibits insiders from profiting from non-public information.

    This session will explore how corporate secretaries can better equip their compensation committees, identify compliance risks and enhance oversight in-line with the latest remuneration rules.

    • Learn how best to manage new Item 402 disclosures and discuss the impact pay vs. performance will have on the relationship between boards and executives
    • Debate the potential changes that should be made to option grant policies and procedures in anticipation of new rules
    • Understand the impact of Rule 10D-1 on corporate clawbacks and understand changes that need to be made to recovery policies
    • Hear how companies are updating and disclosing their 10b5-1 plans to remain compliant with the new rules

    Moderator: Steven Wade, head of event content, IR Magazine & Corporate Secretary
    Heather Houston, senior vice president, chief counsel, corporate and secretary, Empire State Realty Trust
    Atul Porwal, senior associate general counsel and assistant secretary, Snap Inc
    Elizabeth K. Riotte, vice president, deputy general counsel and assistant corporate secretary, Avangrid

  • 10:45 AM
    Morning networking break

  • 11:15 AM
    Activism in 2023: Proposals, preparedness and the Universal Proxy

    The expanding universe of shareholder activists, changing activist strategies and the impact of new universal proxy rules could result in increased scrutiny for public companies.

    With activist investing back to pre-pandemic levels anticipating stakeholder activism, managing company reputations and preparing defense is critical for boards in 2023

    shareholders are more vocal and assertive in their demands for increased transparency and better disclosure

    • Discuss Universal Proxy’s impact on board elections and activism and how to adapt
    • Debate how pass-through voting and 14a-8 changes could change shareholder activism and if companies should prepare for changes to the volume and investor support of shareholder proposals
    • Learn how best to prepare for changing activist tactics, such as swarming
    • Hear how to prepare your defense by understanding what issues lead investors to push for change and how to communicate with both activists and other influential stakeholders during a contested campaign

    Moderator: Ben Maiden, editor-at-large, Corporate Secretary
    Chris Gaskill, executive vice president, chief legal officer and corporate secretary, Summit Materials
    Anshu Pasricha, general counsel, corporate secretary and chief compliance officer, Astec Industries

  • 12:00 PM
    ESG: Are you ready for increased climate disclosures?

    The SEC’s climate disclosure rule remains the commission’s top priority. Corporate Secretaries will play a vital role in helping boards prepare for and comply with increased expectations on company structures, policies, practices and reporting.

    This session will discuss how governance teams can help the board identify and manage climate-related risks, develop a comprehensive ESG strategy, and establish appropriate disclosure processes.

    We will also discuss the anti-ESG agenda and the emerging trend of ‘greenhushing’, a reluctance among boards to publicly disclose their ESG targets for fear of greenwashing accusations.

    • Hear how companies and management teams are addressing increased expectations related to climate reporting and oversight.
    • Discuss the impact of ESG-related activism amid a rising tide of anti-ESG sentiment
    • Learn how to address concerns around greenwashing, and greenhushing
    • Understand how companies are aligning compensation plans with ESG goals

    Moderator: Laurence Taylor, senior conference producer, IR Magazine and Corporate Secretary
    Mehgan Peetz, chief legal officer, corporate secretary, and head of ESG, Shoals Technologies Group
    Molly Treese, CLO and corporate secretary, Teradata

  • 12:45 PM

  • 13:30 PM
    Shareholder engagement amid increasing shareholder accountability

    A rise in retail investors, major investment firms making it easier for individual clients to vote and a general trend toward shareholders becoming more actively engaged with governance at companies require a re-think in shareholder engagement practices.

    As more power is handed to investors, through technological and regulatory changes, the importance of informing, educating and engaging a broader range of comes to the fore. This session will explore the different strategies, tools and practices governance teams are using to increase transparency and dialogue with their shareholders.

    • Discuss how shareholder engagement is changing and what the impacts are for governance teams
    • Learn how to better educate retail investors on both the short-and-long term direction of their company
    • Understand how to broaden your reach and increase transparency for you, and your board

    Moderator: Lauren McDonald, conference producer, IR Magazine and Corporate Secretary
    Scott Kindle, strategic partnership executive, Mediant
    Karen Leu, general counsel, Burlington Stores

  • 14:15 PM
    Defining materiality: Cyber-security disclosure and oversight in the age of mainstream AI

    The emergence of ChatGPT is being called AI’s ‘iPhone moment’ but as artificial intelligence becomes mainstream it causes increased risks in the area of cyber-security and data privacy. This is happening at a time when companies are required to improve cyber-security expertise on boards and disclose how they oversee cyber-security-related risks.

    In addition, the challenge of determining what constitutes a material breach and when to report on cyber-attacks continues to cause headaches for governance teams.

    This session examines the emerging risks in cyber-security and data privacy, discusses how companies can refresh expertise on their boards, and will share how best to determine materiality as it relates to privacy and security.

    • Understand how data protection and privacy risks are increasing in the era of mainstream artificial intelligence
    • Learn how to recruit the best candidates with cyber-security experience
    • Debate how to determine whether a cyber-incident is material, and therefore, must be reported
    • Get clarity on what data should be reported to the CEO and board as it relates to cyber-security and data privacy

    Moderator: Ben Maiden, editor-at-large, Corporate Secretary
    Francesca Don Angelo, deputy general counsel and corporate secretary, Galaxy Digital
    Dan Silver, partner, Clifford Chance

  • 15:00 PM
    Afternoon networking break

  • 15:30 PM
    Improving board composition and capabilities

    The importance of having a diverse, skilled, and effective board cannot be overstated. However, many organizations struggle with increasing the diversity of backgrounds, skills, and professional experience on their boards while continuing to elect new directors at the current rate.

    We will also discuss what impact new universal proxy rules will have in making it easier for shareholders to push for board refreshment, and how companies can better integrate new directors onto the board.

    • Hear about strategies and networks that will improve your ability to recruit experienced, qualified, and diverse directors
    • Understand how to integrate new directors onto the board effectively, with a focus on better onboarding
    • Debate the extent to which Universal Proxy will impact board refreshment

    Moderator: Steven Wade, Head of event content, IR Magazine & Corporate Secretary
    Daniel Kim, vice president, associate general counsel and corporate secretary, Fortive Corporation
    Sophia Lee, chief legal officer and chief sustainability officer, Altus Power

  • 16:15 PM
    Champagne Roundtables: Exchange ideas with peers in highly interactive roundtable discussions

    Enjoy some champagne while discussing any of the following topics and discuss them with your peers. When the bell rings, move on to your next table and repeat! At the end of the session, hear a roundup of lessons learned so you can apply these when you return to the office.

    • Getting started with climate reporting
    • The impact of universal proxy on board refreshment
    • The evolving role of directors in today’s environment
    • Human capital management: evolving challenges
    • Regulatory roundtable: how to navigate compliance today
    • The impact of volatility on corporate governance

    Ben Maiden, editor-at-large, Corporate Secretary
    Lauren McDonald, conference producer, IR Magazine and Corporate Secretary
    Laurence Taylor, senior conference producer, IR Magazine and Corporate Secretary
    Steven Wade, head of event content, IR Magazine & Corporate Secretary

  • 16:45 PM
    Summary and networking drinks

    Steven Wade, head of event content, IR Magazine & Corporate Secretary

Speakers: 2023

To inquire about speaking at a future forum, please contact [email protected]

What our attendees say

"Each panel was interesting and the sessions were not too long"


"The subject matter discussed seemed to be of immediate concern to the CS group and personally I learned a great deal from listening"


"Great range of relevant topics"

Columbus McKinnon Corp

"Really great event - covered a lot of topics."


"Relevant and emerging industry topics"

KEB Hana Bank Canada

"I liked hearing the different perspectives. From large to small companies. From companies just starting their ESG journey to others that have been doing it for years"

Clearwater Paper Corporation

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


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


Who attends our events

Our attendees are leading GRC practitioners with an established track record and strategic GRC role within their company.

Below is a sample of our past attendees:

Job title Company Job title Company
Associate Sullivan and Cromwell General counsel and CCO Astec
Associate general counsel Columbus McKinnon IR and treasury Cotiviti
CCO Edgewood Management Global corporate affairs Chubb
Chief corporate counsel Corebridge Financial Senior director TIAA
Chief governance counsel Viatris Senior executive compensation Atlas Air
CLO Heidrick and Struggles Senior MD, corporate secretary TIAA
CLO, secretary SLB SVP, counsel and corporate secretary AllianceBernstein
Corporate counsel, director, CSR Columbus McKinnon SVP, general counsel Columbus McKinnon
Corporate governance manager Sallie Mae Bank SVP, head of global corporate securities Ralph Lauren
Corporate VP, corporate secretary John Wiley and Sons VP, deputy CLO and assistant secretary HASI
Deputy general counsel Oscar Health VP, DGC and corporate secretary Robinhood Markets
EVP, chief legal officer Regenxbio VP, legal MGRC
EVP, chief legal officer Piedmont Lithium VP, legal Shake Shack

Request full attendee list

Become a partner

Why partner with us?

The Corporate Secretary Forum – Summer brings together some of the most influential people in thGRC community.  

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

The unique buzz we create at our in-person events – a far cry from a traditional conference – makes them multi-faceted and highly interactive with great engagement in particular from senior GRC professionals. 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 – Summer. Get in touch with Lucas Alexandre or call on +1 646 327 5725 .


Book your place: NOVEMBER

Our next Corporate Secretary Forum will take place on Wednesday, November 8 at the Clifford Chance offices in New York. Click on the button below to book your ticket.

The super early bird rate expires on August 11, 2023. After this date, the price will increase to the early bird rate of $195. The standard rate is $295.

If you have any questions, please contact Matthew Stevens at [email protected] or +44 208 004 6322.

Coalition for the homeless

Corporate Secretary are long-term supporters of the Coalition for the Homeless. The Coalition is doing all in its power to ensure that homeless New Yorkers get the help and protection they need.

Thank you to everyone who brought along donations on the day. If you would like to make a donation directly to the Coalition, view the donation list below to find out what they are most in need of.

For further information about their work, please visit




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