ESG Integration Forum

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Shearman & Sterling, 599 Lexington Avenue, New York

Develop an integrated approach when responding to investor ESG expectations

Develop an integrated approach when responding to investor ESG expectations

Corporate Secretary and IR Magazine are partnering to help companies respond to the growing demand for improved ESG practices and disclosures with an integrated approach to environmental, social and governance related risks.

The ESG integration forum brings investor relations, finance, sustainability, governance, risk and compliance experts together to explore the underlying factors that have driven the rise of ESG, learn about investor expectations on ESG, deepen shareholder engagement, help companies identify and act on material risks, and better manage shareholder proposals.

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2019 Agenda

Here was what was discussed during The ESG Integration Forum 2019 in New York. Click on each session for more information on the topic and speakers or download the pdf agenda

  • 08:15 AM
    Breakfast and registration

    An opportunity to meet peers while enjoying a hot coffee or tea and breakfast.

  • 08:50 AM
    Welcome to the ESG Integration Forum

    This session will cover the purpose of the conference and introduction to discussions taking place throughout the day.

    Ben Ashwell, editor, IR Magazine and Corporate Secretary Magazine
    Gillian Emmett Moldowan, Partner, Shearman & Sterling

  • 09:00 AM
    The big trends changing ESG: Navigating the ESG eco-system

    This session looks at the overarching themes and non-regulatory trends that are shaping investor expectations and actions and engagement around ESG factors with companies in their investment universe.

    We aim to look at how trends are likely to shape investor expectations of companies in the future.

    Moderator: Christina Wong, Director, SustainAbility an ERM Group company
    Shannon Basel, Senior manager of global sustainability and ESG, General Motors
    Ben Kruse, Director of global CSR reporting and insights, AT&T
    Michael Wherley, Director of investor relations, FMC

  • 09:30 AM
    The regulatory forces changing expectations on public companies

    Our panel of experts will discuss the likely impact of existing and pending rules and legislation on companies’ ESG practices. Specifically, we will look into:

    1. ESG disclosure simplification Act 2019
    2. Shareholder protection Act 2019
    3. Corporate human rights risk assessment, prevention and mitigation Act 2019
    4. Climate risk disclosure Act 2019

    The panel will also look at the SEC’s indication that it will be take a more hands-off approach to determining which proposals can and cannot be excluded.

    Moderator: Gillian Emmett Moldowan, Partner, Shearman & Sterling
    Deb Markowitz, Vice president of initiatives and campaigns, Ceres
    Tom Riesenberg, Director of legal policy and outreach, Sustainability Accounting Standards Board

  • 10:00 AM
    Refreshment break

    A chance to re-fuel and meet other attendees

  • 10:30 AM
    It starts with governance: A look ahead to the 2020 proxy season

    Governance issues have perhaps taken less of the spotlight in recent times with the E and S of ESG grabbing headlines. But governance issues and related shareholder proposals and engagement remain key for all governance teams and their boards. In this section, panelists will discuss the governance topics on investors’ minds going into 2020 and how companies can best respond.

    Moderator: Ben Maiden, editor-at-large, Corporate Secretary Magazine
    Helle Bank Jorgensen, CEO and founder, Competent boards
    Alex Higgins, Managing director, Okapi Partners
    Amy Augustine, Director of ESG investing, Boston Trust Walden

  • 10:50 AM
    Navigating social issues: human capital, diversity, 2020 elections and beyond

    Social issues continue to present an array of targets for investors and challenges for governance teams. Professionals expect to see human-capital management – given a boost by the SEC’s disclosure reform plans – and, ahead of the 2020 US elections, political spending/lobbying proposals to attract a lot of attention. Speakers will discuss the hot topics for the coming proxy season and how companies can engage with shareholders when facing a proposal.

    Moderator: Ben Maiden, editor-at-large, Corporate Secretary Magazine
    Ron Schneider, Director of corporate governance services, Donnelley Financial Solutions (DFIN)
    Hope Mehlman, Executive vice president and chief governance officer, Regions Financial Corporation

  • 11:10 AM
    Environment: How companies can respond to increased interest in Climate Change

    More funds flow into low-carbon indexes, TCFD-based reporting is to become mandatory for PRI signatories in 2020 and Climate Action100+ represents a sea change in how investors perceive climate risks.

    We examine how governance, IR and sustainability teams can work together to influence corporate strategy and board oversight on climate risk, and how best to communicate their actions with shareholders.

    Moderator: Ben Ashwell, editor, IR Magazine and Corporate Secretary Magazine
    Henrik Jeppesen, Head of investor outreach, Carbon Tracker Initiative
    Charles Melko, Chief accounting officer and ESG lead, Hannon Armstrong
    Brian Werner, Account director for ESG, Trucost part of S&P Global

  • 11:30 AM
    The disclosure dilemma: What to report, to whom, in which format and how?

    • Learn about the disclosure requirements for investors and analysts and how companies are prioritizing what to report on.
    • How has M&A in the ratings agency ecosystem impacted the quality and sources of alternative data that investors use to inform their voting or investment decisions.
    • On the path to disclosure standardization: Should IR, Governance and Sustainability take a more active role in working groups and with framework providers to drive consistent data provision.

    Moderator: Ben Ashwell, editor, IR Magazine and Corporate Secretary Magazine
    Anton Gorodniuk, Financial analyst, Sustainability Accounting Standards Board
    Bruno Sarda, President of North America, CDP
    Ian Roe, Director of sustainability, MerchantCantos

  • 12:30 PM

    Sit down for lunch and a chat with fellow conference attendees

  • 13:30 PM
    How to make your ESG reporting stand-out from the crowd

    The Sustainability Reporting Trends and Best Practices research highlights best in class reporting and identifies significant shifts in sustainability communications. Get ready for 2020 with a summary of the latest best practices, statistics and case studies about ESG reporting.

    Wes Gee, Director of sustainability, The Works Design Communications

  • 13:45 PM
    The Exchange: Roundtable discussion on how companies can change their ESG practices

    • Taking your 1st footsteps: How to begin a conversation around environmental, social and governance factors Ian Roe, Director of sustainability, Merchant Cantos
    • How investors and sustainability professionals view ESG ratings Mike Wallace, Partner, BrownFlynn an ERM company
    • How to integrate long term value and ESG into your equity story and shareholder communications Brian Tomlinson, Research director for the strategic investor initiative, Chief executives for corporate purpose
    • Getting the board on-board with ESG Helle Bank Jorgensen, CEO and founder, Competent Boards
    • Getting the right information read by the right people with reporting practices Wes Gee, Director of sustainability & Lorie Brière, Principal, The Works Design Communications
    • Putting climate risk disclosure into action: acting on the TCFD recommendations John Truzzolino, Director of business solutions, Donnelley Financial Solutions (DFIN)
    • Assessing physical carbon risk Brian Werner, Head of business development NFC for the Americas, Trucost part of S&P Global
    • Develop your approach and framework to the ESG issues that are relevant to your company Arielle Katzman, Associate, Shearman and Sterling
    • How to respond to an ESG related crisis IR Magazine
  • 14:30 PM
    From stakeholder engagement to shareholder value

    The purpose of this session is to focus on how companies can add-value to portfolio managers, stewardship teams and analysts by engaging on the most material ESG issues. We look at how to optimize your time and create value for companies and shareholders alike.

    Moderator: Ben Ashwell, editor, IR Magazine and Corporate Secretary Magazine
    Erika Karp, Founder and CEO, Cornerstone Capital
    Kellie Huennekens, Head of Americas, Nasdaq Centre for Corporate Governance
    Elizabeth Saunders, Partner, Clermont Partners

  • 15:15 PM
    Investor ESG expectations: An open Q&A with the investment community

    Your opportunity to connect with investors and hear directly about their expectations on Environmental, Social and Governance factors, and to have your biggest questions answered.

    Moderator: Ben Ashwell, editor, IR Magazine and Corporate Secretary
    Ray Cameron, Managing director and head of investment stewardship for the Americas, BlackRock
    Samantha Hill, Senior principal, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
    Max Messervy, Senior associate and responsible investment consultant, Mercer

  • 16:00 PM
    Take action!

    In a break from the conventional conference summary the final session will consist of anonymous interactive voting. We take action points based on the day’s discussions and ask the audience to vote on which issues they will focus on when they get back into the office – prioritizing the actions that provide the biggest return on time and resources.

    This means that you’ll leave the conference with a to-do-list that you can put into action!

    Ben Ashwell, editor, IR Magazine and Corporate Secretary Magazine

2019 speakers

Last year we heard from these ESG experts

Who attends

Attendees at this event are leading Governance, IR and sustainability practitioners from across the globe. Some of those attending this year include:

Click here to request the full attendee list

Attendee Title Attendee Company Attendee Title Attendee Company
Associate Cooley LLP Manager, Corporate ESG program Schnitzer Steel Ind.
Associate KBRA Manager, ESG The Estee Lauder
Associate Partner AON Manager, Financial Reporting & Analytics Killam Apartment REIT
CFO Invitae Corporation Manager, Global Sustainability ManpowerGroup
Chairman & CEO G & A Institute Manager, Investor Relations ANSYS
Chief Counsel & Corporate Secretary Cantor Fitzgerald Manager, Investor Relations Esperion
Co-founder Rights CoLab Manager, Investor Relations Esperion
Corporate & Securities Counsel & ESG Lead Motorola Solutions Manager, Research & Analytics Corbin Advisors
Corporate Access Citadel Global Equities President SPC Advisors
Corporate Secretary MassMutual Principal Responsibility Matters
Director, Business Development Corbin Advisors Senior Communnication Strategist Bloomberg
Director, Enterprise Sustainability Program Medtronic PLC Senior VP, General Counsel & Secretary Valaris Plc
Director, Global CSR Reporting & Insights AT & T Sr Director, Corporate Responsibility Incyte Corporation
Director, Governance & Legal Services Murphy Oil Corp, Sr Director, IR & Performance Analytics Killam Apartment REIT
ESG Consultant RPS Vice President Assistant General Counsel US Bank
Executive Vice President G & A Institute Vice President  (VP) Zuylestein
Head, Business Development Bloomberg VP, Chief Sustainability Officer The Travelers Comp.
Head, Investor Relations TCF Financial VP, Deputy General Counsel Glatfelter
Issuer & Investor Relations Broadridge VP, Finance Stripes Group
Manager, Communications Extraction Oil & Gas VP, Investor Relations & Treasurer Glatfelter


Click here to request the full attendee list


Holders of the NIRI IRC® credential can earn up to 4 professional development units (PDUs) at this event. IRC-credentialed speakers may also earn PDUs.  Find out more information at

What past attendees say

"I enjoyed the variety of topics and exposure to many organizations "

Marilyn Sinclair, Cameco Corporation

"The choice of topics were excellent. The credibility of the Speakers and making the Forum interactive kept me engaged. The slide Q&A was a great idea.


Virginea Gibson, ANSYS

"Timely topics; opportunity to network; opportunity to deep dive with a small group on a current ESG topic"

Ginny Cassidy, Medtronic PLC

"Good speakers and breadth of experience - very topical"

Caroline Koster, Cantor Fitzgerald


The ESG Integration Forum took place at:

Shearman & Sterling
599 Lexington Avenue
New York
NY 10022



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