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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.
NIRI IRC® CREDENTIAL
Holders of the NIRI IRC® credential can earn up to 4 professional development units (PDUs) per day. IRC-credentialed speakers may also earn PDUs. More information is available at www.niri.org/certification.
To inquire about speaking at the 2020 forum, please contact [email protected] or call +44 20 3865 8103
Global director of investor initiatives
Emily Kreps leads CDP’s global investor initiatives program which works with over 525 of the world’s largest institutional investors to advocate for disclosure and transparency around environmental business practices. She is experienced in defining and leading sustainable and responsible businesses, including a period as head of corporate development for a renewable and alternative energy company, as well as various start-up CFO positions. In her previous career, Emily spent over a decade as an investment banker and an equity salesperson for Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse. She received her degree from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University
Director of investor relations
Michael Wherley has been at FMC Corporation for seven years, with the last four in investor relations. Prior to joining FMC, Michael was an equities analyst at Janney Montgomery Scott, covering industrials, electrical components and biotech stocks. Earlier in his career, Michael worked at Dow Jones as a programmer for its Factiva division.
Michael earned a Master’s in Financial Economics from University of Oxford in 2008 and has a BA in History and Journalism from the University of Minnesota. He is a 2-time Olympian and 3-time World Champion in the sport of rowing, and he is currently President at Penn AC Rowing Association on Philadelphia’s historic Boathouse Row.
Senior manager of global sustainability and ESG
Sharon Basel is the senior manager of global sustainability and ESG at General Motors. She is responsible for developing the company’s sustainability strategy, ensuring alignment with its business model and identifying key performance indicators and goals for business planning. Sharon leads the global reporting and non-financial disclosure strategy for the company’s sustainability and ESG initiatives worldwide, including development of the company’s annual sustainability report and its investor rating, ranking and assessment responses. In addition, she is responsible for cultivating the company’s internal and external community around sustainability to embed and integrate sustainability into business processes in all the various internal functions and leading General Motors’ stakeholder engagement process through its partnership with Ceres and managing other stakeholder relationships globally.
Sharon has built her expertise by working in a variety of functions at GM in her 38 years with the company including manufacturing, product development, vehicle safety, and product and sustainability communications. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Management and Engineering from Purdue University in 1981.
Executive vice president and chief governance officer
Regions Financial Corporation
Hope Mehlman joined Regions in 2006 and serves as the Chief Governance Officer and Assistant Corporate Secretary. In her position as Chief Governance Officer, Mehlman advises the Board of Directors and executive management on emerging and leading governance practices, as well as matters related to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG). She manages the company’s corporate governance framework and is responsible for engaging with institutional investors and proxy advisory firms on corporate governance policies and practices, including ESG. Mehlman is also responsible for preparing the proxy statement and other accompanying materials for the Annual Meeting, the ESG Report, and other regulatory and voluntary disclosures and advising on and preparing filings for the company’s reporting obligations under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the New York Stock Exchange, and the Federal Reserve.
Mehlman previously served as Regions’ senior compliance manager responsible for consumer compliance, BSA/AML, wealth management compliance, and enterprise monitoring and testing. From 2006 to 2010, she served as Assistant General Counsel responsible for advising lines of business on a full range of legal, regulatory, and compliance matters necessary to operate in a highly regulated industry. Prior to joining Regions, Mehlman was a partner in the Corporate/Securities and Banking/Financial Services practices at the law firm of Adams and Reese, LLP.
Mehlman received her bachelor’s degree from Cornell University. She earned her Juris Doctorate from Seton Hall University School of Law and her Master of Laws in Taxation from New York University School of Law. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Council of Institutional Investors (CII) and serves on its Policies Committee. CII is a nonprofit, nonpartisan association of pension and other employee benefit funds, endowments, and foundations (combined assets of $4 trillion) and asset management firms ($35 trillion under management) and is a leading voice for effective corporate governance. Additionally, she is a member of Broadridge Financial Solutions’ Independent Steering Committee and a member of the Board of Directors of Regions Foundation ($100 MM) and sits on its Audit and Finance Committee. Furthermore, Mehlman serves as Vice President and Program Chair for the Southeastern Chapter of the Society for Corporate Governance. She is a graduate of the Momentum Women’s Leadership Program and a member of the Alabama, District of Columbia, New Jersey, and New York state bars, as well as various civic, charitable, and professional organizations and councils.
Responsible investment consultant
Max Messervy joined Mercer in February 2018 and is a Responsible Investment Consultant in the North American Responsible Investment team. Max provides advice on sustainable investment strategies, integration of ESG factors, and sustainability trends throughout investment processes. Max is responsible for advising institutional investors and provides advice to a broad range of clients, including pension funds, endowments, insurers and other stakeholders in the investment value chain. Max was a lead co-author of recent papers on increasing institutional investors’ allocations to African infrastructure, as well as a guide for integrating responsible investment approaches into corporate retirement plans in a project with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).
Prior to joining Mercer, Max spent nearly four years working in the Insurance practice at Ceres in Boston, a leading non-profit sustainability advocacy organization. In that role, he worked with a range of stakeholders across the industry in making the business case for the sector to address climate and ESG risks and opportunities both as underwriters of weather risk and investors in physical infrastructure. This involved engagement with re/insurers, regulators, non-re/insurer investors and NGOs. Previously, Max worked in various capacities with Canadian federal and provincial governments, and with other environmental and sustainability entities as an independent consultant.
Max holds a Master of Public Policy from the Luskin School of Public Affairs at UCLA, and an Honors Religious Studies degree from McGill University.
Research director of the strategic investor initiative
Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose
As Research Director of the Strategic Investor Initiative at Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose (CECP), Brian develops leading research to help reorient our capital markets toward the long-term. Through research and collaboration, with organizations such as FCLTGlobal and KKS Advisors, he helps develop decision-relevant, practical tools for both investors and corporations (across both Investor Relations and Corporate Sustainability). Brian’s work on sustainable business and investment has been published by Harvard Business Review, MIT Sloan Management Review, the Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, the World Economic Forum, Top 1000 Funds, and the Huffington Post among others. Brian is an expert on investor Fiduciary Duty having published reports on capital markets in the US, UK, Canada and Japan. Brian has a decade of experience as a corporate finance attorney and worked in the business turnaround group of an investment bank. Brian also served as the Managing Director of the Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism. Brian has an MPA from Harvard Kennedy School and a degree in politics, philosophy and economics from the University of Oxford.
Director of social impact and sustainability
Philip Morris International
Jennifer Motles, Director Social Impact & Sustainability
Jennifer is an International and Human Rights lawyer. She is helping to advance PMI’s transformation goal of becoming a smoke-free company, with an emphasis on stakeholder engagement and social impact.
Previously, Jennifer worked for international organizations including UNCITRAL, UNODC, UNCTAD/ITC, and as Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs Officer at the United Nations and other international organizations. Jennifer holds a JD degree from Universidad de Chile; an LLM from University of California, Berkeley; as well as specialized diplomas in women’s rights, sustainable finance, corporate social responsibility, risk communications, and political affairs from IHEID, Harvard Business School, the Harvard School of Public Health, and Stanford University.
PMI is leading a transformation in the tobacco industry to create a smoke-free future and ultimately replace cigarettes. We are focused on creating long-term value while minimizing the negative externalities associated with our products, operations and value chain. As PMI transforms its business, it knows that one of its key challenges is, and will continue to be, earning the trust of its stakeholders and society as a whole. PMI believes that to have any credibility or legitimacy, its purpose must be none other than to use its resources and creativity to develop and commercialize better alternatives for society and the environment, and ultimately to stop making and selling cigarettes as soon as possible. This is what PMI is doing: because it can, because it should, and because it is the right thing to do.
Director of ESG investing
Boston Trust Walden
Amy oversees the firm’s ESG integration and active ownership strategies. She manages the team responsible for evaluating current and potential portfolio investments relative to ESG factors and guides Boston Trust Walden’s shareholder engagement initiatives to promote greater corporate accountability, including company dialogues, shareholder proposals, and proxy voting. Amy contributes to the firm’s client communications efforts and is a member of the ESG Research & Engagement Committee.
Amy began her career in 1997 and joined the firm in 2019. Previously, Amy was Senior Director for the Company Network at Ceres. At Ceres, she regularly advised high-level executives at corporations on integrating sustainability into business strategies and decision-making and led a team bringing together companies, investors, and civil society experts in face-to-face dialogues to find smart business solutions to sustainability challenges. Amy also co-authored several reports and sustainability frameworks, including Turning Point: Corporate Progress on the Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability; Hidden in Plain Sight: Forced Labor in Supply Chains; and the Supplier Self-Assessment Questionnaire. Prior to Ceres, Amy worked at Calvert Investments for more than a decade leading and managing diversity and international labor relations research, advocacy, and policy initiatives. She helped develop the Calvert Women’s Principles, the first global code of conduct focused on empowering, advancing, and investing in women worldwide, and its companion Gender Equality Principles’ Initiative.
Amy recently served on the board of the Global Compact Network USA where she chaired the Nominating and Governance Committee and previously chaired the steering committee of the Sustainable Investment Research Analyst Network (SIRAN). She earned a BA from the University of Kansas. Amy is also a member of the Finance Committee of Old South Church in Boston.
Chief accounting officer and ESG lead
Chuck Melko is the chief accounting officer and head of ESG for Hannon Armstrong (NYSE:HASI), a leading investor in climate change solutions. Mr. Melko leads the accounting function and is responsible for driving ESG strategy and stewardship for the company – including oversight of reporting, policies, stakeholder engagement, and communications activities that support Hannon Armstrong’s commitment to enabling the transition to a more sustainable and resilient future.
Prior to joining Hannon Armstrong in 2016, he served in a number of roles at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP since 2005, including as a senior manager in the National Professional Services Group where he focused on complex financial instruments accounting issues for energy clients. Mr. Melko received a Bachelor of Science degree in accountancy in 2002, a Master of Business Administration degree in 2005 and a Master of Science degree in accountancy from Wheeling Jesuit University in 2005. He holds a CPA license in West Virginia and Maryland.
Director of legal policy and outreach
Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB)
Mr. Riesenberg is the Director of Legal Policy at SASB. He is the former Deputy General Counsel of Ernst & Young LLP responsible for regulatory matters, primarily involving the SEC and the PCAOB. Mr. Riesenberg worked at EY for more than 20 years. Previously he served for seven years as an Assistant General Counsel at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, where he handled court of appeals and Supreme Court cases involving issues such as insider trading, broker-dealer regulation, and investor fraud. While at the SEC he received the Manuel Cohen Outstanding Younger Lawyer Award. He also worked as a law clerk for a federal district court judge in Washington, D.C., as a litigator on environmental matters at the U.S. Department of Justice, and as an associate at a major Washington, D.C. law firm.
Mr. Riesenberg graduated from the New York University School of Law, where he was a member of the Law Review and a Root-Tilden Scholar, and received a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College, where he graduated with honors and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He is a former chair of the Law and Accounting Committee of the American Bar Association, former president of the Association of SEC Alumni, former treasurer of the SEC Historical Society, and a current member of the Advisory Board of the BNA Securities Regulation and Law Report. For seven years he was an adjunct professor of securities law at the Georgetown University Law Center. He serves on the boards of several nonprofit organizations, including the D.C. Jewish Community Relations Council, the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area, and the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation.
Mr. Riesenberg’s position with SASB is funded through an arrangement with Ernst & Young.
Helle Bank Jorgensen
Chief executive officer and founder
Helle Bank Jorgensen is a renowned sustainability, climate change, and ESG advisor. She has close to 30 years of experience helping global companies and investors turn sustainability into strong financial results. Helle has worked with hundreds of world-leading companies.
She developed the Competent Boards Certificate Program. The program helps board members, executives and those who advise them to confidently act upon the most material environmental, social and governance aspects of their business. The program has engaged several world-class business leaders like Paul Polman, former Unilever CEO, who calls it an “Incredible initiative.”
Helle serves on His Royal Highness Prince of Wales A4S Global Expert Panel, the Cornerstone Capital Global Advisory Council, the WBCSD Governance & Internal Oversight High-Level Advisory Group and is a judge for Ethical Corporation awards. Helle is a Board Facilitator for the UN Global Compact Board Program and a regular keynote speaker and author of many thought-leading articles and books.
Helle was the creator of the world’s first Green Account based on life-cycle assessment, as well as the world’s first Integrated Report, the first holistic supply chain program, and was the principal organizer for the CEO/Investor-network for Business Ethics and Non-Financial Reporting. She led the Improvement of DJSI and CDP ranking and investor communication for global companies and has worked on Natural Capital Accounting for IFC/World Bank. She has built the Canadian chapter of the UN Global Compact and received the 2019 Clean50 award.
Helle was a Partner with PwC for 11 years, building and leading sustainability and climate change practices in Europe and the US. She has extensive experience providing strategic and operational guidance to all functions within an organization, including advising at the C-suite and board level.
Helle is a State Authorized Public Accountant and Business Lawyer by training.
Director of global CSR reporting and insights
Head of Americas
Nasdaq Centre for Corporate Governance
Kellie Huennekens leads the Nasdaq Center for Corporate Governance for the Americas region, which aims to advance the understanding and evolution of corporate governance in the public and private markets through research, thought leadership and stakeholder engagement. Huennekens advises boards and management teams on corporate governance and environmental and social matters, with a focus on corporate practices by leading edge organizations and emerging best practices. Huennekens joined Nasdaq from the EY Center for Board Matters and serves on the Advisory Board of the Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance and is an officer of the Middle Atlantic chapter of the Society for Corporate Governance.
Managing director and head investment stewardship for the Americas
Ray A. Cameron, Managing Director, is the Head of BlackRock’s Investment Stewardship team for the Americas region based in New York. In this role, Ray leads a team of specialists responsible for engagement and proxy voting activities in relation to the companies in which BlackRock invests on behalf of clients. Through direct engagement with companies, the team encourages corporate governance practices that support sustainable financial performance over the long-term.
Prior to joining BlackRock, Ray most recently managed the corporate access engagement practice at several investment banking firms, including Stifel and Cowen. In these capacities, he oversaw teams that established and enhanced constructive dialogue with hundreds of portfolio companies’ boards and management teams.
Ray started his Wall Street career at Morgan Stanley on the institutional equity sales desk. After spending several years as a generalist, he became a technology specialist. It was in that capacity, he recognized the potential of corporate access as a stand-alone business opportunity. Ray is credited for creating and managing the first fully integrated corporate access team on Wall Street. His team included a diverse group of sector specialists who were responsible for driving engagements in their respective industries and enhancing relationships with corporate boards and management and with internal investment professionals within the firm.
He was subsequently recruited to re-engineer the corporate access engagement practice at Lehman Brothers. There he successfully maintained the entire team through the Lehman bankruptcy filing and the eventual acquisition of equity assets by Barclays.
Ray earned his Masters of Business Administration degree from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas and his Bachelors of Business Administration degree from The University of Texas at Austin.
Elizabeth Saunders is a Partner of Clermont, based in Chicago and New York. Elizabeth specializes in building best practices strategic communications programs across a wide spectrum of clients. She has served as senior counsel for business transformation assignments and has actively worked on initial public offerings, pre- and post-merger communications, CEO transitions, and restructurings for Fortune 500 Companies including the Coca-Cola, The Dow Chemical Company and Transocean.
Prior to Clermont, Elizabeth was the Americas Chairman of the Strategic Communications segment at FTI Consulting. The Strategic Communications segment she chaired was a global, financial and corporate communications firm. It is consistently ranked by Merger Market as one of the top M&A firms globally and was named the 2012 “Corporate Agency of the Year” by The Holmes Report.
Renowned for her expertise in the area of corporate governance, Elizabeth has published numerous articles; lectured throughout the U.S. on shareholder activism strategies; and been quoted in Board & Directors Magazine, The New York Times and Wall Street Journal. She was also named to the prestigious National Association of Corporate Director (NACD) “Directorship 100” and Crain’s Chicago Business “40 Under 40”; and has spoken to the NACD and Women Corporate Directors (WCD).
In 2015, Elizabeth also founded Commodore Intelligence, a platform for market intelligence investor profiles and insights into corporate access strategies on US investment in European equities. This platform is used by European companies and their counselors to better target US institutional investors with the strongest probability of investing in their public equities.
Earlier in her career, Elizabeth was a co-founder of Ashton Partners, one of the top-15 independent IR firms in the U.S. FTI Consulting acquired Ashton Partners in 2008.
Elizabeth holds a law degree from DePaul University, with a concentration in Securities Law, and a BBA in Finance from the University of Notre Dame. She is on the Executive Board of Big Shoulders and a former member of the Board of Directors of the National Investor Relations Institute, and head of its Emerging Issues Committee.
The Works Design Communications
A founding partner, Lorie is responsible for business development at The Works, and she plays a lead role in our investor relations and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices. Her interest in sustainability issues helped make The Works an early mover on CSR communications. Lorie also continues to direct a wide range of client projects. The insights gained from ongoing project supervision are supplemented by the “Trends in…” research that Lorie oversees each year, and have helped make her a recognized authority on best practices in financial and CSR reporting. Since 2004, Lorie has been a judge for the CPA Corporate Reporting Awards. She is also a guest lecturer on investor relations at Seneca College and sits on the academic advisory board for Seneca’s corporate communications program.
Head of investor outreach
Henrik joined Carbon Tracker in June of 2017 as Head of Investor Outreach for North America. His mandate is to develop the organization’s capabilities in North America, building awareness and understanding of carbon and stranded asset risk among institutional investors and broadening the distribution and usage of Carbon Tracker’s proprietary research.
Henrik brings more than 20 years of experience in the energy and financial services sectors most recently as the founder of VikingInsight, an independent consultancy providing thematic fundamental research and corporate access services to US institutional investors. Henrik was previously a European equity research sales person and a sell-side equity research analyst covering the traditional and renewable energy, consumer goods, transportation and materials and healthcare sectors for SEB Enskilda in their New York, Copenhagen and London offices. Henrik began his career as a buy-side equity portfolio manager for Nykredit Asset Management in Copenhagen.
Henrik holds a M.Sc. in Finance and Accounting and a B.Sc. in Economics and Business Administration from Copenhagen Business School, where he also served as an external lecturer on capital markets and the IPO process. Henrik holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Certificate of Investment Performance Measurement (CIPM) and Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) designations as well as SASB’s Fundamentals of Sustainability Accounting (FSA) Credential. He is a member of the CFA Society of New York.
Gillian Emmett Moldowan
Shearman & Sterling
Gillian Emmett Moldowan is a partner in the Compensation, Governance & ERISA practice.
She advises companies, boards of directors, executives and investors on compensation and benefit matters, including equity-based incentives, deferred compensation programs and employment, retention and severance arrangements. Her practice focuses in particular on issues that arise at the intersection of human capital management and corporate governance and in securities offerings and mergers and acquisitions transactions. She regularly counsels clients on disclosure, trading rules (including Section 16) and the negotiation of executive employment arrangements. Gillian also advises on the applicability of federal securities law, tax law and general employment-related legal issues.
Director of business solutions
Donnelley Financial Solutions (DFIN)
John has more than two decades of experience following global governance changes largely in support of creating efficiency and greater transparency, while improving the quality of disclosure, embracing the evolution of global reporting in standardized, machine-readable data formats. Driving innovation at DFIN, John researches the impact of the evolving global reporting frame works on compliance and investor communications, as well as working to develop solutions to meet changing regulatory environment.
As Director of Corporate Governance Services, John is responsible for coordinating research, development and publications around evolving global compliance with a focus on the evolving Environmental, Social and Governance issues. John reports these findings to DFIN’s senior team for development into its production platform and provides client guidance through on-site and web-based events, and research papers targeting legal, finance, sustainability, human resources, investor relations and corporate professionals.
John’s experience in sales, marketing, business development, operations and research, following the global reporting evolution, provides a platform to consult with businesses on the best solutions to bridge technology and regulatory requirements, streamlining reporting while elevating the quality of the data. John combines domain to publish research articles and speak at leading governance organizations events including; Financial Executives Institute; (FEI); Society of Corporate Governance Professionals; Governance Professionals of Canada; Canadian Investor Relations Institute; XBRL-US; US Data Coalition and Data Foundations.
Senior principal of sustainable investing for active equities
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
Samantha Hill is a senior member of CPPIB’s Sustainable Investing team, where she leads activities to consider material environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters in engagements with public companies, primarily on climate change, water and human rights, and works alongside investment colleagues to integrate ESG matters into investment activities. This includes leading ESG diligence efforts globally for direct equity investments across asset classes. Samantha is also one of several individuals contributing to enhancing CPPIB’s efforts to embed climate change-related considerations in investment and asset management activities and better understand the potential impacts across the Fund.
Prior to joining CPPIB in 2007, Samantha worked in multiple roles within CIBC’s Commercial Banking division related to senior debt financing for national accounts and real estate.
Samantha holds an MBA from Dalhousie University in Halifax, where she completed a double major in Finance and Environmental Management.
Director of corporate governance services
Donnelley Financial Solutions (DFIN)
Ron joined the DFIN Global Capital Markets group as Director of Corporate Governance Services in April, 2013. He is responsible for providing thought leadership on emerging corporate governance, proxy and disclosure issues.
Over the past four decades, Ron has advised senior management, the C-suite and boards of public companies of all sizes, industries and stages of growth facing investor activism, as well as challenging and sensitive proxy solicitations involving corporate governance, compensation and control issues.
His primary recent focus has been helping companies conduct engagement programs with their top institutional investors with the objective of identifying and addressing investor concerns through best practices in proxy disclosure.
At DFIN, Ron works closely with clients and our firm’s sales and service teams to identify and implement appropriate changes to proxy statement design, content and navigation that fit each client’s unique corporate culture and proxy-related objectives.
During his career he has managed more than 1,600 proxy solicitations, 200 tender or exchange offers and 30 proxy contests, with his proxy fight clients succeeding in over 70% of such situations.
Ron’s prior experience includes three years at AST Phoenix Advisors and nine years at BNY Mellon, providing thought leadership on regulatory changes and emerging best practices, and advising clients on proxy, governance and activism issues. Prior to that, Ron spent four years at The Financial Relations Board (FRB), a leading investor relations agency, where he managed its proxy solicitation, corporate governance and stock surveillance practice. Before that, he was a consultant to major proxy intermediary ADP Investor Communication Services (now known as Broadridge), where he served as its first “Issuer Liaison” with responsibility for its relationships with issuer companies. Earlier in his career, Ron held increasingly senior positions at major proxy solicitation firms Morrow & Company, D.F. King and Georgeson & Company, where he served on its first Board of Directors.
Ron earned a B.A. in Economics from Princeton University.
President of North America
Bruno Sarda is the President of CDP North America. He works to grow the organization and increase environmental disclosure and action among companies and local governments, as well as manages the North American team and operations. Previously he served as Chief Sustainability Officer for NRG, a leading integrated power company, and has also worked at Dell and Charles Schwab. Bruno is a faculty member and Senior Sustainability Scholar at Arizona State University.
Head of business development NFC for the Americas
Trucost, part of S&P Global
Brian is Head of Business Development NFC, Americas, at Trucost, part of S&P Global.
Brian is responsible for helping corporations quantify and value environmental performance of their operations and supply chains to meet investor expectations and procurement needs. He speaks frequently at industry events on sustainability reporting, supply chains, carbon pricing, UN Sustainable Development Goals, TCFD, integrated value assessments, and natural capital.
Prior to joining Trucost, Brian spent over 15 years in the advertising industry, specializing in healthcare, retail, and consumer packaged goods as a Media Director at Razorfish and CMI and as a Senior Account Executive at AOL. Brian holds a BS from the University of Delaware in Business Administration (Marketing) and a Master of Environmental Studies (Sustainability) from the University of Pennsylvania.
Vice president of initiatives and campaigns
As the Vice President of Initiatives and Campaigns, Deb Markowitz oversees Ceres’ Climate and Energy, Water, Food and Forests and Capital Market System programs. These programs engage investors and companies to tackle the world’s most serious sustainability challenges, and work to accelerate the transition to a sustainable economy.
Prior to joining Ceres, Deb served as the director of policy outreach at the University of Vermont, Gund Institute of Environment, and as a visiting professor of environmental policy and leadership where she was well known as a thought leader and expert in the intersection between natural resource and financial risks.
Deb spent most of her career in public service. She was elected Vermont’s Secretary of State six times, serving from 1999-2011. In 2010, Deb helped Vermont pass a Benefit Corporation law, making it the second state in the nation to recognize a new class of corporations dedicated to creating public benefits as well as shareholder value.
Deb ran for Governor of Vermont in 2010. After narrowly losing the primary election, in 2011, she was appointed Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR), where she served until 2017. At ANR, Deb shaped the state’s environmental agenda, focusing on climate change, forest health, and integrity, and water quality. She is a sought-after speaker both nationally and internationally, and served on the boards of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the Transportation Climate Initiative, and she represented Vermont on the White House Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, and at the United Nations’ Conference of the Parties on Climate Change in Paris and Marrakech.
Deb currently serves as a commentator on Vermont Public Radio. She is a Vermont Trustee of the Nature Conservancy, and on the Boards of Advisors for the Georgetown Climate Center and Antioch’s Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience. She founded Vermont Parks Forever, the foundation for the state’s parks and the Women’s Leadership Initiative, an organization dedicated to getting more women into public office. Deb has been recognized nationally by being awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Environmental Protection Agency, Region 1, as well as an Aspen Institute Rodel Fellowship and the Kennedy School of Governments’ Cahn Fellowship in Public Leadership.
Deb graduated from the University of Vermont and Georgetown University Law Center, magna cum laude, and she received a Certificate in Public Leadership from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
Director of sustainability
The Works Design Communications
Combining academic expertise with extensive professional experience, Wesley leads The Works’sustainability practice. He provides guidance in stakeholder engagement, materiality and performance measurement, as well as CSR/sustainability communications and reporting. Wesley contributed to the development of the GRI G4 guidelines and serves on sector working groups with the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board. He is a judge for CPA Canada’s Corporate Reporting Awards and is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and events. He also lectures for the CSR certificate program at the University of Toronto and for the sustainability certificate program at Ryerson University. Before joining The Works, Wesley was senior sustainability consultant at Stantec and senior CSR advisor at the Canadian Business for Social Responsibility. He holds a Master’s in Sustainable Business from the University of Leeds.
Shearman & Sterling
Stephen Giove is a partner in the Capital Markets Group and a current member and co-founder of the firm’s Corporate Governance Advisory Group. He is an extremely experienced securities and corporate lawyer with considerable knowledge of finance, accounting, internal controls and investor and public relations matters. His practice is principally focused on counseling corporate clients with respect to strategic, governance, financing and public company matters.
His strategic transactional experience includes representing clients in connection with spin-offs, split-offs, going private transactions, tender and exchange offers, consent solicitations, internal corporate reorganizations, joint ventures, pre-packaged bankruptcies and out-of-court restructurings.
His governance experience includes advising boards, their committees and senior management with respect to the full range of corporate governance matters, such as board practices and structures, fiduciary duties, proxy access, anti-takeover defenses, shareholder proposals, dealing with activists, crisis management, annual board self-evaluations and dealing with external constituencies, including shareholders, proxy advisory firms and regulators.
His financing experience includes representing issuers and underwriters in initial public offerings and offerings of common and preferred stock, convertible securities, high yield bonds, investment grade debt and commercial paper as well as a full range of liability management transactions.
His public company practice includes advising public (and pre-IPO) companies with respect to all aspects of their public disclosures, SEC, NYSE and NASDAQ compliance matters as well as the securities law aspects of various transactions, including mergers, acquisitions and dispositions, share and debt repurchase programs, issuer self-tender offers and Rule 10b5-1 plans.
He joined the firm in 1987, became a partner in 1993, was the firm’s hiring partner from 1997–1999, was the co-head of its US Capital Markets Group from 2003-2007, was a member of the firm’s Global Business Development Committee from 2008-2010 and was co-chair of the firm’s Corporate Governance Advisory Group from 2007-2013.
Sector analyst for financials
Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB)
Anton leads research and standards development for the Financials sector at SASB. This involves keeping abreast of regulatory developments and emerging trends in the sector, as well as maintaining strong relationships with corporate issuers, investors, and other stakeholders that inform the content of SASB standards. He also contributes to standards development by spearheading various projects that involve quantitative data analysis.
Anton joined SASB in 2013 after completing an internship as an equity analyst at Allianz Global Investors in San Francisco, where he conducted quantitative and fundamental research and valuation on selected financial services companies. He has an MBA in Capital Markets from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks and a Bachelor’s degree in Real Estate Management from St. Petersburg State University of Engineering and Economics in Russia. Anton has a genuine passion for finance and analytics and continues his professional development by participating in the CFA institute program.
Director of sustainability
Ian leads MerchantCantos’ global sustainability and ESG practice. He advises clients on sustainability strategy, reputation management, creative communications and reporting.
He has over 15 years’ experience delivering corporate reporting and communications campaigns for clients across financial, technology, consumer and energy sectors in the UK, US, Europe and Asia.
Prior to joining Brunswick Ian was Director of Corporate Responsibility at KPMG.
Recent clients include Alibaba, Nike, PwC, PepsiCo and the World Bank.
Chief executive officer
Erika Karp, Founder and Chief Executive Offer, brings both pragmatism and intensity to driving forward the discipline of sustainable and impact investing. The urgency to leverage the capital markets to move investments towards social impact was the driver to her founding Cornerstone. Having spent decades on Wall Street, most recently as Managing Director and Head of Global Sector Research at UBS Investment Bank where she Chaired the Investment Review Committee, Erika came to the conclusion that systematically incorporating ESG factors investment analysis yields superior predictive insight and is essential to any investment process. In partnering with and advising organizations including the UN Global Compact, the Clinton Global Initiative, the SASB, and the World Economic Forum, Erika’s leadership has driven the movement to capture profit and purpose together.
Alexandra Higgins is a Managing Director at Okapi Partners providing strategic counsel to corporate clients and their advisors with a focus on governance and compensation issues, as well as other ESG concepts.
Alex has over 15 years of experience in corporate advisory and governance roles. Prior to joining Okapi Partners, she served as VP and Head of U.S. Partner Advisory Services at Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (ISS) Corporate Solutions, where she managed advisory services for U.S. professional services firms on ISS policy, corporate governance issues, equity plan disclosure, and shareholder activism.
Alex also spent time as a reporter for CQ Roll Call, where she covered corporate governance regulation and activist investor campaigns. She began her career as an executive compensation analyst and research associate at The Corporate Library for six years before its merger with GMI Ratings, where she ultimately spent another four years advising law firms on corporate governance matters related to securities litigation.
In 2008, Alex was named a Rising Star of Corporate Governance by the Millstein Center for Corporate Governance and Performance. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Southern Maine.
Director of the strategic investor initiative
Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose
As Director, Strategic Partnerships for CECP’s Strategic Investor Initiative (SII), Michael ensures that SII has the relationships, partnerships and resources necessary to deliver its mission of re-orienting the capital markets towards the long term. He also educates both institutional investors and corporate issuers on the value proposition of CECP’s Strategic Investor Initiative.
Michael comes to CECP from the sell side where he was most recently a Director of Investor Access at UBS Investment Bank. In this role, he advised Investor Relations Officers (IROs) on the development and implementation of high ROI investor marketing programs as well as broader industry trends including MiFID II and the mainstream shift by active investors toward integrating financially material ESG factors into their investment processes. Prior to joining UBS, Michael held various positions on both the buy side and sell side including J.P. Morgan Asset Management, Morgan Joseph TriArtisan Group, and Citi Global Markets.
Michael has an MBA from Temple University’s Fox School of Business, a BA in Political Science and Spanish from the University of Michigan and is a member of the New York Chapter of the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI).
BrownFlynn an ERM Group Company
As an ERM Partner, Mike is responsible for expanding ERM’s market engagement across North America, developing new and existing strategic partnerships, providing innovative corporate responsibility and sustainability solutions to clients and helping shape the strategic direction of the Firm. His most recent work on social and human capital issues has included strategic engagements with the Center for Safety and Health Sustainability (CSHS) and IMPACT2030. He currently serves as the Interim Executive Director of Social & Human Capital Coalition, which launched in April 2018. Mike established and then directed GRI’s North American operations from 2010 to 2014, where he was instrumental in driving sustainability and reporting across the North American economy. Mike’s 20 years of international experience in the sustainability field provides ERM clients and strategic partners with a global view of the sustainability landscape. Having given expert testimony to the European Commission, U.S. Securities Exchange Commission, Environmental Protection Agency and the General Services Administration, and having presented on the topic of sustainability and reporting at an array of executive level conferences and meetings, Mike’s expertise in the field is highly regarded and valued by a wide range of colleagues and organizations.
SustainAbility an ERM Group company
Based in New York, Christina has worked with SustainAbility clients to help them define and prioritize material issues and strategies to address them. Her past and present portfolio includes Barclays, Brown-Forman, Connecticut Green Bank, Loblaw, Mattel, Nestlé, Pearson, the Rockefeller Foundation and TIAA.
Christina is an experienced facilitator and trusted advisor to her clients. She is focused on driving SustainAbility’s work around ESG evaluation by uncovering how companies can better communicate sustainability actions as they relate to the fundamental equity evaluation of the company. She is leading SustainAbility’s Rate the Raters: Ratings Revisited work and is passionate about environmental risk analysis and in particular water scarcity issues. Before joining SustainAbility, Christina worked for The Nature Conservancy, Steven Winter Associates (an energy efficiency consultancy), and most recently, EKO Asset Management assessing the development of water funds in Colombia.
Prior to her focus on sustainability, Christina spent 8 years advising Fortune 500 clients such as Unilever and Johnson & Johnson on advertising strategy, brand development and strategic planning. Christina holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and Marketing from the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce and a Master’s Degree in Sustainability Management from the Earth Institute at Columbia University.
Ben Maiden is the editor-at-large for Corporate Secretary, an IR Media publication, having joined the company in December 2016. He is based in New York. Ben was previously managing editor of Compliance Reporter, covering regulatory and compliance issues affecting broker-dealers and asset management firms in the US and Europe. Before that, he was editor of Euromoney Institutional Investor’s International Financial Law Review and IFLR’s Americas editor, working in London and New York.
IR Magazine and Corporate Secretary
Ben Ashwell is the editor at IR Magazine and Corporate Secretary, covering investor relations, governance, risk and compliance. Prior to this, he was the founder and editor of Executive Talent, the global quarterly magazine from the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants. Before moving to the US, Ben was the vice president and editor at Executive Grapevine, overseeing a daily news website, ten annual supplements and HR Grapevine, the UK’s leading HR and talent management magazine. In his spare time, Ben writes fiction, poetry and arts and culture reviews. Eyewear Publishing recently named him in their list of the Best New British and Irish Poets.
Attendees at this event are leading Governance, IR and sustainability practitioners from across the globe. 2019 attendees included:
|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|
The team will soon be announcing further details for the ESG Integration Forum – US 2020. If you are interested in attending and want to be the first to know when registration is open, please complete your details at the link below.
We are monitoring the situation surrounding the Covid-19 virus on a daily basis. Based on the current advice provided by the World Health Organization, we will be going ahead with hosting the events as planned. The well being of our attendees is paramount and we plan to take a number of precautions onsite to ensure a hygienic environment. If you have any further questions, please contact Priscilla Lim for more information.
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We are committed to forging long-term relationships with our clients, providing them with genuine insight and practical advice, and supporting them as they navigate the challenges of our 21st century global economy.
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Founded in 1969, NIRI is the professional association of corporate officers and investor relations consultants responsible for communication among corporate management, shareholders, securities analysts and other financial community constituents. NIRI is the largest professional investor relations association in the world with more than 3,300 members representing over 1,600 publicly held companies and $9 trillion in stock market capitalization.
For more information, please visit www.NIRI.org