IR Magazine

The ESG Integration Forum
Europe

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Crowne Plaza London - The City, UK

ESG: From trend to action

There is a rapidly growing trend of increased engagement around environmental, social and governance factors between public companies and their shareholders, plus more expectations placed on ESG reporting and disclosures, and it isn’t going away!

That’s why IR Magazine and Corporate Secretary magazine have teamed up, to help governance and investor relations professionals in public companies take action when responding to these growing expectations from shareholders.

The event will feature discussions between the Buyside, Heads of IR, Governance, Risk and Compliance professionals which aim to understand the latest trends in ESG and provide practical advice on how companies can take action to future-proof your business, ensure a smoother proxy season and add more value to shareholders.

Key themes and topics

Whatever stage you are at on your ESG journey, join us to understand about the latest ESG trends and learn how you can take action and improve relationships with your investors, futureproof your business, discover new investors and ensure a smooth proxy season and AGM.

Some of the themes and topics being discussed include:

  • How are the roles of security market regulators and exchanges evolving in this area?
  • The impact consolidation of ESG rating agencies will have on the quality of data investors use to analyze ESG risks
  • What governance and IR teams need to know about proxy advisor reforms and potential disruption to AGMs and shareholder rights
  • How to prioritize and focus efforts on addressing the most relevant ESG risks impacting your business
  • Move from shareholder engagement to shareholder value
  • Prepare for the next proxy season and learn how shareholder activism is changing
  • Participate in separate roundtable discussions on governance, social and environmental factors, and what you can do to influence the company strategy and future-proof your business

If you’d like to get involved as a speaker, please get in touch with Steven Wade on [email protected]

Key speakers

Hear insights from all angles of the capital markets


Agenda

Click here to view a PDF version of the agenda

For detailed session information, click on the session titles below.

  • 08:15 AM
    Breakfast and registration

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

  • 08:50 AM
    Welcome to the ESG Integration Forum - Europe 2019

    Covering the purpose of the conference and introduction to discussions taking place throughout the day.

  • 09:00 AM
    ESG Market mapping: Need to know for public companies

    The Independent Research in Responsible Investment (IRRI) surveyed more than 950 companies, asset managers and sell-siders from 44 countries to produce insight into changes taking place on ESG from a range of views. This session will share the most pertinent of the 61 ESG insights produced and set the scene for the discussions taking place throughout the day.

    Mike Tyrrell, editor, SRI-connect

  • 09:15 AM
    ESG trends: Market developments and investor actions

    To set the scene, we aim to discuss the forces shaping the ESG revolution and look at the trajectory of trends and their potential impact on companies and their shareholders. In the first of two trend-focused sessions, we hear the view of the buyside on the most pertinent issues changing ESG integration.

    • Understand how the roles of security market regulators and exchanges are changing on these issues and the knock-on effects for companies.
    • Find out how the EU Action Plan on Sustainable Finance will impact ESG in capital markets.
    • Learn how investors inform their voting and investment decisions and how this changes the way you communicate your ESG journey to investors and convey a true representation of the risks and rewards.
    • Establish how M&A in the ESG ratings space, and further consolidation of ratings agencies changes the nature of the unfiltered 3rd party data investors use, then debate how you can contextualize this data through your shareholder communications and disclosure to ensure accuracy and relevance.
    • Discuss how transparency arising from proxy advisory reform will disrupt voting processes and outcomes.
  • 10:00 AM
    Refreshment break

    A chance to re-fuel and meet your fellow conference attendees

  • 10:30 AM
    ESG trends: Best practice responses from companies

    In the second trend session we focus on what companies are doing to respond to investor expectations. You will hear from IR, governance and sustainability professionals about how the strategies, initiatives and tactics that listed companies can use to respond to investor expectations.

    • Hear the company perspective about the biggest issues disrupting ESG and learn about what the practices companies have implemented in response. Discover what has worked, what hasn’t and why.
    • Learn about the biggest trends shaping the future of ESG and their underlying drivers. Discuss how companies need to prepare for a rise in focus on ESG.
    • Identify which activities companies can undertake to help provide background information on the most relevant sustainability and corporate governance related issues that analysts, portfolio managers and stewardship teams are focused on.
  • 11:00 AM
    The ‘climate crisis’: Investor responses and the impact on companies

    More funds are flowing into low-carbon indexes, TCFD-based reporting is to become mandatory for PRI signatories in 2020 and many investment firms are getting more proactive on influencing change as responsible owners. Governance, IR and sustainability teams need to focus on influencing corporate strategy on climate risk, and how best to communicate their actions with shareholders.

    • Hear how companies should engage with active and index investors around climate action.
    • How are new investor-driven initiatives like the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures and Climate Action 100+ going to impact how public companies assess, communicate and tackle climate risk?
    • Learn how to better understand and articulate the position of your business in a 2˚ scenario and the impact it has on company strategy.
    • Deepen your understanding of climate risk and investor expectations of companies in disclosure and capital allocation.
    • Understand how shareholders are engaging around both climate change related lobbying and political donations from companies.

    Moderator: Mardi McBrien, Managing director, Climate Disclosure Standards Board

    Dr. Alan Knight OBE, General manager of sustainability, ArcelorMittal

  • 11:45 AM
    Workshop on ESG factors and business drivers

    Move from materiality to messaging: In small groups, participate in a workshop discussion aimed to make you think deeply about different sustainability impacts, separating out environmental, social and governance factors and talking about how you can communicate the relationship between these issues and your business drivers, receiving peer feedback across three roundtable discussions.

    • Environmental: How important are issues like climate, plastic waste, deforestation and water risk likely to impact future regulation and what is the long-term impact on your business?
    • Social: How do you measure and communicate to shareholders about social issues like company culture, pay gaps, equal opportunities, automation, health & safety, human rights or modern slavery?
    • Governance: Consider actions taken around board composition, risk oversight, dual-class shares, and what you can do to incentivize company leaders and board members to consider long-term shareholder value creation as a driver of their decisions.
  • 12:30 PM
    Networking lunch

    Sit down for lunch and a chat with fellow conference attendees

  • 13:30 PM
    The Exchange: How are companies changing their ESG practices?

    Exchange information and ideas with your IR peers in this highly interactive session.

    How the exchange works:

    √ Choose any of the following topics – the power is in your hands!
    √ Join the relevant roundtable and discuss with your peers
    √ When the bell rings, move on to your next table and repeat!
    √ At the end of the session, hear a roundup from all the leaders of lessons learned so you can apply these when you return to the office.

    Roundtable topics include:

    • Shaping your ESG message and tailoring it to your investment story
    • Unique things to think about when organizing a corporate governance roadshow
    • Digital ESG communications – how to get people to actually read your sustainability report (or at least the information in it)
    • Board materials – how to prepare your board for upcoming issues
    • How corporate governance professionals can influence board diversity and composition
    • ESG crisis scenario – how would you react, who can help and what would you say?
    • Understanding different investment strategies (integration, impact, screening) and how to target different ESG investors
    • Q&A during your AGM and during webcasts – fundamentals when informing and preparing management to answer ESG related questions?
  • 14:30 PM
    Afternoon coffee break

    Take a quick break before the final sessions of the day, where we will focus on shareholder engagement, considerations for the AGM, review the main talking points from the day and provide a list of actions that you can take back to the office.

  • 14:45 PM
    From shareholder engagement to shareholder value

    The purpose of this session is to focus on how to provide the best value by engaging on the most material ESG issues that impact your company. We look at how to optimize your time and use engagement to create value for both shareholders and company leadership.

    • Direct interaction between corporates and investors is a valued source of ESG information, and has grown since Mifid II’s enactment. Consider whether ESG roadshow activities will overtake surveys as a preferred form of ESG communication.
    • Learn how to ensure the board has clear oversight on ESG and how to prepare leadership for quality shareholder engagement.
    • Hear best practices for organizing an SRI or governance roadshow and how to use knowledge across your company.
    • Engagement is a two-way process: use market intelligence to inform your company strategy and create long-term shareholder value.
    • Debate whether ESG communications with investors should be driven by corporate governance, investor relations or sustainability.

    Moderator: Laurie Havelock, editor-at-large, IR Magazine

    Brian Matt, Director of research and analytics, IHS Markit

  • 15:30 PM
    Dealing with monumental changes to governance

    To finish discussions, we will look specifically at activities around the annual general meeting, seeking to deepen understanding on issues shareholders are likely to highlight during your AGM: the rise of ESG-related shareholder activism, how new regulations will strengthen the position of shareholders and what it means for company decision-making.

    • Review the latest proxy trends and outcomes of shareholder proposals to discover emerging ESG issues.
    • How does a rise in shareholder activism and ESG focus impact the role of investor relations and corporate governance?
    • Predict the type of questions that could be asked of management and how you can prepare boards on these issues.
    • Discuss how the Shareholder Rights Directive is streamlining communications and the impact it will have on the AGM

    Moderator: Laurie Havelock, editor-at-large, IR Magazine

    Olivia Dickson, Non-executive director, Royal London Group

  • 16:00 PM
    Take action

    In the final session we give you an opportunity to recap on all the discussions and recap on the set of action points that you can put into practice when you get back to the office. As part of this session, we will use interactive voting to get an understanding of which activities are the top priority for the group from a time and benefit perspective.

    Mike Tyrrell, editor, SRI-connect

  • 16:15 PM
    Summary and end of conference

    Hear a summary of all the points discussed today and lessons to be learned.

Attendees of past events say

"The event was better and more worthwhile than I expected."

Laura Lueder, MDU Resources Group

"Excellent, really interesting, good presenters, excellent venue"

Patricia Gutierrez, Mithra Advisors

"The event was well-planned and balanced with speakers from each side of the issues."

Bridget Hughes, DFIN

"A refreshing perspective, focused on bringing forward the "how" as opposed to the "what" and the "why" of ESG Integration practices for both corporations and investors."

Alessia Falsarone, PineBridge Investments

"This event provided a good opportunity to network whilst celebrating IR teams across Europe that are striving to deliver a professional service."

Paul Ferneyhough, REPSOL

"A very slick, enjoyable, five star event with excellent networking opportunities."

Abigail Herron, Aviva Investors

"Nice atmosphere and great place to network and meet other IR people"

Christian Stoehr, adidas Group

Sponsorship opportunities

Our events provide a unique opportunity to get in front of some of the most influential people in the corporate governance and IR community globally. As a sponsor, you will gain an extensive amount of exposure through a wide range of print and digital marketing materials, both pre and post event, as well as on the day itself. Additionally, you can use the event to align yourself with industry excellence and network with key decision makers from across the European region.

Sponsoring the event will provide:

  • A chance to network with qualified, senior decision-makers in the corporate governance and IR community
  • Increased awareness and credibility through association with this leading event
  • New business opportunities through higher-brand presence among current and potential clients

To find out more about the benefits of sponsoring and the various packages available, email Sébastien Dutrieu or call on +44 77315 33165.

Sponsors

Venue & location

Crowne Plaza London – The City
19 New Bridge Street
London
EC4V 6DB

Accommodation
IR Magazine has arranged preferential rates for delegates at nearby hotels. View the hotels and rates by clicking here.

Contact us

Book your seat

The ‘corporate attendee’ rate is reserved for IR professionals at publicly listed companies only. All others will have to book under the ‘non-corporate’ rate. Please note that these are our early-bird prices which expire on September 27, 2019. Any bookings made after this date, will be charged at the standard rate.

If you have any questions, please contact Priscilla Lim ([email protected]) or +44 20 8004 4989.

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