ESG Integration Forum – Summer

Thursday, July 13, 2023

Clifford Chance offices, New York

About the forum

Trends from the 2023 proxy season: Increased investor pressures versus ESG backlash.

The ESG Integration Forum – Summer was the perfect opportunity for board members, governance professionals, heads of investor relations and chief sustainability officers to take stock of the trends from this year’s proxy season and prepare for the road ahead.

Investors seem to be getting more specific on ESG issues, but we were also seeing an increase in the number of anti-ESG proposals. Meanwhile, the industry was awaiting the SEC’s climate proposal’s final approval – and content.

The volume and scope of shareholder proposals were on track to repeat last year’s haul, but we saw a return to previous years’ peak support? And how should companies be managing this mix of regulatory pressure and ESG scepticism?

We brought together the IR, governance and sustainability communities to analyze these questions in detail and discuss the implications for public companies and their ESG efforts. It’s focused on providing actionable insight to respond to increased stakeholder expectations of listed companies.


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


Click here to view the 2023 PDF agenda.

All times displayed are in Eastern Time (ET)

  • 08:15 AM
    Registration opens

  • 08:45 AM
    Welcome to the ESG Integration Forum - Summer

    Ben Maiden, editor-at-large, Corporate Secretary

  • 08:55 AM
    Setting the scene: A birds-eye view of ESG trends this proxy season

    As the dust settles from this year’s proxy season, we’ll begin this conference by asking our panel how the conversation around ESG has changed, how it compares with last year, and which issues are gaining the most traction and attention.

    • Reflect on new ESG trends from this year’s proxy season
    • Understand the impact of macro headwinds on sustainable investing
    • Learn how investor and stakeholder ESG priorities are evolving

    Moderator: Ben Maiden, editor-at-large, Corporate Secretary
    Rebecca Corbin, founder and CEO, Corbin Advisors
    Ki Hoon Kim, associate general counsel, HPE
    Jessica McDougall, director of investment stewardship, BlackRock

  • 09:50 AM
    Regulatory update: Prepare for converging reporting requirements

    After delays and an unprecedented number of comments, the SEC’s final rule on climate disclosures approaches. Here we discuss the likely outcomes of these proposals, what the next steps are for companies, and how the requirements will (or won’t) align with other global standards, including those set by the CSRD and ISSB.

    • An updated look at the SEC climate proposal timeline and expected final requirements
    • Understand how the reporting requirements will align with other reporting frameworks
    • Discuss how regulatory requirements may align or conflict with SEC requirements

    Moderator: Laurence Taylor, senior conference producer, IR Magazine & Corporate Secretary
    Mindy Lubber, chief executive officer, CERES
    Steve Nickelsburg, partner, Clifford Chance

  • 10:25 AM
    Morning networking break

  • 10:55 AM
    A fragmenting movement: Communicating through ESG fatigue, scepticism and opposition

    As the momentum behind ESG continues to grow, so too does its opposition. But how significant is this really for IR and governance teams, and how will it impact the movement overall?

    Here we will discuss where the resistance is coming from, whether or not it should be accounted for in your sustainability messaging, and how companies can communicate their ESG story authentically.

    • Debate the significance of the ESG pushback for public companies
    • Learn how to communicate your ESG story in the context of growing opposition
    • Discuss how best to align your ESG story with your overall corporate strategy

    Moderator: Laurence Taylor, senior conference producer, IR Magazine & Corporate Secretary
    Chris Gray, VP, sustainability, UnitedHealth Group
    Emmanuelle Palikuca, managing director, head of sustainability advisory, Alliance Advisors

  • 11:30 AM
    Getting granular with data: Monitoring, measuring and managing your ESG performance

    We still don’t know which scopes will be included in the final SEC rulings, but across the world the demand for comparable, ‘investor grade’ ESG data continues to grow.

    But the reporting landscape is constantly evolving and companies are finding themselves burdened with growing requests from investors, ratings agencies and regulators. How best to collect and report ESG information to all these different stakeholders?

    • What are your peers focussing on? Discuss the latest trends in ESG data collection and reporting
    • Setting science-based climate targets and implementing a clear transition plan
    • Discuss how best to tackle the challenge of scope 3 reporting and third-party assurance
    • Discover tools and technologies to enable more accurate and standardized ESG data management

    Moderator: Ben Maiden, editor-at-large, Corporate Secretary
    Cynthia Cummis, sustainability and climate expert leader, Deloitte
    Keir Gumbs, chief legal officer, Broadridge Financial Solutions

  • 12:10 PM
    Finding sustainable investors that match your company profile

    This session examines how you can better understand the ESG priorities of your shareholders using a data-driven approach, how to benchmark your ESG ownership against that of your peers, and ways to target investors whose profile fits your ESG story.

    • Understand the ESG priorities of your shareholder base better 
    • Benchmark the gaps in your register compared to your peers as it relates to ESG ownership 
    • Learn how to better target ESG-related investors 

    Christopher Stroh, executive director, market intelligence, S&P Global Market Intelligence

  • 12:40 PM

  • 13:40 PM
    Governance trends: New expectations around board accountability and oversight

    Following the collapse of SVB, the importance of good governance processes and an accountable, educated board is more critical than ever. What are the lessons learned from this, and how can governance teams support their boards at a time when voting policies have changed more than ever and companies face enhanced scrutiny?

    Here we discuss how to identify and prepare for key governance risks, approaches to training and refreshing your board and ways to foster a culture of accountability across your organization.

    • Learn how investor and proxy firm expectations around corporate governance and oversight are changing
    • Hear how companies are approaching issues such as over boarding, onboarding, director education and term-limits
    • Understand how informed your board needs to be on ESG: generalist vs specialist approach
    • Share advice on staying agile: how often should you review your governance policies?

    Moderator: Ben Maiden, editor-at-large, Corporate Secretary
    Richard Gluckselig, VP, associate general counsel and assistant secretary, Regeneron
    Alexandra Higgins, managing director, Okapi Partners
    Tim Ring, senior vice president and corporate secretary, MetLife

  • 14:25 PM
    Spotlight on social: Managing and communicating social capital to a range of stakeholders

    This year’s proxy season saw a number of high-profile racial equity audit proposals, highlighting the continued importance of DE&I issues in the mind of investors. As DE&I expectations increase, combined with rising living costs and new employee demands, companies should be re-evaluating the impacts human capital issues have on their business.

    • Shareholder priorities: an overview of key human capital management trends this proxy season
    • Go beyond board diversity: hiring and retaining a diverse workforce and reporting the right information
    • Navigate new expectations on public companies to take a stand on social and political issues

    Moderator: Laurence Taylor, senior conference producer, IR Magazine & Corporate Secretary
    Sarah Altschuller, business and human rights counsel, Verizon
    Nadira Narine, senior program director, ICCR
    Tejal Patel, executive director, SOC Investment Group

  • 15:10 PM
    Investor fire-side chat & Q&A: Learn how buy-side expectations around ESG issues are changing

    Here we will discuss how investors are integrating ESG into their investment decisions in 2023.

    How are market conditions impacting their approach, and how can governance and investor relations teams leverage their company’s ESG performance to better connect with existing and potential shareholders?

    • Learn the red and green flags investors have when it comes to ESG engagement, communications and stewardship
    • Buy-side perspective on what constitutes ‘material ESG issues’ and linking ESG metrics to executive compensation
    • Hear investor forecasts on ESG trends in the context of macro and political headwinds

    Moderator: Laurence Taylor, senior conference producer, IR Magazine & Corporate Secretary
    Daniel Hanson, Managing Director, Senior Portfolio Manager, Neuberger Berman

  • 15:40 PM
    Champagne roundtables: Exchange ideas with your peers

    How the roundtables work:

    Choose any of the following topics –the power is in your hands!
    Join the relevant roundtable and discuss with your peers
    At the end of the session, hear a quick roundup from each table on what was discussed
    Enjoy a glass of champagne or a non-alcoholic beverage


    Managing your ESG strategy with limited resource

    • Getting started: What first steps should companies take?
    • How do you define which ESG issues are most relevant to your business?
    • How to overcome data and disclosure challenges as a SMID cap company?

    Giving yourself the best chance of success with ratings agencies

    • How much time should you spend engaging with ratings agencies?
    • Which ratings agencies do investors prioritize?
    • Best practice engagement: Examples of successful outcomes

    Progressing the conversation around DE&I issues

    • How do you define which social issues are most material to your business?
    • What are you doing to implement an inclusive workplace culture (and which metrics do you use to define this?)
    • How are you preparing for increased regulations and disclosures in the social space?

    Staying ahead on privacy and cybersecurity issues

    • How to prepare for enhanced disclosure requirements on cybersecurity issues
    • What are the requirements around board governance of cybersecurity?
    • Impact of AI on data protection and privacy policy: How are you mitigating against new risks?

    ESG activism: how are tactics evolving?

    • How to spot early warning signs of an activist investor among your stock
    • What has your experience been engaging with activists?
    • Best practice advice on responding to a ‘new generation’ of activists

    Ben Maiden, editor, Corporate Secretary

  • 16:30 PM
    Closing remarks and networking drinks

    Laurence Taylor, senior conference producer, IR Magazine & Corporate Secretary


To inquire about speaking at the 2023 forum, please contact Laurence Taylor at [email protected] or call +44 7889 883 457

What our attendees say

"Good panels and panelists, subject matter experts went deeper when required. Good mix of big picture and granularity."

Corbin Advisors

"It was extremely informative and detailed in terms of the growing importance of ESG."


"Relevant topics, excellent panellists and thoughtful interview questions."


"Interesting topics, good speaker content.


"I liked the breadth of topics and how the topics have evolved at this forum as ESG has evolved.


"Insightful speakers that sparked robust conversation."


"I enjoyed the dedicated and separate sessions on the E, S and G. This is clearly the way forward as it allows for more in- depth updates."


"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."

PineBridge Investments

Who attends our events

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

Below is a sample of some of this year’s attendees:

Job title Company Job title Company
Associate director, IR Vertex Pharmaceuticals Head of IR Braze (BRZE)
Associate GC, head ESG West Pharmaceutical Services IR and treasury Cotiviti
AVP, ESG engagement Radian Group IR ESG manager Starbucks
CCO and IRO ResMed IR lead Q4
Chair, corporate governance Cozen O’Connor MD Accenture
Chief legal officer Altus Power Partner Fox Rothschild
Company secretary Heineken President Anavex Life Sciences
Corporate secretary Brighthouse Financial Senior director, sustainability and ESG Interactive Brokers
Deputy general counsel Edgewell Personal Care Senior director, IR Aristocrat Technologies
Director ESG and sustainability PSEG Senior manager, ESG Lovesac
Director, ESG Energy Recovery Senior securities and governance counsel Marsh and McLennan
Director, corporate communications SJW Group Senior, ESG analyst The Lovesac Company
Director, financial communications ITT SME Boardwalk
Director, IR MeridianLink Student Fordham University
Director, IR Omnicell Sustainability coordinator FIS Global
Director, sustainability BD SVP, associate general counsel TelevisaUnivision
ESG program manager CONMED SVP, corporate development and IR Workiva
EVP and chief legal officer DMC Global SVP, IR MGIC
EVP, CAO and general counsel Photronics VP HASI
EVP, chief legal officer Blue Foundry Bank VP, associate general counsel Atlas Air
EVP, general counsel and CCO B&G Foods VP, corporate communications Hudson
Executive director, IR and ESG Horizon Therapeutics VP, finance Group
Finance manager Veolia VP, IR LiveRamp
Global head, ESG and sustainability Elanco Animal Health VP, IR Vimeo
Global sustainability manager EnerSys VP, IR and corporate development Standard Motor Products


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Become a partner

Why partner with us?

The ESG Integration Forum – Summer brings together some of the most influential people in the IR and GRC communities.

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

The unique buzz we create at our in-person events – a far cry from a traditional conference – makes them multi-faceted and highly interactive with great engagement in particular from heads of IR and governance teams. This allows our partners to have meaningful conversations with corporates who are deciding which parts of their ESG 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 IR and GRC communities.

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 ESG Integration Forum – Summer. Get in touch with Lucas Alexandre or call on +1 646 327 5725.


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Coalition for the homeless

IR Magazine and 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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