The Westin St. Francis, San Francisco
The IR Magazine Think Tank – West Coast is an invitation-only event exclusively for CFOs, Finance Directors and senior IR Officers. It is free to attend and our unique format enables participants to network extensively, discuss, debate and dissect topical issues affecting today’s IROs.
What makes our format so unique?
Our think tanks are far removed from the traditional conference set-up as the event consists of a series of panel sessions followed by roundtable discussions on select IR issues. These interactive sessions are an opportunity to share experiences with and learn from other top-rated IROs. All table discussions are confidential and none of the participants’ comments are attributed*. This allows attendees to talk freely and have frank, open discussions.
*While the panel discussions may be quoted in editorial coverage of the event, all table discussions are confidential.
How do our roundtable discussions work?
Industry experts, top-rated IROs and members of the investment community set the agenda on a panel discussion by sharing their thoughts on session topics.
Small round tables of IROs discuss these issues face to face.
Each table gives feedback from its own discussion and shares ideas with the group as a whole.
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.
Capital competition How increased competition and the continued rise of passive investing impacts IR in the short, medium and long-term
Climate change How IR can meet shareholder expectations on the key priority for investors; climate and carbon
Corporate access What the buy-side corporate access trend means for IR and how to broaden your investor base
These expert speakers have participated in the West Coast Think Tank before.
If you would like more information about speaking please contact Steve Wade using the details at the bottom of the website
Allison leads the West Coast for MerchantCantos, Brunswick’s in house creative agency. She has spent the last decade advising many of the world’s leading companies on their business strategy, brand positioning and strategic offerings. Allison joined MerchantCantos from AKQA, where she and her teams won 48 of the industry’s’ most covered awards, including a Gold Lion at Cannes. Prior to working at the top agencies in the industry, Allison started her career in Investment Banking as an analyst and worked closely with clients to provide pre/post IPO strategic positioning and opportunity assessment.
Today, Allison partners with clients and leads teams to strategically and creatively solve complex business communications for investors, customers and employees.
Director of sustainable investing
Verity Chegar, Director, is ESG Integration Team Lead within BlackRock Sustainable Investing. The Sustainable Investing team is focused on identifying drivers of long-term return associated with environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, integrating them throughout Blackrock’s investment processes, and creating solutions for our clients to achieve sustainable investment return. Ms. Chegar works with the Head and CIO of Sustainable Investing to develop and execute an implementation plan for ESG integration across all investment teams at the firm.
Previously, Ms. Chegar was an ESG strategist within the BlackRock Investment Stewardship team researching ESG trends and their implications for investment. Prior to joining BlackRock in 2015, she worked at Allianz Global Investors as an ESG analyst responsible for research and ratings of companies in the global healthcare and global technology sectors. Prior to that, she was a member of the US Large Cap Portfolio Management team at RCM.
Ms. Chegar is a Vice Chair of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), an independent standards-setting organization dedicated to enhancing the efficiency of the capital markets by fostering high-quality disclosure of material sustainability information that meets investor needs. She earned a BA from Mount Holyoke College.
Vice president of investor relations
Paul Thomas is Vice President of Investor Relations at Looker, a privately held data platform company. As an investor relations executive, Paul brings together his leadership experience in investment research and technology development to communicate new technology ideas to financial markets.
Prior to looker, Paul held Investor Relations leadership positions at RingCentral and Equinix. In these roles Paul built a reputation for translating complex technology into simple language that reached generalists and experts alike.
Prior to Investor Relations, Paul was a sell side research analyst at Merrill Lynch, Bank of America and Goldman Sachs, covering multiple technology sectors. Before going to Wall Street, Paul was a semiconductor engineer, designing high speed communication integrated circuits.
Paul graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles with B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering. He also holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Vice president of investor relations
Bill Choi is Vice President of Investor Relations at Zscaler, the leader in cloud security. Bill joined Zscaler in August 2017 to prepare the company for its initial public offering.
Prior to joining Zscaler, Bill spent over 20 years in sellside equity research, including 10 years as a managing director covering networking, storage, infrastructure software and cybersecurity industries. Bill is a chartered financial analyst and earned his bachelor’s degree in finance and management from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Chief financial officer
Michael is the Chief financial officer at Finjan Holdings and is responsible for directing all aspects of financial planning & analysis (FP&A), including budgeting, forecasting, and performance management using CPM software. Micheal supervises the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing processes and prepares financial reports for internal and external stakeholders. As part of his role, Michael also evaluates financial performance to recognize deficiencies and identify opportunities for operational improvement and business growth.
Whilst at Finjan Michael has implemented processes to expand analyst coverage and impacted a 400% increase in daily trading volume and spearheaded recruitment and training initiatives to establish a new finance team.
Stephanie serves as a Senior Advisor at Brunswick Group. She is an investor relations executive combining a background in investment banking (capital markets) and software product marketing to deliver award-winning, strategic investor relations. She has fifteen years of experience leading global IR teams, building strong relationships within the investment community, providing feedback and counsel to management teams & boards, and effectively communicating corporate strategy to buy-side and sell-side analysts.
Stephanie has been recognized twice by Institutional Investor for investor relations and is the winner of the International and American Business Awards (the “Stevie Awards”) in the category of “Communications, Investor Relations of PR Executive of the Year.” Stephanie is currently serving on NIRI’s Advocacy Steering Committee and the Future of IR Think Tank. Stephanie graduated from Dartmouth College with a B.A. in Economics and in Asian Studies (Chinese). She holds an MSc in Development Finance from the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies.
Founder and CEO
Rebecca Corbin founded Corbin Advisors in 2007.
Ms. Corbin is a capital markets expert and with nearly 20 years of experience, is a trusted advisor to boards, C-suite executives and investor relations professionals. Her areas of expertise encompass a deep understanding of the institutional investor landscape, value creation strategies, and capital markets activities, including M&A, separations, restructurings/transformations, crisis situations and IPOs.
Rebecca serves as Editor-in-chief of Inside The Buy-side®, the firm’s leading-edge research publication, which identifies and tracks changes in global investor sentiment. Presenting on the firm’s research and best practices, Rebecca serves as external speaker at corporate meetings, conferences and is a recurring contributor on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street. Rebecca Corbin Discusses 4Q17 Earnings on CNBC
Prior to founding Corbin Advisors, Rebecca was a vice president with Thomson Reuters and began her career as a stock surveillance analyst, tracking institutional trading and money flows for Media & Entertainment and Cable companies. In 2003, she established and led Thomson’s perception study business and, in 2005, was recognized for her contribution to the company and honored with the Award of Excellence for Entrepreneurial Spirit.
Ms. Corbin received a B.A. in Business Management from Washington College, where she graduated cum laude and with thesis honors. She was the inaugural recipient of the Schottland Business Leadership Award and presented with the Business Management Award, the department’s highest continuing honor. Rebecca was honored with the Alumni Horizon Ribbon Award for outstanding leadership, service and scholarship in 2011 and the Hartford Business Journal’s 40 Under Forty Award in 2016. In 2018, she was the inaugural recipient of the Junior Achievement of Southwest New England Entrepreneurial Award.
Ms. Corbin is a member of the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) and the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI), where she has held several leadership positions.
Ms. Corbin serves on the boards for Washington College, The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts and The Hartford Symphony Orchestra. She is President of the Jim and Rebecca Loree Foundation, a not-for-profit charitable organization that she co-founded with her husband in 2009. Rebecca resides in Central, CT with her husband and their four daughters.
John Nunziati is responsible for the West Coast on the listings team at IEX, the investors exchange, and is a proven IR professional having led or been a key team member of comprehensive investor relations programs at leading Silicon Valley technology companies including Applied Materials, Juniper Networks, Avaya, and Nimble Storage. He has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and an MBA, both from Santa Clara University.
John joined IEX Group for its mission and commitment to fairness, transparency, and protecting the interests of corporations and their long-term investors. IEX provides companies with a listing exchange that aligns their interest with shareholder interests.
John has been active in NIRI since 1999, and currently chairs the Professional Development Committee for the NIRI Virtual Chapter. He is also a member of the NIRI San Francisco chapter board. He contributed to the IR Certification Body of Knowledge Committee and previously has served as Treasurer on the board of the Silicon Valley chapter. He enjoys spending free time with his family, plays recreational softball, and tries to find time to improve his golf game.
Vice president of strategy and head of investor relations
Marc Cabi is VP of Strategy and heads Investor Relations for Zendesk. Marc has over 25 years of leadership experience in investment banking, finance and strategy. During last 5 years, Marc has worked as part of the leadership team to grow Zendesk’s SaaS business.
Prior to Zendesk, Marc held senior leadership positions in investment banking and equity research at Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Salomon Brothers and Cowen and Company. As an Institutional Investor ranked analyst, Marc built a track record with investors and companies in industry thought leadership. In between his time on Wall Street and Zendesk, Marc advised high growth companies as a strategic consultant. Throughout his career, Marc has enjoyed working with and managing growth companies and scaling businesses, serving as advisor and manager.
Outside of the office, Marc enjoys connection with family and spends time outdoors hiking, running and paddling.
Vice president of investor relations
Sam Ramraj is vice president of Investor Relations for Edison International, the parent company of Southern California Edison, one of the nation’s largest electric utilities. Edison International also has subsidiaries that provide commercial and industrial customers with energy management and procurement services. He is responsible for strategic and tactical leadership of the company’s communications and interaction with the investment community, including building and managing relationships with investors, sell-side analysts and other stakeholders.
Ramraj has more than 20 years of experience in corporate investor relations and sell-side equity research. Prior to joining Edison International in 2017, he served as vice president of Investor Relations for Tesoro Corporation, a Fortune 100 company that is an independent refiner and marketer of petroleum products. Previously, Ramraj was at URS Corporation, a Fortune 250 company headquartered in San Francisco, where he managed investor relations for 12 years. He also was an equity research analyst at investment banks, including Lehman Brothers, Salomon Smith Barney, and Dresdner Kleinwort Benson.
Ramraj serves as co-president of the Los Angeles chapter of the National Investor Relations Institute.
Ramraj earned an MBA at The George Washington University, and has master’s and bachelor’s degrees in Accounting. His interests include volunteerism with Meals on Wheels, travel, golf and hiking.
Director of investor relations
Cherryl Valenzuela is a director of Investor Relations for Twitter, and an active member of the NIRI San Francisco Chapter, in her role as the advocacy ambassador. Prior to joining Twitter, Cherryl spent over six years as an investor relations officer at Informatica and JDSU. She has over 10 years of experience in the equity and fixed income capital markets and management consulting, working at Goldman Sachs, Gartner, McKinsey and Merrill Lynch. Cherryl is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Certified FP&A Professional.
Smooch Repovich Reynolds
Managing director, global IR and chief communications officer practice group
Smooch Repovich Reynolds joined ZRG Partners at the end of 2017, bringing with her a career that spans more than 25 years of executive search consulting, specifically focused in the Global Investor Relations Officer and Chief Communications Officer functional areas. Smooch pioneered IR executive search as a direct result of her affinity for the capital markets, and has partnered with CEOs and CFOs to address corporate valuation issues and financial market expectations throughout her career. As the profession and financial markets have evolved dramatically the last two decades, she has served as a key influencer of the direction of the Investor Relations profession through her stewardship with client management teams.
In addition, her thought leadership in the Corporate Communications functional niche has been framed by her tenure as a former Chief Communications Officer and her broad participation in the global communications community. Smooch has leveraged this first-hand experience to partner with leadership teams providing guidance by framing corporate communications functions, and by serving as a gateway to exceptional talent whose corporate brand innovation experience has elevated her client companies to new heights of success.
She is considered a leading authority on the intangible leadership traits that define talent who are recognized as part of the top 10% of Investor Relations and Chief Communications Officers globally. Her executive search experience has spanned partnerships with management teams and Boards at organizations ranging in size from pre-IPO entities to global, multinational Fortune 500 market leaders, across all industry sectors.
Having completed approximately 300 Investor Relations Officer searches, one consideration to note about Smooch’s work is the increase in her clients’ share valuation during her tenure as a recruitment management team advisor – nearly $500B in increased valuation that she has contributed to as a direct result of her commitment to clients on the topic of recruiting the right talent.
Smooch has authored numerous thought leadership articles about the CEO-CFO-IRO triumvirate and the impact of their interlocked relationship as it relates to the investment community and valuation. She has been the featured expert on IRO and CCO careers across traditional media and social/digital media, and is called upon by numerous professional groups to speak on wide ranging talent and leadership topics. Smooch has her own website: www.smoochunplugged.com, where she regularly shares her insights about corporate talent initiatives and the competitive advantages of smart, strategic recruitment partnerships. Smooch is also book author.
Prior to joining ZRG Partners, Smooch served at two multinational executive search firms as the Managing Director of each firm’s respective Global Investor Relations and Communications Officer practice groups. In addition, she served as the Chief Communications Officer for The Irvine Company, a recognized national privately-held real estate development company. And, prior to that she was the Founder and CEO of The Repovich-Reynolds Group, a North American focused executive search firm specializing in IRO and CCO search assignments which she led for nearly 20 years. Smooch has served as a Chief of Staff to the CEO of a global public relations agency and started her career in politics as a Press Deputy.
She is a long-time member of the National Investor Relations Institute and a Lifetime member of the International Association of Business Communicators. Smooch has served on several non-profit boards, including serving as Board Chair for two of those entities: American Cancer Society of Los Angeles and Westridge School in Pasadena, CA.
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.
Global head of corporate analytics
Ari Davies is the Global Head of Corporate Analytics at IHS Markit and specializes in providing clients with strategic counsel on investor relations strategy, M&A, capital allocation, shareholder activism, and situational analytics. IHS Markit is a global leader in providing market intelligence, data, and technology solutions to all participants in the global capital markets, including sell-side banks, publicly traded companies, and buy-side institutions. At present, over 800 global companies use IHS Markit for their investor targeting advisory and workflow needs. Ari joined Ipreo in 2006, and was part of the initial team that launched Ipreo’s Global Markets Intelligence practice. Ari is a graduate of Union College with a BA in Political Science and a minor in History.
Jill Carey Hall
Senior US equity strategist
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Jill Carey Hall is a director and senior US equity strategist who joined BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research in 2009. She works closely with Savita Subramanian, head of US Equity & Quantitative Strategy, in determining forecasts for the S&P 500, recommending sector allocations for US equities and publishing thematic reports. Hall is the lead on the team’s Small Cap Strategy work and is additionally responsible for the team’s S&P 500 EPS forecasts. She also authors a weekly proprietary analysis of BofAML equity client flow trends.
Hall has been quoted in various financial news publications including the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times and is a periodic guest on Bloomberg TV and CNBC. She was named Bank of America’s 2016 “Rising Star” within Global Banking and Markets, an award given annually by the Women’s Bond Club to recognize aspiring leaders on Wall Street.
Hall has a bachelor’s degree in economics and business and a bachelor’s degree in English from Lafayette College. She is a CFA charterholder.
Ben Ashwell is the editor at IR Magazine and digital editor at 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.
Senior vice president of investor relations
John is the senior vice president of investor relations at Salesforce.
John is an award-winning investor relations and finance professional with more than 15 years of demonstrated success building and managing best-in-class investor relations programs. John also spent seven years as an equity research analyst for a $1 billion long-short hedge fund covering multiple industries.
Join us for an exclusive event for investor relations officers and finance heads to discuss the biggest issues impacting public companies and their relationships with shareholders in 2020.
Breakfast and registration
Welcome, introduction to the Think Tank and opening keynote
The big picture: Passive to active…?
This discussion looks at the major trends impacting public companies in the US. We ask how markets and regulations are changing and what IR teams need to do to succeed in the shifting environment.
• Will we eventually see a snap back to active management?
• How will the 2020 election impact SEC rules on proxy advisory and corporate disclosure?
• Where are investment funds flowing and what does the future look like for US public companies and their IR teams?
Morning coffee break
Dear CEO, how are you improving your E&S rating?
As more investors want better climate disclosures, we take a more focused look at this important ESG factor. Learn how to link environmental & social factors back to your business and disclosure activities.
• When shareholders write open letters to your CEO stating climate change is the top investor concern and request that you report against TCFD and SASB requirements, what is IR’s role in handling the board and management’s reaction to these requests?
• How should IR prioritize ESG activities? Understand the data sources investors use to evaluate your E&S practices, how they use this data and the extent to which it influences investment decisions
• Share practical examples about how you approach ESG in your industry and prioritizing your E&S activities
Navigating a shifting corporate access landscape
The trend of institutional investors building out their own corporate access teams continues, and this session looks at which changes IROs should make to their targeting strategies and roadshow execution.
• Understand how best to discover, engage and interact with buy-side corporate access teams, both now and in the future when these teams become even busier
• Hear exclusive insight from a report that outlines major trends in targeting, roadshow execution and measurement of marketing success
• Understand how to work with the sell side and other stakeholders when you’re on the road in Europe
• How should you adapt your targeting strategy to broaden your investor base and creating meaningful meetings for management?
The exchange: A series of best practice round table discussions
Exchange information and ideas with your IR peers in this highly interactive session.
How the exchange works:
• Choose two of the following topics – the power is in your hands!
• Join your preferred 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:
• How to develop a really strong equity story
• Short sellers – necessary or evil?
• Hot topics for the proxy season and evolution of proxy advisors’ influence
• Maximizing your IR resources
• Understanding ETFs
• Top tips for finding new pools of capital
• Engaging investors with innovative use of media
• How will zero-commission trading impact market dynamics?
• The impact of AI on investing and IR
What the C-Suite want from IR
In this unique session, we speak to finance heads and seek to understand their views on the investor relations function and the skill set required to develop into a more strategic role.
• Hear from CFOs about their rise to the top and what experiences helped them get there
• Discuss how IR can broaden its remit into ancillary roles like corporate development or financial planning and analysis
• Discover different approaches to your own professional development and understand the roadmap to help you achieve your career ambitions
Happy hour drinks reception with NIRI San Francisco Chapter
Join more than 120 senior leaders at the West Coast Think Tank. Below is a sample of people already signed up to attend.
|Head of investor relations||8×8, Inc.|
|Vice president of corporate development and investor relations||Axos Financial, Inc.|
|Vice president of investor relations and risk management||CooperCompanies|
|Vice president of finance & investor relations||eHealth|
|Senior Vice president of finance and investor relations||Fireeye|
|Chief financial officer||Flux Power|
|Head of investor relations||Gap|
|Vice president of investor relations||Lyft|
|President and chief financial officer||Myovant Sciences|
|Vice President of Investor Relations||Palo Alto Networks|
|Head of investor relations||Synnex|
"A great use of my time in terms of staying current with trends in IR and an exceptional networking event"
"This is the event of the year- a must have and not to miss! I never miss this event!"
"Always tough to get out of the office for a day of training but this event is well worth it!"
"The 2018 West Coast session of the IR Magazine Think Tank was fantastic. It was very well thought out and well worth it. Every session was interesting and very informative. "
"This event is a great balance of content, discussion and networking"
This event is exclusively for chief financial officers, finance directors and senior Investor Relations Officers. To register for this year’s event, please fill in the form below and if you are eligible, we will send you a confirmation along with detailed event information. If you have any questions or require any assistance with registering for the think tank, please contact Priscilla Lim on +44 20 8004 4989
This year’s think tank in spring will be held at:
Westin St. Francis
335 Powell St
Looking for the perfect place to stay before or after the event? Why not try IR Magazine’s exclusive HotelMap to browse real-time room rates of hotels close in proximity to The Westin St. Francis. To view a virtual map of nearby hotels or book a room, please click here.
Bank of America is one of the world’s largest financial institutions, serving large corporations, small and middle-market businesses and individual consumers in more than 150 countries with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk-management products and services. BofA Securities, the institutional broker dealer business of Bank of America, is a global leader in corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. The company provides, through various banking and broker-dealer affiliates, M&A advice, equity and debt capital-raising solutions, lending, risk management, treasury, liquidity and payments management. Bank of America Corporation is listed on the NYSE.
For more information, please visit www.bofaml.com
Computershare (ASX: CPU) is a global market leader in transfer agency and share registration, employee equity plans, mortgage servicing, proxy solicitation and stakeholder communications. We also specialize in corporate trust, bankruptcy, class action and a range of other diversified financial and governance services.
Founded in 1978, Computershare is renowned for its expertise in high integrity data management, high volume transaction processing and reconciliations, payments and stakeholder engagement. Many of the world’s leading organizations use us to streamline and maximize the value of relationships with their investors, employees, creditors and customers.
Computershare is represented in all major financial markets and has over 12,000 employees worldwide.
For more information, visit computershare.com.
Launched in 2016, the Investors Exchange is a stock exchange working to protect investors. In just three years, the Investors Exchange has grown to be one of the Top 10 largest exchange operators, globally, by notional value traded. To learn more about the exchange and other IEX businesses visit iextrading.com or search IEX.
IHS Markit (NYSE: INFO) is a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions for the major industries and markets that drive economies worldwide. IHS Markit’s private markets division is a premier choice for the private capital industry to address growing pressures for transparency and regulatory compliance. Our full range of products offers solutions for portfolio management, valuations, investor reporting, operating metrics, or investor performance.
For more information, visit ihsmarkit.com
ZRG Partners’ mission is to bring talented candidates to leading companies. We adhere to a set of core values that allows us to fulfill our clients’ needs on an optimal scale. We take pride and care to ensure that the core values we instill in our staff help our clients acquire strong leadership within their company.
For more information, please visit our website here.
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
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 partner, 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 region.
Being a partner will provide:
To find out more about the benefits of partnering and the various packages available, email Ian Richman or call on +1 212 430 6865.