2019 AGM & Conference Agenda

Tuesday, 16 July
08:30 – 09:30
ICGN Committee Meetings Taking place on Main Arcade Level - open to ICGN members & non-members

Committee Meetings occur in English only. Language interpretation will be available for the conference from 16th July at 16:00.

09:30 – 09:50
09:50 – 10:50
ICGN Committee Meetings Taking place on Main Arcade Level - open to ICGN members & non-members

Committee Meetings occur in English only. Language interpretation will be available for the conference from 16th July at 16:00.

10:55 – 11:55
ICGN Committee Meetings Taking place on Main Arcade Level - open to ICGN members & non-members

Committee Meetings occur in English only. Language interpretation will be available for the conference from 16th July at 16:00.

12:05 – 13:20
13:30 – 15:30
Annual General Meeting

AGM will occur in English only. Language interpretation will be avilable for the conference from 16th July at 16:00.

15:30 – 15:55
16:15 – 16:30
Welcome from the ICGN
16:45 – 18:00
Plenary 1: A new era for Japanese corporate governance

In 2018 the Japan Corporate Governance Code was updated, following a revision of Japan’s Stewardship Code in 2017. To what extent have these initiatives led to tangible improvements in practice –reducing cross-shareholdings, enhancing board diversity or promoting awareness of the cost of capital in strategic business decisions? What are the next steps to help ensure long term value creation by companies and investors alike?  

18:00 - 18:15
Video message from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
18:15 – 19:00
Press Conference

Journalists only - For a press pass please contact milly.sheehan@icgn.org 

18:15 - 19:45
Welcome Reception Hosted by Symphony Financial Partners
Wednesday, 17 July
07:15 – 09:00
07:45 – 08:45
Breakfast session: Linking purpose with profits - Creating shared value – Hosted by Nestle

For many years, Nestlé has pursued an approach to business which it calls “Creating Shared Value”.  It is based on the notion that a company can only be successful in the long term, and create sustainable shareholder value, if it also creates value for society.  Many other companies have demonstrated how “doing well” can mean “doing good”.  Increasingly, there is evidence of a positive financial impact.  The breakfast session aims to discuss how linking purpose with profits can not only have a sustained, positive impact on the communities in which companies are present, but lead to higher growth and profitability.

09:00 - 09:15
10:00 – 11:00
Plenary 2: Linking sustainable finance to the real economy

In October 2018, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that not enough is being done to avoid irrevocable damage to the planet – in fact instead of cutting carbon dioxide emissions, world consumption of oil, coal and natural gas is increasing. How are governments supporting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in alignment with TCFD disclosure requirements? Should other markets follow the Bank of England’s lead and impose rules requiring a senior executive to take charge of climate change risks? What lessons can we learn from the Canadian experiences of carbon offsetting? How is the EU Action Plan linking sustainable finance to the real economy?

11:00 – 11:30
11:30 – 12:30
Plenary 3: Strengthening the power and influence of independent directors

Independent Directors, free from external influence, offset the domination of decision-making from any single individual in the boardroom. How can the role of independent directors in Japan and around the world be strengthened to mitigate an overly powerful Chairman or CEO?  What measures can be implemented to ensure effective oversight of CEO remuneration? And what steps should be taken to improve corporate governance disclosures – approved by the Board? Is there an optimal proportion of independent directors for a board to be truly effective? 

12:30 – 13:30
Networking Lunch
13:45 – 14:45
Hosted Sessions
Session A: Globalising Japan: Making stewardship engagement effective – a global, local and inter-cultural perspective Hosted by: Japan Shareholder Services

In order to sustain company growth, major Japanese corporates have no choice but to further globalize.  Japanese CG Codes encourage corporate boards to take dynamic risks to be innovative, efficient, and profitable. The session aims to highlight complex issues contained within shareholder-company engagement from a sustainable growth and dynamic corporate action perspective, while touching on regulatory and cultural matters often involved with engagement activities.

Session B: Japanese corporate governance in practice: board diversity & group corporate governance Hosted by: Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management

Recent reforms in Japan’s stewardship code and corporate governance code have led to a notable increase in engagement activities among investors and companies in Japan. The addition of governance factors which were not on the agenda in the past; namely “board diversity” and “corporate governance of subsidiary companies” are expected to further revitalize engagement between corporate and investment communities. An experienced panel of academics and practitioners will discuss these two factors, including what the points of engagement are and how these activities may lead to further developments in Japanese corporate governance reform.

Session C: Governing culture and talent for the long-term Hosted by EY

People and culture are priority issues for boards and investors concerned about long-term value.  As technology disrupts the workplace, how are best practices in human capital management changing?  How are Japanese companies interpreting the revised Japan Corporate Governance Code’s emphasis on the board’s role vis-à-vis organizational culture?  Measuring intangibles is difficult, but not impossible, as demonstrated by the work of the Embankment Project for Inclusive Capitalism (EPIC).  How can consistent metrics advance understanding of whether culture and strategy are aligned?

Session D: The power of trust - Is confidentiality the differentiating factor in shareholder engagements in Japan? Hosted by GO Investment Partners & Tokio Marine Asset Management

Most activist shareholders share their agenda publicly and widely sometimes even before they have met companies' management.  Some argue that “unless you beat management into submission and you are seen to do so, you are not really engaging”. Conversely the Japan’s Stewardship Code encourages constructive engagement based upon in-depth knowledge of companies and their business environment to promote sustainable growth. Our panel will review the effectiveness of different engagement models over the past 10 years in Japan and discuss whether a model that respects trust and confidentiality may achieve more sustainable long-term changes.

15:00 – 15:30
16:30 – 17:30
Plenary 4: Reforming corporate disclosure and assurance for 21st Century reporting

In Japan efforts are underway to provide better corporate reporting to address long term risks and opportunities. What can be learnt from other initiatives such as the UK’s Strategic Business Report? What measures are regulators taking to help ensure market confidence, integrity and transparency? What are the roles and responsibilities of the board and the management in the corporate reporting model in 21st century?  How can reporting systems and processes be improved to ensure the credibility of reporting? 

18:00 – 21:00
Annual Conference Dinner Hosted by Nuveen - A TIAA Company
Thursday 18 July
07:30 – 09:30
07:45 – 08:45
Breakfast Session: Bridging the expectation gap – How audits can evolve to provide insight into long-term value and risk Hosted by KPMG

According to our latest research, only 50% of investors, audit committee members and finance leaders believe the traditional audit model meets today’s market needs – there is room for improvement. This session will discuss the ways we can help bridge the expectation gap between the mandate of auditors and the desire for certainty by stakeholders and the public. The discussion will revolve around how we can collectively work to reduce the gap – from the role that investors can play in ensuring company reporting meets their needs, to remodelling audit committee-investor communication, and the evolving role of auditors.

10:00 – 11:00
Plenary 5: Shareholder primacy versus stakeholder primacy: is there an optimal model?

Western democracies are increasingly challenged by stakeholders demanding a greater voice in holding companies to account. This is evidenced in the UK Corporate Governance Code and mooted in the proposed USA’s ‘Accountable Capitalism Act.’ Japanese companies are accustomed to responding to the interests of the workforce (some might say at the expense of shareholders). How do boards promote the success of the company in the interests of shareholders and relevant stakeholders in various markets? What are the implications for collective board responsibility when specific interest groups are represented? Who is most able to hold companies to account and keep a check and balance on corporate governance – shareholders or stakeholders?

11:00 – 11:30
11:30 – 12:30
Plenary 6: Leadership perspectives: role and effectiveness of asset owners and their managers in corporate governance oversight

The concept of investor stewardship is now formalised in multiple markets around the world as a key discipline to effective corporate governance oversight. What are leaders of investment insititutions doing to ensure that best practice principles are adopted in practice? How assertive are asset owners in assessing the performance of their managers who act on their behalf? What are the impediments to effectively holding companies to account, for example through voting and engagement?  

12:45 – 13:45
Hosted Sessions
Session E: Leadership in the age of transparency Hosted by: MSCI

The age of transparency has shone a light on corporate leadership. The disintegration of boundaries between boards and markets has exposed leaders to potential reputational damage and opened investors to new vulnerabilities. Controversies are on the increase, but some corporates have been slow to react.  Join us to explore how investors and corporates across Asia-Pacific are responding to the increased level scrutiny and what they are doing longer term to manage and mitigate the growing risk.

Session F: Disclosure enhancement – toward improvement of management quality Hosted by Deloitte

Japanese regulators have decided to enhance the disclosure of non-financial information on the annual report and include Key Audit Matter (KAM) description, with the intention of deepening investors’ understanding of companies as well as to enhance the conversation between investors and companies toward mid-term corporate value enhancement. During this session, we will discuss corporate management personnel, corporate governance personnel and hear from institutional investors who have overseas case examples.

Session G: Passive investors’ engagement for enhancing sustainable corporate value Hosted by: Asset Management One

There has been a dramatic shift to index investing over the last decade. How does this shift change investors’ engagement activities and investee companies’ management? What are the characteristics of passive investors’ engagement? Players in the investment chain will discuss these topics by showing some case studies of engagement from the perspective of enhancing sustainable corporate value.

Session H: Shareholder Rights Directive – It’s time to act! Hosted by Broadridge

In this session the panel of experts will discuss the implications of the EU Shareholder Rights Directive, outline who is impacted by this new regulation inside and outside of the EU, and what they need to do to ensure compliance before September 2020.

Specifically, the panel will address the following: 

  1. Who is impacted by SRDII?  Are those outside of EU impacted?
  2. What investments do market participants need to make to become compliant?
  3. How could shareholder disclosure be implemented?
  4. Are there any benefits to SRD II or is it just an extra cost and burden?
  5. How can investment managers and asset owners be compliant when intermediaries are not ready?
13:45 – 14:45
Networking Lunch
14:45 – 15:45
Plenary 7: Corporate board responsibility for managing systemic risk in times of uncertainty

Systemic risks present challenges to corporate boards way beyond the ordinary course of business. How are corporate boards equipped to deal with environmental risks such as climate change, water scarcity, pollution and natural disasters? What about social risks culminating from human migration, resulting in a rise in populist movements around the world?  How ready are we for technological innovations such as autonomous cars and e-commerce which are set to shape our future? 

15:45 – 16:15
16:15 – 17:15
Plenary 8: The future beyond 2020

Corporate governance and responsible investment practices evolve as markets globalise and adapt to new environments, technologies and demography. This creates uncertainty but also opportunity. Populations are ageing and are more divided as the gap grows between the rich and poor. Economic power is shifting from West to East while both grapple with perhaps the biggest challenge yet – how to deal with climate change. What does this mean for the way we do business, the way we invest and the way we regulate and what does the future hold beyond 2020?

Close of Conference
18:00 - 20:00
Closing Drinks Reception at the Canadian Embassy Hosted by Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan