Agenda

*Please note this programme is subject to change

Day 1:
Wednesday 28th February - Held at the Mandarin Oriental
07:15 - 08:45
Delegate registration
07:30 – 08.45
Breakfast sessions
09:00 - 09:10
Welcome
09:30 - 09:40
Opening Keynote Address
09:45 - 10:00
10:00 - 11:00
Plenary 1: Enhancing long term corporate value in a Japanese context

The momentum for driving long-term corporate value in Japan is steadily progressing since the advent of Abenomics. However, several challenges remain to encourage constructive risk taking and promote sustainable long term growth. What are the impediments which prevent companies from taking a more dynamic approach to capital allocation? Can governance and stewardship reforms be accelerated to help unlock large cash reserves and boost capital investments, corporate productivity and economic growth? What initiatives have other markets relied upon to align strategic corporate and investment cycles to promote long-term value?

11:00 - 11:30
Refreshments
11:30 - 12:30
Plenary 2: Leveraging connections between reporting and governance to support long-term value creation

Over 300 companies have issued an integrated report in Japan. Evidence from around the world shows that integrated reporting has wider impacts on corporate performance while attracting long-term investors and reducing the cost of capital. To what extent is corporate reporting practice embedded in the management and oversight processes? How should information flows and the decision-making process around corporate strategy and performance evaluation be linked? How can integrated reporting become the information architecture to support high quality dialogue between company management and investors? How can we harmonize corporate governance and corporate reporting to achieve more meaningful company and investor engagement?

12:30 - 13:30
Plenary 3: Corporate Governance: improving board leadership and effectiveness

The Japan FSA’s Council of Experts concerning the Follow-up of Japan’s Stewardship and Corporate Governance Codes is considering new measures to encourage more effective board decision-making to maximise long-term corporate value. Priority issues include CEO and Chairman succession, role and competence of independent directors, engagement with shareholders and board evaluation. How is corporate governance developing in practice since the 2015 release of Japan’s Corporate Governance Code? Are independent directors fulfilling their roles effectively and what further support can be provided, for example around financial literacy? What are the next steps in terms of implementing any new measures and how are Japanese companies and investors responding?

13:30 - 1430
Lunch
14:30 - 15:45
Hosted Breakout Sessions
Session 1 - ESG Integration: A means for effective stewardship and engagement between companies and investors Hosted by Mitsubishi UFJ Trust Bank & Japan Shareholder Services

This session offers delegates the opportunity to hear the insights and experiences of an institutional investor and Japanese company whose quality of engagement has been enhanced through the move towards ESG integration. ESG integration had allowed a more open and meaningful dialogue to develop between companies and investors as they strive towards sustainable development. 

Session 2 – Corporate Governance and Integrated Reporting in Japan: views, insights and implications from survey findings Hosted by KPMG Japan

Since the issuance of the IIRC’s <IR> Framework in 2013, companies endeavoring to produce an integrated report has been significantly increasing. Furthermore, the implementation of the Stewardship Code in 2014 and the Corporate Governance Code in 2015 have increased Japanese companies’ awareness towards effective corporate governance and better communication with investors. How are Japanese companies’ corporate governance and integrated reports viewed by institutional investors? What should companies do to attract and establish a long term relationship with investors for sustainable value creation?

Session 3 – Human Capital Management and the Bottom Line Hosted by MSCI

Workforce diversity is of particular importance in Japan, given current demographics and historic hiring patterns.  How can investors gain exposure to companies that are promoting and maintaining gender diversity among their workforce?  Can Japanese companies’ disclosure on this topic serve as a model for other markets?  In the United States, current SEC workforce reporting rules only require companies to disclose employee headcount.  The Human Capital Coalition has recently petitioned the SEC for increased disclosure in nine categories.  What are they, and what are the chances of success?   Are there initiatives focused on human capital management and workforce gender diversity in other markets?

15:45 - 16:00
Refreshments
16:00 - 17:00
Plenary 4: Overcoming obstacles to effective stewardship

Shareholder rights are strong in Japan, yet engagement is inhibited by company friendly mechanisms such as cross shareholdings and a restricted market for corporate control.  This is coupled with perceived ambiguity around acting in concert rules which limits global investor appetite to collaborate with local peers. To what extent has Japan’s Stewardship Code enabled better company and investor engagement? How are asset owners and managers coping with the new requirements and what can be done to increase participation from corporate pension funds?  

17:00 - 18:00
Plenary 5: Coherent corporate reporting: achieving the right balance between regulatory discipline and market judgement

A coherent corporate reporting system is a reflection of a well-functioning financial system and capital market.  It is essential for both companies and investors to have structured corporate disclosure system which can support efficient and effective preparation and use of information. How can we achieve an integrated and structured corporate disclosure system in the face of multiple regulatory reporting requirements? What can be learnt from other initiatives such as the UK’s Strategic Report? Can reporting be consolidated to help global investors access this much needed information in a more efficient way and is it possible to increase the pace of change?  

18:10 - 19:25
Welcome reception
19:25 - 21:15
Dinner
Day 2:
Thursday 1st March - Held at the Tokyo Stock Exchange
08:15 - 08:40
Delegate Registration
09:30 - 10:30
Session 1: Optimizing capital allocation within the investment chain

The global investment community has long had concerns about cross-holdings among Japanese companies.  While some investments are part of companies' core business models, others are less clearly explained and concerns arise that these may impede effective management challenge and prevent the effective reallocation of capital.  This can, however, be difficult to challenge given its ubiquity in Japan.  Other countries have had similar pernicious issues: over distribution of capital and underinvestment, or short-termism.  Can lessons learned in tackling such problems be shared to help change behaviour?  

10:30 - 10:45
Networking break
10:45 - 11:45
Session 2: Board evaluation and director nomination

Outcomes from board evaluations can help to inform the types of candidates of strategic relevance to the company. Independent Directors can play a vital role in CEO appointment, removal and succession planning and Nomination Committees lay an important role. How useful are board evaluations perceived to be in Japan and what can be done to encourage better utilisation of results. How can disclosure to shareholders be enhanced to highlight any material issues of relevance arising from board evaluation conclusions. 

 

11:45 - 12:45
Session 3: Meaningful and Credible Disclosure: Tackling the issue of boiler plate disclosure

Japan’s Corporate Governance Code introduced in 2015 set out some basic principles to be applied in a ‘comply or explain’ context. How do we move beyond the formality of ‘box ticking’ to substantial behavioural change among companies and investors to promote long-term corporate success? What can be done to improve the ‘comply or explain’ system to facilitative meaningful company and investor dialogue? How can we tackle the issues of boiler plate disclosure?

12:45 - 13:00