Milan Annual Conference Agenda

 

Monday 25 June
Day 1: AGM & Committee Meetings Open to all conference attendees
09:00 - 10:00
  • Board Governance 
  • Shareholder Rights - This has moved to 14:30
10:10 – 11:10
  • Disclosure and Transparency
  • Shareholder Responsibilities 
11:20 – 12:20
  • Ethics and Systemic Risk 
12:20 – 13:20
Networking Lunch
13:20 – 14:20
  • ICGN Nomination
  • Japan Initiatives Update
14:30 - 15:30
  • Shareholder Rights
15:30 – 15:50
Refreshments
16:00 – 18:00
ICGN Annual General Meeting
18:30 – 20:00
Welcome Reception Hosted by Georgeson
Tuesday 26 June
Day 2: ICGN Annual Conference
07:45 – 08:45
Breakfast Session - The importance of directors skills in board composition Hosted BNP Paribas Asset Management

While independence and diversity continue to drive the directors nomination  process, there is a growing focus from companies and investors on the evaluation of directors skills (though their track records, capacity of directors to understand their industries…). How companies use skill’s matrix in order to assess which expertise are needed at board level, and who’s filling this need? How expertise are reflected at the level of asset managers’ voting policies and through engagement with companies?

10:00 – 11:00
Plenary 1: Stewardship codes: putting principles into practice

Much progress has been made in the development of Stewardship Codes around the world, but challenges remain in making successful stewardship a reality. Is stewardship resourced as a profession within investment firms? What should be the status of stewardship professionals relative to fund managers? How should remuneration be structured? How can stewardship teams engage with their retail clients to bring individual “citizens” into the stewardship dialogue? Is there scope for investor associations to better coordinate with one another to strengthen the investor voice in dialogue with policy makers?

11:00 – 11:30
Refreshments
11:30 – 12:30
Plenary 2: Managing conflict and dissenting voices on boards

Effective boards require a balance of cohesion and creative tension. We are witnessing trends in many global markets to change board composition to add new perspectives and greater diversity. This includes greater independent representation on the boards of controlled companies, more gender diversity and investor-nominated directors (for example, Italy’s vota di lista system). While these initiatives may encourage fresh perspectives, this also creates the scope for greater board dissent. When is dissent healthy, and when might it be counterproductive? Does dissent help or hinder a board’s ability to assure a good corporate culture? How should boards best integrate directors nominated by investors?  What are the potential pitfalls?

12:30 – 13:35
Networking lunch
13:35 - 14:15
A conversation with Hiro Mizuno, Executive Managing Director and CIO, GPIF, and Kerrie Waring, CEO, ICGN
14:15 – 15:15
Plenary 3: Stock exchanges and shareholder rights: a race to the top, not the bottom

Stock exchanges are faced with an increasingly competitive global market when seeking to attract new foreign listings - particularly at a time when many companies are choosing to delist or remain private to avoid the obligations of public issuance. Some exchanges are encouraging the use of dual class shares which is seen by many companies as an attractive way to avoid undue influence by investors. But many investors are concerned that minority rights are threatened. How should exchanges balance tensions of this nature? Are the pressures on exchanges to attract new listings compromising investor protections and standards of governance? 

15:30 – 16:45
Hosted Sessions
Session 1: Talent strategy increasingly drives value: Key issues for investors and boards on the future of work Hosted by EY

Talent has become a primary driver of organizational value, especially in a world of digital disruption.  From building a culture where innovation thrives, to defining the company’s purpose, to investing in developing workers to meet the demands of evolving business models, a successful talent strategy is critical to competitive strength and long-term value creation.  Global C-suite executives increasingly rank talent issues among their top challenges, but in a recent survey only 14 percent of CEOs said they have the leadership talent to execute their strategy.  Many boards are already devoting more attention to oversight of human capital strategies and risk mitigation.  For investors, understanding how boards are tackling the talent agenda means considering how companies are investing in “next-gen” leadership development and employee engagement, how companies are upholding their diversity goals, and how they’re ensuring that the company’s actions correspond with its stated culture and values. 

Session 2: The rise of large cap activism in Europe Hosted by ISS

Shareholder activism in Europe has for the first time broken the $100 bn “psychological barrier.” Large cap companies are now under pressure, and not even heavily regulated financial institutions are immune to activists’ ambitions.  Do activists think they can use the same tactics as with smaller targets? And will politicians seek to protect Europe’s “national champions” by curbing the tools of activists?

Session 3: Fiduciary duty in challenging times Hosted by CAQ

Around the world, immigration, gun control, climate change, diversity, and sexual harassment are no longer simply alluring headlines or issues left to policymakers to tackle: they are affecting companies’ bottom lines. This panel will explore how companies and investors are broadening their definition of fiduciary duty to encompass more than just economic best interest;  how they are looking to make a positive impact on society as a driver of long term strategy and growth; and how businesses measure and report on the value they create for shareholders and stakeholders.

16:45 – 17:15
Refreshments
17:15 – 18:15
Plenary 4: Governance and technology: what are the opportunities and risks?

The risks and complexities posed by cyber risk and data protection can have direct financial, operational and reputational impacts on corporate success. How should company boards and institutional investors best address these emerging technology factors? Should board composition evolve to ensure there is sufficient technical understanding and capability among board members themselves – or are boards better advised to seek external expertise to provide guidance on technological issues? What assurances to investors need that boards are on top of these risks and opportunities?

18:30 – 19:30
Pre-Dinner Networking Drinks Hosted by MSCI ESG Research
19:30 – 21:30
Conference Dinner Co-hosted by Eurizon Capital & Egon Zehnder
19:30 – 19:40         Sponsors welcome remarks 
19:40 – 19:55         Starters served
19:55 – 20:10         Dinner speaker – Mario Nava, Chairman, Consob
20:10 – 20:50         Mains served
20:50 – 21:30         Awards & dessert 
Wednesday 27 June
Day 3: ICGN Annual Conference
07:45 – 08:45
Breakfast session: Does good governance pay?

Increasingly, there is evidence for it. Especially younger employees want to work for a well run company with a purpose, as evidenced by many employee surveys. Investors want to invest in such companies, as evidenced by many shareholder engagements. Finally, customers and consumers want to buy products from companies they trust, as evidenced by many consumer surveys. All of this should lead to the creation of sustainable shareholder value. Accordingly, Nestlé’s shareholders adopted a purpose clause in its articles of association committing the company to aim for sustainable value creation. 

09:10 – 09:20
10:00 – 11:00
Plenary 5: Proxy advisor best practice and investor data/research needs

The Best Practice Principles for Governance Research Providers (BBP) were established in 2013 in Europe as a voluntary framework for proxy advisors and has recently been reviewed. At the same time the potential for extremely strict  proxy advisor legislation in the US, runs the risk of seriously impacting the practical ability of proxy advisors to serve investors. Do proxy agencies and other data providers meet the research needs of investors? Are investors allowing proxy agencies to exercise too much power in the voting process? Should they be defending proxy agencies more forcefully to policy makers? Are the BPP fit for purpose or is there scope for further improvement? What are the implications of US legislation of proxy agencies?

11:00 – 11:30
Refreshments
11:45 – 12:45
Hosted Sessions
Session 1: Impact of Shareholder Rights Directive on voting practices and engagement Hosted by Generali Investments

Under new European Commission requirements, institutional investors and asset managers are obliged, on a comply or explain basis, to disclose how they have exercised their voting rights and their approach to shareholder engagement. The rules also effect proxy advisor disclosure around voting recommendations. The aim is to ensure that the long term interests of beneficiaries are taken into account  in investment strategies including the greater involvement of shareholders in corporate governance as one of the levers that can improve financial and non-financial performance of companies. What impact is this having on investment mandates, incentives and reporting? Will enhanced disclosure around voting practices lead to meaningful company engagement and value creation? Are investors properly equipped to deal with the new changes?

Session 2: Obtaining legal redress to encourage governance reform in investee companies Hosted by Pomerantz LLP

The revised OECD principles recommend that shareholders should have the opportunity to obtain effective redress for violation of their rights. This is echoed in the ICGN’s Global Governance Principles which refers to legal redress as a last resort to address failing engagement. But how prevalent is the use of litigation in Europe? Can it be used to bring about practical governance changes? To what extent are shareholders obliged to consider such action as part of their fiduciary responsibilities?

13:00 – 14:00
Networking Lunch
14:15 – 15:15
Plenary 6: Governance, stewardship and the private company

Corporate governance is relevant for both public and private companies, and private equity has become an important asset class within many institutional investment portfolios. However, relatively little attention has been focused on the role of institutional investors in private companies – even though the decline in public listings in many markets has sparked renewed interest in governance standards of private companies. How does private company governance differ from public company governance? How is investor stewardship affected by companies without market listings? What should institutional investors in private equity funds expect from General Partners in terms of governance protections?

15:15 – 16:30
Refreshments and networking
15:30 – 16:30
Company and Investor Engagement Sessions
16:30 – 17:30
Plenary 7: Towards the meaningful integration of the Sustainable Development Goals in business and investment

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) add a new dimension to the use of ESG and other non-financial issues, and bring a systemic perspective to both companies and investors. Is meaningful ESG integration a reality in institutional investment firms or a marketing enigma? Are companies providing the right information to allow investors to better understand ESG risks? What incremental data needs are required for investors to address the SDGs? Are the standard setters and data providers of ESG data sufficiently coordinated or is there overlap and confusion? Should some ESG disclosures by companies be required by legislation? If so, which?  

17:30 – 17:45
2019 Announcement: ICGN Annual Conference, hosted by the Japan Exchange Group / Tokyo Stock Exchange
18:00 - 21:00
Drink Reception & Conference Dinner at Fondazione Catella

Following welcome drinks and short speeches, there will be a gourmet buffet dinner with thematic areas and show cooking.

Thursday 28 June 2018
Day 4: Focus on Italy In partnership with LUISS Guido Carli
08:45 - 09:30
Registration
09:30 - 09:35
09:50 - 10:10
Opening Keynote: ESG, three magical letter in the Italian Companies' Alphabet
11:30 - 11:50
Refreshments Sponsored by M&G
13:15 - 14:15
Lunch Sponsored by Georgeson
15:50 - 16:10
Refreshments Sponsored by M&G
17:30 - 17:40
Conclusion and end of conference
17:40 - 19:00
Closing Excursion Sponsored by Eni and Ferragamo

featuring abbreviated fashion show and cocktail reception