Paris Conference Agenda

Day 1:
Wednesday 6th December 2017
08:30 - 09:00
Delegate registration
09:20 – 10:00
10:00 – 11:15
Strategy for sustainable finance

Institutional investment in sustainable infrastructure is fractional and far from what is needed to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Coupled with a pension deficit in Europe estimated at around EUR 428 bn, the demands for better mobilisation of capital has never been so great. What are the best ways to mobilise public and private sources of capital towards sustainable investment ? How effective is regulation in driving reform? 

11:15 - 11:30
Is global governance of finance adequate? Address by
11:30 - 12.00
Networking refreshment break
12:00 - 13:30
Hosted Sessions
Session 1: Raising the Bar: ESG Integration, ESG Disclosure and ESG Benchmarks Hosted by MSCI

Join leading global investment experts to review the how and why of ESG integration for actively managed portfolios, and to explore a simple dynamic investment strategy that allows long-term passive investors to hedge climate risk without sacrificing financial returns.

We will also hear from a leading French multinational on ESG disclosure from an issuer’s perspective, including how ESG is linked to long-term value creation, and a leading authority on how the US market is responding to the current regulatory environment in Washington and which new ESG issues US investors are focused on.

Session 2: Legal redress to encourage governance reform in investee companies Hosted by Pomerantz

The revised OECD principles recommend that shareholders should have the opportunity to obtain effective redress for violation of their rights. But how prevalent is the use of litigation? 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?

Session 3: How to integrate climate change in your voting approach Hosted by BNP Paribas Asset Management

Since the landmark climate change agreement following the UN Conference of the Parties (COP21), consideration of criteria linked to climate change by asset managers companies has been clearly evidenced.

This can be demonstrated directly, either in the form of specific solutions (such as issuance of green bonds) or through transparency requirements (publication of carbon footprint of funds), but also indirectly, in the investment policies.

How climate change issues are reflected at the level of asset managers’ voting policies and through engagement with companies?

13:30 - 14:30
Networking buffet lunch & Open Meeting

Open invitation by the ICGN Nomination Committee and Board for Members to enquire about serving on the ICGN Board of Governors 


14:30 - 15:30
Responsible capital allocation

Excess cash and cheap debt call require investors to intensify their scrunity on a company’s capital allocation strategy. This includes how companies deploy capital through acquisition, capex, research share buybacks or dividends and how this ultimately shapes their ability for long-term development. What are the fundamental issues at stake and how do they effect different stakeholders?

15:30 - 16:30
Focus on France: Implementing Article 173

Article 173 came into effect last year requiring French asset owners to report on their carbon risks and climate policies on a comply or explain basis. Asset managers – including overseas managers with French clients – are also required  to report. How have investors been dealing with the new transparency laws and what is the trickle effect across the investment chain? 

16:45 - 17:45
Company and investor meetings (private)

Local companies are invited to meet with global investors to discuss their governance and strategy arrangement for the year ahead. 

17:00 - 19:30
ICGN Welcome Reception
Day 2:
Thursday 7th December 2017
08:30 - 09:00
Delegate registration
09:00 - 09:10
09:30 - 10:30
Optimising board effectiveness and equilibrium

There is common consensus around the value of board diversity to enhance decision-making and effectiveness. However, many markets still struggle to achieve tangible progress in balancing gender representation and diversity on corporate boards. How is the subject addressed by investors in company engagements and what resources do they have at their disposal to make informed decisions? Is diversity any better in investment houses and, if not, how can improvements be made?


10:30 - 11:00
Networking refreshment break
11:00 - 12:00
Enhancing the quality of investor stewardship for strategic company engagement and long-term success

How will new transparency rules impact the quality of shareholder engagement on investee company strategy and long-term performance? How can asset owners ensure that their duty to incorporate ESG considerations in investment decision-making is effectively delegated? How this is communicated as part of company engagement efforts and what are the escalation techniques where dialogue is failing? 

12:10 - 13:30
Hosted sessions
Session 1: Culture: Strategy for breakfast or dog’s dinner? Hosted by Mazars

Culture plays a key role in delivering strategy, enhancing business performance, meeting compliance obligations and protecting reputation. Yet a significant number of boards are still grappling to give it adequate time and attention.

Reflecting on a recent European-wide survey, conducted by Mazars and Board Agenda, in association with INSEAD, this panel will look at the extent to which boards influence corporate culture within their organisation and how they determine whether the desired culture aligns with reality. What does this mean for investors? How should investors assess culture? How do investors and boards interact to better understand corporate culture?

Session 2: How to allow for extra-financial risks without restricting your investment universe Hosted by Allianz GI

Through this session, we would like to raise the importance of integrating Environmental, Social and Governance criteria throughout our entire investment value chain.

Session 3: Better businesses, better governance: the case for private equity as the optimal form of value creation Hosted by Idinvest Partners

Some argue that the private equity model of investment is a key source of outperformance of private firms relative to public ones. Factors include active ownership, alignment of interests, long-term horizons, independent board members and a strong personal commitment to corporate success. In this session business founders and their shareholders will explain how they work together to develop businesses that create value, economic growth and jobs. 

13:30 - 14:30
Networking buffet lunch
14:30 - 15:30
Incentivising for longer-term thinking and behaviour in the investment chain

Incentive structures throughout the investment chain are said to be flawed and at odds with the long-term liabilities of underlying beneficiaries. Pay seems to be less associated with the long-term performance of companies and more about short-term returns. How can this be addressed? Will enhanced transparency encourage positive change? How can asset manager remuneration be better aligned with the profile and duration of asset owner liabilities? 

15:30 - 16:30
Encouraging greater stakeholder inclusivity in corporate governance

A primary role of the board is to promote the success of the company in the interests of shareholders and relevant stakeholders. Some would argue that stakeholders need a greater voice in holding companies to account. Ways in which this could be achieved include greater board diversity, advisory committees or designated non-executive directors to represent stakeholder interests. How do these approaches work in practice and what are the effects on the traditional role of directors and shareholders in keeping a check and balance on corporate governance?