ICGN 2022 Governance & Stewardship Awardees
And the winners are..
ICGN presented four awards to recognise outstanding corporate governance and investor stewardship leaders at the ICGN Global Proxy Round-up Event on November 16th 2022.
Excellence in Corporate Governance
James Andrus, Interim Managing Investment Director, CalPERS, US
James was nominated by Tamara Sells, Associate Investment Manager, CalPERS. In her nomination, Tamara said, “The specific outcomes (of his work) run all across corporate governance as he has been a part of pushing for greater transparency in corporate reporting in his writing, speaking and general advocacy work. Many may claim success for the broad accomplishments, but there is no doubt that James has been a vital part in moving on greater transparency in financial reporting, including the enhanced focus on sustainability reporting. For example, his work on getting climate and human capital into the financials (note that FASB has human capital in its work plan) is ground-breaking in the U.S.”
In a video accepting his award, James said “I cannot say thank you enough to the Committee who selected me for the Excellence in Corporate Governance Award; to the board, that is responsible for all; and to Kerrie Waring, for continuously holding the banner of corporate governance high around the globe.”
“I note and applaud the current and past winners of the Governance and Stewardship Awards. Our work is not easy. Battles are fought to ultimately raise global governance and stewardship standards, always with long-term returns for the ultimate beneficiaries at the forefront… I admire the fact that ICGN creates a home for those with big ideas and energy to drive them, and for those of us working hard on their own ideas and the ideas of others, loving what we do.
Excellence in Corporate Governance
Women on Boards of Directors Leadership Initiative (collaborative initiative), Colombia
In the nomination, Professors Maria Andrea Trujillo and Alexander Guzmán from the CESA Business School said, “The program has thus far managed to find leadership positions for women who have participated, in conjunction with its allies and supported by Colombia’s Vice-presidency, which sent letters to more than 3,000 companies during 2020-2022, inviting the incorporation of more women on boards of directors. More than 2,100 profiles have been made visible, thanks to the Resume Bank, and the program has participated in 152 processes, ultimately achieving 28 positions on boards of directors.”
Emilia Restrepo (Rector, CESA Business School) accepted the Award, stating with Professors Trujillo and Guzmán that “We are so pleased to receive this recognition for our initiative. We have seen the power of the work we’re undertaking and the change in the lives of the women we work with, not just professionally but personally too. We have obtained positions for them in the country’s top companies and caused a shift in Colombia’s business sector, which is now increasingly aware of the importance of gender diversity in leadership roles. Receiving this award encourages us to keep moving forward to expand this initiative in Latin America, and reminds us of our responsibilities when it comes to continuing the hard work that this initiative represents. We will keep emphasizing the great importance of gender diversity within a good system of governance, in general, and boards, in particular. On behalf of CESA Business School, which designed and leads this initiative, and our allies, Aequales (gender equity consultants), ANDI (National Association of Industrialists), Deloitte, the IFC of the World Bank Group, the Colombian Institute for Corporate Governance, Orza (corporate strategic relationships advisors), the Page Group, Women in Connection and the 30% Club, we offer our heartfelt thanks for this recognition.”
Rising Star Award
Sonya’s nominator, Hannah Shoesmith said, “She spent 2020 researching the topic and in February 2021 published a white paper called ‘Our Commitment to Nature: Supporting biodiversity and sustainable land use through engagement’. Her research was fundamental to the development of the firm’s first biodiversity fund, which successfully launched as the Biodiversity Equity Fund in partnership with the Natural History Museum in March 2022. Sonya has since been appointed as the lead engager on the fund.”
On receiving the award, in a video, Sonya said “It’s a huge honour to be recognised through the ICGN Rising Star Award. I’m especially humbled to be recognised by an organisation that has played such an important role in elevating standards of corporate governance and stewardship around the world. I’d like to congratulate all the others in this category, several of whom I am lucky to have worked with, and who I know are superstars.”
Rising Star Award
Professor Dr. Kornelia Fabisik, Assistant Professor, University of Bern, Switzerland
In the nomination, Dr. Christian Strenger said, “(Dr. Fabisik’s) research in the field of ESG ratings is truly useful to both investment professionals as well as academics. In addition, her research in the field of corporate governance has been published in the Journal of Financial Economics She also regularly shares her knowledge with the public in her blog “Clarity in ESG” (www.clarityinesg.com).”
Dr. Fabisik said “I am truly delighted to receive the 2022 ICGN Rising Star Award. It is truly encouraging to see that the topics that interest me as an academic are the same ones that practitioners care about – be it ESG best practices, optimal incentives and shareholder voting mechanisms, and many others. I hope that my future research will continue to inform the policy debate and will become of interest to an even broader audience.”