Skip page header and navigation

About the event

ICGN is excited to be attending Dubai this November, co-organised with the Hawkamah Institute for Corporate Governance

Taking place immediately before the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), this event will cover topics related to environmental and social issues, all from the overarching lens of promoting good governance practises.

Registration for this event is now closed.

For our registration terms and conditions click here





Dusit Thani Dubai, 133 Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, United Arab Emirates


This is a complimentary event.

Registration for this event is now closed.

We are unable to accept any more registrations at this time.



International Assests Manager
Abu Dhabi National Energy Company
Co-Founder & Chair
Emirates Environmental Group
Board Member
Phil Armstrong
Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa, Turkey, India, & CIS
S&P Dow Jones Indices
Charbel Azzi
Senior Director, ESG Specialist, Index Investment Strategy
S&P Dow Jones Indices
Maya Beyhan
Head of Corporate Governance Unit - Capital Markets and Financial Institutions Division
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
Daniel Blume
Head of Sustainability and Information Governance
Zurich Insurance Group
Nadia Boumeziout
Executive Director & Senior Account Manager
Beth Byington
Executive Director
Dr. Gonzalo Castro de la Mata
Managing Director & Head of Stewardship and Engagement
Boston Common Asset Management
Lauren Compere
Senior Fellow
Harvard Law School
Stephen Davis
EFRAG Sustainability Reporting Board
EVP, Head of Global Investment Insights, Sustainability and Impact
State Street
Jessica Donohue
Chief Regulatory Officer & Head of Government Affairs
Federated Hermes Limited
Greg Dulski
Sales Business Development
Gibran Freitas
Chief Executive Officer
Hawkamah, the Institute for Corporate Governance
Dr. Ashraf Gamal El Din
Global Leader - Service Line Capabilities and Quality
Grant Thornton International Ltd
Trent Gazzaway
Platform for Connected Leadership (PCL)
Dr Waddah
Executive Director ESG Advisory
Standard Chartered Bank
Kevin Gierge
Head of Legal Expertise & Alliances
Cyril Godet
Board Director & Founding Partner
Better Governance
Executive Director
Oman Centre for Governance and Sustainability
Sayyid Hamid headshot.
Chief Sustainability Officer
Raji Hattar
Chief Thought Leader
Platform for Connected Leadership (PCL)
Steyn Heckroodt
Governance Perspectives Ltd
Chris Hodge
Chargée de mission Direction Juridique Groupe
Caisse des Depots
Anne-Marie Jourdan
Senior Policy Analyst
OECD - Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs, Capital Markets and Financial Institutions Division
Fianna Jurdant
Global Initiative Fellow
ICGN Board Member & Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management
Seiji Kawazoe
Founder & President
Sophie L’Hélias
Non-Executive Director
Terna S.p.A.
Karina Livak
International Sustainability Standards Board
Director - Sustainability, Policy & Regulatory Affairs
The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC)
David Madon
Chief Investment Officer
Quantum Asset Management Company
Chirag Mehta
EMEA Lead for ESG Issuer Communications
Jasmine Mehta
Global Policy Director
Severine Neervoort
Director of Sustainability
Al-Dabbagh Group
Shahad Nejaim
Chief Executive Officer
Federated Hermes Limited
Nusseibeh Saker
Partner, Head of Client Services
Pomerantz LLP
Jennifer Pafiti
The Phillips Group
Shane Phillips
Senior Investment Strategist & Head of MENA
Anthony Sassine
Global Head of Sustainability
Franklin Templeton Companies LLC
Anne Simpson
Chief Executive Officer
Independent Audit Limited
Susan Stenson
Director, Corporate Governance and Stewardship
Financial Reporting Council
David Styles
Business Development Director UK
Pomerantz LLP
Daniel Summerfield
Chief Executive Officer
Kerrie Waring
Professor of Accounting
National University Singapore (NUS)
Mak Yuen Teen
General Manager and Head of Corporate Governance
Securities Commission Malaysia
Director for Sustainability & Climate Change Strategy


  • 28 November 2023 - Day One

    08:00 - 09:45
    Registration & Morning Coffee
    09:30 - 10:00
    Keynote remarks

    ​​​​​Dr. Ahmad Al Sheikh,Chairman, Hawkamah, UAE 

    10:00 - 10:15
    Opening remarks

    Kerrie Waring, CEO, ICGN, UK



    10:15 - 11:30
    Plenary 1: National Visions towards sustainable economies in the MENA region

    As global investors, companies and capital market stakeholders convene in Dubai for COP 28, MENA countries will demonstrate progress towards achieving net-zero carbon neutrality by 2050. Many have articulated ‘National Visions’ aligned with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. Strategies focus on a post oil future that embraces the knowledge economy, tourism, and global investment. Robust governance oversight is imperative for Nation Visions to be successfully achieved.

    What are the unique governance characteristics of MENA based markets? How do governance expectations align with internationally accepted standards such as the ICGN Global Governance Principles or the G20  Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Principles of Corporate Governance?  How is corporate control, power and accountability managed to ensure long-term value creation, contributing to sustainable economies, society, and the environment?

    11:30 - 12:00
    12:00 - 13:15
    Plenary 2: The corporate board’s role in the governance of sustainability

    Climate change, biodiversity loss, geopolitical challenges, access to water resources: sustainability challenges abound. What is the board’s role in the creation and oversight of a company’s sustainability journey in meeting rising global investor expectations? How can companies become more resilient and drive long-term strategies to deliver sustainability results? Are boards fit for purpose in terms of director skills and experience, committee mandates, and commitments to board training?

    Global investors and companies will talk about their approaches to sustainability and the solutions they are creating. This session will provide an opportunity to learn from others, to share knowledge and to discuss ways to tackle global sustainability challenges.

    13:15 - 14:15
    Networking Lunch
    14:15 - 15:30
    Plenary 3: The human dimension: optimizing a company’s most valuable asset – the workforce – for corporate productivity and growth

    The proper oversight of human capital management (HCM) is a key determinant to a company’s long-term strategy for value creation. Post Covid, home-based working is increasingly accepted alongside a greater appreciation for mental health and scrutiny on supply chain relationships to address forced labor and modern slavey practices. Good HCM leads to higher productivity, helping companies innovate and remain competitive in a global economy. Conversely a weak corporate culture with poor HCM has featured prominently in corporate failures.

    How do corporate boards ensure managerial due diligence, disclosure, and accountability around HCM?  How can companies demonstrate the impact of HCM on performance, productivity, and value creation? What are examples of best practice?

    • Sophie L’Helias, Founder and CEO, LeaderXXchange, France
    • Chirag Mehta, Chief Investment Officer, Quantum Asset Management Company, India
    • David Styles, Director, Corporate Governance and Stewardship, Financial Reporting Council, UK
    • Ali Abdulla AlShimmari, International Assets Manager – GCC, Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, UAE

      Moderator: Sandra Guerra, Board Director, Founding Partner at Better Governance, Brazil
    15:30 - 15:45
    15:45 – 16:30
    Hosted Sessions

    Session A: The Rise of ESG litigation as an engagement tool for responsible investors – challenges and opportunities, hosted by Pomerantz

    With the increasing global focus on ESG concerns, including greenwashing, active engagement in litigation is being viewed and used as a means of bringing about corporate governance reforms which otherwise might not have been achieved. When used effectively, securities litigation is also about future-proofing the companies in which pension funds invest, and acting as a deterrent to other companies who might be tempted to pursue a path which is not in their shareholders’ or stakeholders’ interests.

    • Daniel Summerfield, Director of ESG and UK Client Services, Pomerantz LLP, UK
    • Anne-Marie Jourdan, Chargée de mission Direction Juridique Groupe, Caisse des Depots, France
    • Greg Dulski, Chief Regulatory Officer & Head of Government Affairs, Federated Hermes Limited, UK

    Moderator: Jennifer Pafiti, Partner, Head of Client Services, Pomerantz LLP, USA

    Session B:  Maximizing the Impact of Board Evaluations, Hosted by Independent Audit Limited (IAL)

    This session delves into the crucial board evaluation process, a cornerstone for enhancing governance and organisational effectiveness. During this session we will explore key aspects, including The Why -  Board evaluations are essential for assessing collective board performance, individual director effectiveness, and overall board processes; Expectations - The primary goal is to gain insights into communication dynamics, decision-making processes, and alignment with organisational goals, identifying areas for improvement in board composition, diversity, and governance practices to guide the board's evolution; and Planning - Successful board evaluations necessitate clear objectives, suitable methods (self-assessment, peer assessment, or expert online tools), confidentiality, and a well-structured timeline. Engaging an impartial facilitator ensures accurate results. Don't miss this opportunity to supercharge your board's impact!

    • Susan Stenson, Chief Executive Officer, Independent Audit Limited, Republic of Ireland

    Session C: Actioning & Governing Climate Transition Finance, Hosted by MSCI 

    Join MSCI’s in practice workshop with industry leaders who will share their approach to climate transition finance. Learn from a leading Corporate, Bank and Investor on how they’re accessing and providing climate financing to meet net-zero targets and other climate commitments.

    Please note: This session will be held under the Chatham House rule.

    • Beth Byington, Managing Director, Global Head of Corporate ESG & Climate Solutions, MSCI, USA
    • Kevin Giersch, Executive Director ESG Advisory, Standard Charted Bank, UAE
    • Shahad Nejaim, Business Sustainability Director, Al-Dabbagh Group, Saudi Arabia 
    • Franziska Zimmerman, Director for Sustainability & Climate Change Strategy, Temasek, Singapore

     Moderator: Jasmine Mehta, EMEA Lead for ESG Issuer Communications, MSCI, UK

      16:30 – 17:00
      17:00 – 17:45
      Biodiversity as Systemic Risk: Investors Taking Action

      Biodiversity has jumped to the top of the global agenda, joining climate change and   wealth inequality among the top three systemic risks facing investment institutions. What are the investment risks presented by biodiversity loss? How is this issue connected to climate change? What are the main challenges for addressing biodiversity loss? And what are the 'game-changing' initiatives that will drive meaningful action?   

      • Lauren Compere, Managing Director & Head of Stewardship and Engagement, Boston Common Asset Management, USA
      • Seiji Kawazoe, Senior Stewardship Officer, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust, Japan 

        Moderator:  Severine Neervoort, Global Policy Director, ICGN, Italy
      17:45 – 19:30
      Networking Cocktail Reception
    • 29 November 2023 - Day Two

      08:30 - 09:00
      09:00 - 09:30
      Hawkamah Certification Ceremony
      09:30 - 09:45
      Keynote Address: Introducing the Revised G20-OECD Principles of Corporate Governance

      Daniel Blume, Corporate Governance Head and Senior Policy Analyst, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), France

      09:45 - 11:00
      Plenary 4: Reaping the benefits of intangible assets as a key driver of long term corporate value

      The global economy has experienced profound change over the past 30 years transitioning from an industrial based economy to one which now thrives on intangibles. This is acutely evident in the MENA region known for a commitment to innovation, technology, and know-how. Companies that identify and embrace the value of intangible assets such as research and development, intellectual property, branding, and goodwill have a competitive edge. Yet whilst intangibles increasingly drive economic and corporate performance, they rarely feature on company balance sheets. How are companies and auditors taking account of these important value drivers? How are intangibles defined, measured, and monitored?  To what extent do corporate boards adequately oversee this? What questions are investors asking?

      Moderator: Stephen Davis, Senior Fellow, Harvard Law School Program on Corporate Governance & Chair of the Hawkamah International Advisory Board, USA

      11:00 - 11:30
      11:30 - 12:45
      Hosted Sessions

      Session D: Translating ESG integration into Investment Strategies in the Middle East, Hosted by S&P Global

      • Maya Beyhan, Senior Director, ESG Specialist, Index Investment Strategy, S&P, UK
      • Anthony Sassine, CFA, Senior Investment Strategist & Head of MENA, KraneShares, USA

      Moderator:  Charbel Azzi, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa, Turkey, India & CIS, S&P, UAE

      Session E: Revolutionizing Corporate Governance: Unleashing the Power of Artificial Intelligence in Boardrooms, Hosted by DiliTrust
      In today's rapidly evolving business landscape, the incorporation of artificial intelligence (AI) is reshaping the role and functions of boards of directors. AI is not just a technological tool; it's a strategic asset that can help boards make informed decisions, enhance governance, and drive business success. Let's delve into the pivotal role of AI in the boardroom.

      • Cyril Godet, Head of Legal Expertise & Alliances, DiliTrust, France
      • Gibran Freitas, Sales Business Development, DiliTrust, UAE

      Session F: Masterclass / Cultural Competence and Strategic Competitiveness, hosted by PCL Learning  

      Combining experience and reflection, this session addresses concepts of organizational cultural competence as an internal differentiator and source of competitive advantage. Most organizations approach differentiation as an external feature of product and/or service delivery. Whereas these are open to imitation, cultural competence, as the internal DNA of an organization, is much more difficult, if not impossible, to imitate. The speakers bring to bear their years of experience in corporate roles and as entrepreneurs and academics, sharing views and experiences based on research but also on primary examples, meta-insights, and real-world case studies.

      12:45 - 13:55
      13:55 - 15:10
      Plenary 5: High Quality sustainability reporting and assurance

      Unified sustainability disclosure metrics have been launched by Gulf Exchanges. These metrics are an important step towards standardising sustainability disclosure across the MENA region. How are these metrics aligned with those promulgated by the International Sustainability Standards Board or the Global Reporting Initiative?  How are MENA companies and investors approaching the single vs double materiality debate?

      Moderator: Jessica Donohue, Head of Global Investments Insights, Sustainability and Impact, State Street, USA

      15:10 - 15:30
      15:30 - 16:45
      Plenary 6: Reflecting sustainability matters in financial statements

      While global consolidation of sustainability reporting standards is evolving, many investors are calling on companies to demonstrate how sustainability-related factors can materially impact asset values, earnings, contingent liabilities, and statements of going concern. To help make sure that companies reflect climate-related risks and commitments in their financial statements, standard-setters and regulators have issued guidance. To what extent is this guidance being followed by companies and auditors? Are investors discussing this with companies’ audit committees? What are the challenges companies face in demonstrating net-zero accounting disclosures on critical assumptions, scenarios and judgements? How is this information currently being audited?

      • Trent Gazzaway, Global Leader - Service Line Capabilities and Quality,Grant Thornton International Ltd, USA
      • Anne Simpson, Global Head of Sustainability, Franklin Templeton, USA
        Moderator:  Chris Hodge, Advisor, Governance Perspectives Ltd, UK
      16:45 - 17:00
      Closing Remarks

      Christine Chow, Vice-Chair, ICGN, UK &Dr. Ashraf Gamal El Din, Chief Executive Officer, Hawkamah