Company Secretary Forum 2019


Company Secretary Forum 2019


08.15 Breakfast and networking


09.00 Introductions and welcome

Chair: Sir Peter Bazalgette, Chairman, ITV


09.15 KEYNOTE: CEO perspective: Preparing yourself and your role for the business environment of the future

  • What’s on the 2020 horizon and beyond?
  • What does the CEO need from the company secretary to add strategic value to the business?

Attend this session and it will offer you a clear understanding of near-term and possible future reforms and changes in the business environment, how these may affect your business and what to consider when planning for the future.


09.50  The board of the 21st century

  • What is the role of the company secretary in shaping the board, supporting succession planning and planning for the future?
  • What is the appetite in the boardroom to make change?
  • How to influence boards to change the running of Board
  • Should the company secretary be learning a new skill to help as an ambassador of the company?
  • How can boards be more proactive in supporting and working with investors?
  • Bringing Artificial Intelligence, digital and cyber into our board room

This session will offer you a comprehensive view of the areas most likely to change in the board environment over the next few years. There will be practical examples of how to deal with change and which skills (including soft skills) are needed to deploy for success.

Nicholas Eldred. Director, NE Consulting Services

Dottie Schindlinger, VP Thought Leadership, Diligent

Neville Howe, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, NEST Corporation

Simon Callander, General Counsel and Company Secretary, Superdry


10.40 Morning coffee

If you have any further questions for speakers that you didn’t get a chance to ask during their session, please make sure to find them in the reserved networking area during the first break after their session.


11.10 Breakout sessions

11.10 BREAKOUT SESSION 1: Building tomorrow’s talent pipeline for governance professionals  

  • Skills matrix coming through internally and  externally. What opportunities can we offer?
  • What plans do you have in place to develop the talent pipeline. Board apprentice schemes etc.
  • How will recruitment processes be different in years to come?
  • Mentoring and exposure
  • How can the role evolve – what opportunities are there externally?

Helene Li, Formerly Office of the Secretary EMEA, J.P Morgan

Andrew Kidd, Legal Director, Corporate, Specsavers


BREAKOUT SESSION 2: The role of the company secretary in adding value and supporting the remuneration committee

The role of the Remuneration committee is set to change. They will be required to go further to demonstrate that executive pay outcomes are fair and reasonable and engage with the workforce.

What makes it easier for investors to make it easier to respond to them.

  • The role of the company secretary in acting as a bridge between the executives and NEDs
  • Understanding what the executives, remuneration committee and shareholders want to achieve particularly around how executive pay aligns with wider pay policies
  • The role of the remuneration chair in relation to changes to directors' remuneration following the SRDII
  • How do workforce incentives support a positive culture and how pay links to strategy and KPIs?

Attend this session and leave with a clear understanding of recent and forthcoming changes, how these are being implemented in practice, lessons learnt and where Remuneration goes from here and the dos and don’ts from an investor perspective on how to put together a remuneration policy.

David Blizzard, Company Secretary, BAA Aviation

Stephen Cahill, Partner, Deloitte

Faye O’Toole, Deputy Corporate Secretary, NEST Corporation


BREAKOUT SESSION 3: Putting the Wates principles into practice

This session will give you a clear understanding of how private company governance requirements apply to large private subs within listed groups.

Takeaways – examples of how Wates is translating into practice across different types of private companies.  A clear understanding of how private company governance requirements apply to large private subsidiaries  within listed groups.

Martin Webster, Partner, Pinsent Masons

Sir James  Wates CBE, Chairman, The Wates Group

Daniel Connell, Partner, Deloitte

Carol Hui, Chief of Staff and General Counsel, Heathrow 


12.10 Practical insight panel session: Assessing, implementing and reporting on stakeholder engagement practices

This session will look at the practical steps to address Section 172 (how to avoid getting your board into trouble).

  • Prioritising stakeholder interests
  • How is that written in an annual report?
  • How to meaningfully report against it without breaking boundaries?
  • What does good supplier engagement look like?
  • How does the company secretary advise the chair and engage with the CEO in relation to stakeholder engagement?
  • What are other organisations doing?
  • How do you collate the views of customers, employees and stakeholders?

This session will offer practical examples of assessing, implementing and reporting on stakeholder engagement practices.

Daud Khan, Partner, Clifford Chance

Freddie Wolfe, Head of Responsible Investment and Stewardship, Merian Global Investors

Sharon Baylay, Non-Executive Director, Ted Baker

Julian Baddeley, Deputy Company Secretary, Aviva

Liz Miles, Deputy Company Secretary, Landsec


13.00-14.00 Lunch


14.00 NEW FORMAT:  Company Secretary experiential session: Sustainability Boardroom Dilemma:

It all starts with a missed delivery of a pair of jeans: is it a one-off mistake - or does this have wider implications? This is how the latest in Deloitte’s Boardroom Dilemmas series opens, setting the scene for a rich and interactive conversation designed to help directors consider the complexities of reputation, crisis and resilience, using simulation techniques.

In this scenario focused on sustainability, we consider the relationships between ethical supply chains, stakeholder engagement, environmental practices, safety and ultimately financial performance.

Dr Sara Ulrich, Director, Deloitte

Ben Richards, Associate Director, Deloitte


15.00 Adapting and preparing to the challenge of climate change and reporting requirements

New pressures to respond to the climate crisis are emerging from across the stakeholder spectrum, with investors and regulators taking an increasingly keen interest in how corporates are preparing to adapt and transition to lower-carbon business models.

In this session, we’ll explore:

  • The Task-Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosures’ recommendations, and why this framework is emerging as a key tool for tackling climate change
  • What is the role of company secretary in preparing and getting climate crisis onto the board agenda?
  • Understanding the emerging good practices for climate-related disclosure
  • What are the practical steps to getting started with TCFD

Nigel Howarth, Partner, Clifford Chance

Peter Mather, Group Regional President, Europe & Head of Country, UK, BP

Andrew Ninian, Director, Stewardship and Corporate Governance, The Investment Association


15.40 Afternoon Tea



Break out session 1: Practical steps to develop and maintain a diverse talent pipeline across the business

  • How are boards assessing their company's culture on a global level?
  • How does the board encourage wider diversity and how can the company secretary help promote it? What mechanisms can you use to help the board?
  • Practical intervention methods
  • Mentoring and reverse mentoring

Leave this session with a clear understanding of the tools and methods being used at the leading edge of succession planning and practical ways to encourage embedding discussions around a diverse talent pipeline.

Sharon Constançon, CEO, Genius Boards

Kate Grussing, Managing Director, Sapphire Partners


Breakout session 2: Practical considerations for the 2020 audit committee

  • The role of the audit committee going forward
  • What should audit committees be doing this year?

Jock Lennox,  Chair of Audit Committee, Barratt Developments

Miranda Craig, Secretariat, Independent Review into the Quality and Effectiveness of Audit, BEIS

William Touche, Vice Chairman, Deloitte

Victoria Whyte, Company Secretary, GSK


Breakout session 3: Key drivers for implementing and enforcing a subsidiary governance framework

For many companies good subsidiary governance is about managing your entire group structure through a maze of regulatory, tax and legal compliance obligations and adopting robust governance practices to minimise risk – locally and globally.

This session will offer insights of panel members’ experience in implementing and enforcing a subsidiary governance framework within their organisation.   

  • Drivers for implementing and enforcing a ‘fit for purpose’ subsidiary governance framework.
  • Practical guide and insight from each panel member, including how technology helps support their organisation’s subsidiary governance framework

17.00    NEW FORMAT: Join us for drinks, networking and roundtable discussions of the day’s key take aways and close by Chair

Conference details

Tuesday 19 November 2019

QEII Centre,

Broad Sanctuary,




For more information or if you need assistance booking your place for the 2019 Conference, please contact Chelsea Dennis on +44 (0) 207 542 9133 or email


For sponsorship opportunities please contact Victor Mowla on +44 (0) 207 542 3986 or email


Attendance at the event is subject to the Thomson Reuters Events terms and conditions.