Save the date – 2015 Remuneration and Governance Forums
28/11/2014
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Mark your calendars. The 2015 Remuneration and Governance Forums for board directors and institutional investors are scheduled for the afternoon of 5 March in Melbourne and the morning of 9 March in Perth.

Co-sponsors Guerdon Associates and CGI Glass Lewis initiated the Forums nine years ago, to provide Australia’s first annual opportunity for directors and their companies’ institutional investors to openly discuss remuneration and governance issues.  The Chatham House Rule applies.  This allows for a frank exchange of views and constructive debate about what constitutes good remuneration governance. 

Regular attendees at the Forums will have noted a change in focus. In the past they exclusively focused on executive and director remuneration and shareholder voting on these matters. This changed for our 2014 Forums. Investor focus is broadening, while board consideration of other governance matters has become more sophisticated. Accompanying these trends have been regulator and other stakeholder guideline changes in regard to board skills, evaluation and renewal, board diversity and director independence.

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) ratings have been correlated with shareholder returns over the full investment cycle. As a result, they now feature more prominently in investor modeling and valuation. Pension fund shareholder activism in governance matters has probably matched the growth of hedge funds betting on governance change. A recent trend is greater variability in director vote outcomes. And the two strikes law is being used by investors as leverage for governance changes that have nothing to do with the remuneration excesses it was designed to constrain. Proxy advisers have been responding to these developments. Our own firm’s board evaluation and governance practice has grown strongly along with our remuneration clients’ more nuanced needs and increased attention to governance matters.

As with the very successful 2014 Forums, we will have panels addressing current remuneration and governance issues. Subject to further information from the federal government, this may include the implications of new equity taxation on director and executive remuneration. There is also likely to be a debate between leading antagonists on a contentious governance issue.

Both Forums will consider CGI Glass Lewis’ voting recommendations and rationale, and remuneration vote outcomes during the proxy 2014 season.

In addition to board directors and institutional investors, we also invite company executives, government regulators and in-house company remuneration advisers.  However, to ensure open discussion, news media are excluded.  Note that this does not prevent any attendee making a statement to the media after the event, providing the Chatham House Rule is maintained.  See HEREfor the Chatham House Rule.

  

Formal invitations will be sent in late January. However, if you would like to receive an invitation, please advise us at info@www.guerdonassociates.com

Note that last year our Sydney Forum was full, and we could not accept late registrations. So we urge you to respond quickly when invitations are sent for the Melbourne and Perth Forums in early 2015.

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