Registration and breakfast

Sponsored by Diligent Boardbooks


Pre-conference meditation session followed by a short discussion about meditation benefits

Yogi Ashokananda will examine what is meant by true relaxation – a state that leads to good health, happiness and increased productivity.

You will be guided through basic relaxation techniques, a fully guided meditation and Yogi will provide you with exercises to help you on your journey of self-discovery.



Introductions and welcome from Thomson Reuters and The Chair


Keynote: The business environment of the future

Business is currently encountering a significant period of change with the transformative impact of technology and the emergence of new and significant risks including the challenges of, and expectations about how companies are, managing data; cyber security and climate change and broader changes to the way people work and live.

  • Where are companies headed and how will they be operating in the future?
  • How will companies be operating in 5 years’ time?
  • What does this change mean for the Company Secretary?
  • Next generation and characteristics; impact of working multi-generational


Building the Company Secretary and governance teams of the future

  • What skill sets are required to succeed in the 21st century?
  • Where else should you be leading across the business?
  • How do you get the breadth of business knowledge to become a successful Company Secretary?
  • Impact of automation on the role of the company. What will the job look like? Does the role need to be reinvented?



Sponsored by Diligent Boardbooks


Breakout sessions

A choice of one of the following options

1. The future of corporate reporting and front half assurance

Given the increasing expectation around more forward-looking statements and commentary in the front half of the annual report and the increasing scrutiny on alternative performance measures, other non-financial KPIs, risk reporting, CSR disclosures, climate related financial risks etc there is a growing need to have clear and robust assurance on the development of that data.

  • Sourcing robust and qualitative information/data
  • The FRC’s Financial Reporting Lab report on performance metrics
  • How do we see it moving into the future?
  • Sign posting and joining up the front end and back end of the account
  • Ensuring the Board is meeting their responsibilities and is signing off on robust and transparent data

2. Executive remuneration: Different perspectives

Listen to analysis of recent changes to executive pay reporting requirements as well as the new corporate governance code and how it relates to Executive remuneration. It will also discuss how companies are reacting to this code.

3. The regulatory landscape and beyond. Horizon scanning. What’s coming next?

  • Climate change: Is it getting sufficient attention at board level?
    • How are companies putting this data together and what challenges are they facing from investors?
    • What are the financial implications of climate change and how should companies be addressing the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.
    • What is the value in the risk on climate change?
  • Brexit: Friend or foe?
  • What else is on the horizon?
  • Michael Sholem European Counsel, Davis Polk & Wardwell London
  • Jeremy Small Group Company Secretary, AXA UK
  • John Odada Executive Director, Assistant Corporate Secretary, Office of the Secretary EMEA, J.P. Morgan

4. The career path: Aspirations, lessons learnt and life beyond a Company Secretary

Making the leap from a Company Secretary to a NED and Managing Director of a legal-tech spin off

  • Recognising the opportunity to start a business
  • Understanding the reasons why there are not more Company Secretaries on board
  • How your skills can be commercialised and the Company Secretarial  function turned into a profit centre
  • The endpoint: Planning for life post Company Secretary



Working as a Team: Perspectives from a Company Secretary, a Non-Executive Director and a Chair

  • What does a NED, Chair and Executive need from a Company Secretary?
  • How do their needs differ? How does the Company Secretary need to flex between the three?
  • What are the key challenges for the Company Secretary?



Sponsored by Deloitte LLP


Practical tips for the Company Secretary in managing Corporate Governance reform

  • What is different moving forward with The Code, and how will the Company Secretary have to prepare for this change?
  • Reflections of what has worked and what has not worked
  • What happens when things are not appropriately considered?
  • Corporate governance and the code. How we bridge where we are now with the future?


Breakout sessions

A choice of one of the following options

5. Lessons learnt: What makes a good and meaningful board review?

Hear from organisations who have stories to tell about what worked and made a real impact and what didn’t.

  • What is the rationale for the Board review? What do you do during the course of the year to make sure it’s always fresh and appropriate.
  • What does the role of “external facilitation” involve? How do you get the most out of it?
  • Is boardroom observation really beneficial?
  • Actioning the outputs of Board evaluation
  • Director and peer reviews. Is this really happening?

6. Managing subsidiary governance effectively to improve transparency

In light of Carillion and the recent paper from BEIS on Insolvency and Corporate Governance, there is increasingly more focus on group structures and making sure that there are good records and knowledge of the structures. Find out what the Company Secretary needs to do to:

  • Build a control structure around your entity governance framework. Do you have an internal corporate code technology?
  • Explaining the case for governance arrangements on how the decision-making structure is set up
  • Practical tips

7. Leadership impact and influence: Building high performing teams

  • Board leadership is set and led by the Chairman – how can the Company Secretary influence best leadership?
  • What is the role of the Company Secretary in Board succession, recruitment and development?
  • What are the leadership traits and talent competencies required to be an empowered and effective Company Secretary?
  • How does the Company Secretary engage with the business, the executives and the Board to engender effective process, reporting and behaviours
  • What does great leadership mean in the world of the Company Secretary?



Sponsored by Diligent Boardbooks


Breakout sessions

A choice of one of the following options

8. The Board of the 21st century

  • What has happened post-Parker? Where are we going? Are shortlists changing?
  • 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 meetings
  • Bringing Artificial Intelligence, digital and cyber into our board room

9. Developing the next generation of Company Secretaries

  • Understanding what you need and want to develop your Company Secretary pipeline for the future
  • How do you structure training programmes to future proof your own pipeline?
    • What options are available?
    • Should there be more training standards?

10. The future of technology and what it means for the Company Secretary

  • Where are we going? What do we see as the next frontier of technology for the Company Secretary that will make a difference?
  • How does innovation and disruption in governance impact different sectors?
  • Leveraging technology as both a source of risk and opportunity for value creation for the Company Secretary
  • Where’s the end-point? Where can you add value, and what do you do with the time you are given back from the support from technology?


Directors duties: Lessons learnt from governance failures

  • Where are we now and how did we get here? What is not working?
  • Link to value of Directors duties and conflict of interest
  • What is the impact of corporate governance on reputation and minimising negative perception?
  • What lessons can be learnt from some of the recent high profile corporate failures so organisations can behave differently in the future


Closing comments from Chair and end of conference

*Please note the agenda is subject to change

The page will be updated with further details on the agenda once they are confirmed.