Registration and breakfast


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 by encouraging self-examination, self-awareness and self-acceptance and to be practiced anywhere and anytime.

These practices will allow you to relax into your authentic self without the pressure of having to be “happy” all the time. When this pressure is released, you will feel more content and fulfilled. You will become more aware of your own patterns of behaviour and the split between your material personality and your true self is healed.


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?




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. 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?
  • Liz Miles Deputy Company Secretary , Landsec

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?

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

  • Making the leap from a Company Secretary to a NED
  • Understanding the reasons why there are not more Company Secretaries on boards
  • The endpoint: Planning for life post Company Secretary
  • Kirsty Cooper Group Company Secretary and General Counsel, Aviva
  • Amanda Mellor Head of Corporate Governance and Group Secretary, Marks and Spencer


Working as a team: Perspectives from an executive, a non-executive, and a Company Secretary 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?




Practical tips for the Company Secretary in managing Corporate Governance reform

  • What is different moving forward with section 172 and 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. Privacy and cyber security

An interactive session facilitated by cyber resilience specialists designed to put delegates in real-world scenarios to test their decision-making processes

8. Executive remuneration: Different perspectives

Listen to the final position on the BEIS legislation on pay ratios and the different perspectives from the Advisory Bodies to better understand why they work the way they do




Breakout sessions

A choice of one of the following options

9. 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

10. 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?

11. 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
  • Impact of corporate reputation and minimising negative perception
  • Lesson learnt and how to 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.