Victoria Whyte – Chairperson
Company Secretary, GSK
Victoria Whyte is Company Secretary of GlaxoSmithKline plc group. She joined GSK’s Corporate Secretariat in 1998 as Director of Secretariat Services. Was appointed Deputy Company Secretary in 2005 and the Group Company Secretary with effect from 1 January 2011.
Victoria has acted as Secretary to the Remuneration Committee since 2009 and acts as Secretary to all of the Board Committees since her appointment as Company Secretary.
Prior to joining GlaxoSmithKline, Victoria worked in various company secretarial roles within BAE Systems, Coats Viyella, St. Ives plc, Schroder Investment Management and Vickers plc.
She is a solicitor and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators. She sits on the CBI Companies Committee.
Richard Watson – Keynote
Futurist, What’s Next
Joint Managing Director, Black&Callow
Group Company Secretary and General Counsel, Aviva
Chairman, Allied Irish Bank
Director, Stewardship and Corporate Governance, The Investment Association
Andrew is responsible for representing The Investment Association members interests as institutional investors on corporate governance and engagement matters. He has oversight of The Investment Association’s Institutional Voting Information Service (IVIS), corporate governance policy development and company consultations or collective engagement with the companies in which Investment Association members invest. Andrew joined The Investment Association in June 2014, through merger of the Investment Affairs division of the ABI with the IMA. He joined the ABI in 2005 as a Corporate Governance Analyst and was promoted to Head of IVIS in October 2011 and Head of Corporate Governance in January 2012. Before joining the ABI, Andrew was a Socially Responsible Investment analyst at HSBC, having joined HSBC’s graduate scheme in 2001 after reading Economics at the University of Bath.
Partner , Deloitte
Dr Jay Bevington
Head of Corporate Governance and Group Secretary, Marks and Spencer
Managing Director, InsiderLog
CEO and Co-Founder, Safecall
As one of the founders of Safecall, Graham has been involved in the UK and European whistleblowing industry since its infancy. Since 1999, he has guided the business, taking it from a start-up to its current position as Europe’s leading provider of a speak-up hotline.
The founding principle of the business was that the quality of those handling the calls is exceptional, and Graham remains committed to that standard today.
During his tenure Safecall has achieved significant growth and has built a large and diverse client base from around the world. In his 19 years with Safecall, Graham has gained extensive experience of the speak-up landscape and has supported numerous organisations on their journey towards a better, more open and ethical culture.
James Wates CBE
James feels passionately that business, well done, is a force for good in society. Through his 30-year career, he has seen that responsible business creates jobs, supports individuals’ career development, invests in the community, generates tax revenue, and adds social value. This commitment to the alignment of business and social benefit is integrated into the operations of the Wates Group, of which James is Chairman, and has led him to take on a number of other roles, such as Chairman of the think tank Tomorrow’s Company, Chairman of the Princes Trust Corporate Advisory Group, and Ambassador for the Young Women’s Trust. In January 2018 he was appointed by the Government to be Chairman of the coalition group developing corporate governance principles for large private companies (the so-called ‘Wates Principles’).
He has worked in construction all his life and seeks to drive change in the sector to ensure that it meets the UK’s needs for a high quality infrastructure and buildings in which people live, learn, work and enjoy life. Within the sector, he holds numerous positions through which he has championed change, including Chairman of the CBI Construction Council and Chairman of the BRE Trust. To help ensure that the UK punches its weight internationally, he has taken on the role of Co-chair of the government-sponsored Infrastructure Exports: UK.
Reflecting his belief that education and support for young people are the key to society’s long-term growth and success, he holds positions as a Trustee of the University College of Estate Management, Governor of the University of Westminster, and Governor of the Emanuel School.
In 2012 he was awarded the CBE for services to construction and the charitable sector.
Executive Director, Corporate Governance, Financial Reporting Council (FRC)
Paul is Executive Director of the Corporate Governance & Reporting Division. Paul joined the FRC in 2004 as the Director of the Professional Oversight Board.
He was Chair of the International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators (IFIAR) from April 2011 to April 2013. He holds a degree in Accountancy and Financial Analysis from Warwick University, qualified as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG in 1985 and was a partner from 1995 until he left the firm in 1999. In addition to being responsible for the audits of many major public interest entities he managed one of KPMG’s significant consulting businesses and was on their UK Consulting management committee.
Following KPMG, and prior to joining the Financial Reporting Council in 2004, Paul was a main board director of a UK publicly quoted company specialising in helping multi-national companies improve their operational efficiency and the effectiveness of their finance functions.
Group General Counsel & Company Secretary, National Grid
Alison was appointed Group General Counsel & Company Secretary for National Grid plc in January 2013. As such, she will be responsible for shaping the Group legal function within National Grid and providing Company secretariat support to the Boards and Committees of National Grid.
Formerly, Alison was Commercial Director, Transmission at National Grid for 4½ years working with the gas and electricity industries in the UK and Europe to influence the legal and regulatory regimes in which National Grid operates, to deliver improved efficiency and reliability, whilst facilitating security of supply for Britain.
Prior to this Alison was General Counsel and Company Secretary for National Grid Electricity Transmission plc and National Grid Gas plc until February 2008.
Alison qualified with corporate solicitors, Martineau Johnson and spent 8 years in private practice before joining National Grid Company plc in 1996.
She has extensive external industry exposure including a number of positions on European and UK Committees. From 2006 to 2011 she was Chair of the Electricity Pension Scheme from and Chaired Enabling, Grid’s Disability Network.
Deputy Group Company Secretary & Corporate Counsel, Aviva
Julian is a Company Secretary & Corporate Lawyer and leads the Aviva Group Secretariat team. Julian began his career at Cadbury Plc holding various roles, ending as Head of Cadbury Secretariat in 2011. Julian then worked for Clifford Chance as a Corporate Finance Lawyer until 2013 when he joined Friends Life as the Deputy Company Secretary & Corporate Counsel. Following the acquisition of Friends Life Julian joined Aviva in his current role.
Non-Executive Chair, Ted Baker
With a career in the tech sector that spans three decades, backed by extensive commercial and marketing expertise – most notably Board positions at Microsoft and the BBC – Sharon’s executive career has been dominated by roles that helped transform consumer behaviour through the utilisation and implementation of technology. Sharon received the Microsoft Chairman’s Award for sustainable innovation from Bill Gates in 2004 and when she moved onto work for the BBC went straight onto the Executive Board as Director of Marketing, Communications and Audiences. In 2008 Sharon also joined the BBC Worldwide Board, and became Non-Exec Director of both Freesat and Digital UK. Since leaving the BBC, Sharon has developed an extensive portfolio career and currently holds several Non-Executive Directorships, including Risk Chairman at Restore plc and Remuneration Chairman at ITE Group plc. Sharon was also a finalist for the Dame Helen Alexander “NED to Watch” award this year, 2018, and was a previous finalist for Chairman of the Year in 2016, for her role with Dot Net Solutions Ltd. Additionally Sharon is an Advanced Coach and Mentor, with a client list that includes top-tier executives from many global brands, is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and an active Member of Women in Advertising and Communications London (WACL).
General Counsel and Company Secretary, The Crown Estate
Rob is the General Counsel and Company Secretary of The Crown Estate – a unique organisation which manages a £13bn Crown property portfolio; including assets as diverse as Regent Street and the UK seabed. A former City lawyer, Rob is the strategic lead for legal, knowledge, information security and governance at The Crown Estate.
Rob is a vocal advocate for progress and change, and has been heavily involved in reshaping his organisation and function. Outside The Crown Estate, Rob supports a number of initiatives that seek to promote equality in both the property and legal sectors; and The Financial Times have recognised him as one of the top young legal innovators in Europe.
Senior Group Counsel, BAT
Noëlle is Senior Group Counsel at British American Tobacco p.l.c.
A key part of her role is the provision of proactive and commercial advice and guidance on corporate governance issues and promoting global awareness of, and compliance with, the BAT Group’s Corporate Governance Framework and its related policies.
Director, Audit and Assurance, Deloitte
Chartered Secretary, PPF
Company Secretary, BP
David Jackson is Company Secretary at BP p.l.c., and has held that position since July 2003. He is actively involved with the Board and its Committees in the development of corporate governance. Previously he was General Counsel and Company Secretary at PowerGen from 1989 to 2002 were he was responsible for all legal matters relating to the PowerGen Group of Companies and all company secretarial matters relating to the Board its committees and their corporate governance.
Prior to that Mr. Jackson held a number of legal positions with Matthew Hall, AMEC, Chloride Group, Nestle UK and Barlow Lyde & Gilbert.
Mr. Jackson is a Director of BP Pensions Trustees Limited. He was previously Deputy Chairman of GC100, the Association of General Counsel and Company Secretaries of the FTSE 100 and was on the Advisory Committee of the UKLA.
Mr. Jackson has an LLB (Hons) from the University of Bristol.
Managing Director, EQS
Viviane is Managing Director of EQS Group’s London office. She has extensive experience of advising UK and European companies on their corporate governance, compliance and IR practices. Prior to joining EQS her roles included heading up the IR Services at Capita Asset Services (now Link Asset Services) and being Managing Partner of a corporate governance and communications consultancy.
Group Company Secretary, Allied Irish Bank and AIB Group
Sarah was appointed Group Company Secretary in November 2016, having spent the best part of 12 years with AIB, almost 8 of which were in company secretariat. Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. is a credit institution in Ireland and identified as a significant, systemically important institution in the EU and, its newly established parent holding company, AIB Group plc, is the listed entity with premium listings on the Irish and London stock exchanges. The Group itself has a further 120 subsidiary entities which her team oversees from a governance and company law perspective. The structure of the Group means that Sarah is responsible, inter alia, for advising the Board and Executive on, and ensuring compliance with, Irish, UK and EU corporate governance obligations and the listing rules of the Irish and London Stock Exchanges, along with market abuse regulation and company law more generally. External to company secretariat, Sarah spent time working in finance and private banking. Sarah is a graduate of Economics and Geography from UCD, a qualified financial advisor and a licensed compliance officer.
Deputy Company Secretary , Landsec
Liz Miles is Deputy Company Secretary at Landsec, a FTSE 100 property company. Liz focuses on board support and corporate governance for Landsec and its subsidiaries and heads up the Co Sec team. Liz started her career as an M&A lawyer at Linklaters before moving in-house to Vodafone, initially continuing with M&A, before qualifying as a company secretary and refocussing her career on listed company governance and compliance.
Vice President and Governance Technology Evangelist, Diligent
Dottie Schindlinger is Diligent Corporation’s GRC Technology Evangelist and promotes the intersection of governance, risk management, compliance and technology as a recognized expert in the field. Diligent is the leading provider of secure corporate governance and collaboration solutions designed to promote improved performance for boards and senior executives. In her role, Dottie provides thought leadership on related topics through digital and print publications, conference presentations, and workshops for board members and executives globally.
Dottie was a founding team member of BoardEffect, a board management software platform launched in 2007 focused on serving the needs of healthcare, higher education, and nonprofit boards. Prior to helping found BoardEffect, Dottie spent 15 years working in governance-related roles, including as a board liaison, board member, senior executive, consultant and trainer of private, public, and nonprofit boards. Dottie’s efforts helped BoardEffect expand from a four-person tech start-up to become an industry leader in the board portal space — serving over 1,700 organizations and more than 120,000 board members and senior executives.
Dottie’s career has included roles as various as program development with the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, Director of Training & Education for the Nonprofit Center at La Salle University, and Associate Faculty of La Salle’s Communication Department, teaching Public Speaking to incoming first-year students. Dottie currently serves on the board of the Alice Paul Institute. She received BA from the University of Pennsylvania, and holds certificates in Management and Board Leadership from The Nonprofit Center at La Salle University.
Authentic Yoga & Meditation Teacher, Yogi Ashokananda School
An authentic Yoga & Meditation teacher, raised in India. Yogi Ashokananda is an expert and pioneer as a practising master of yoga and meditation and a speaker on humanity and spiritual philosophy. Yogi has been practising yoga since early childhood when his Grandfather was his first teacher. Over many years Yogi Ashokananda has been fortunate to develop his teaching, experience and education of yoga under some of the great, remote, Indian masters and siddhas. He has taught the teachings of the Bihar School of Yoga, the Sivananda Ashram, hatha yoga and meditation at the Shri Ved Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh and the Yogamaya Ashram in Vrindavan. Now he teaches a number of his own profound disciplines and insights which have their roots in ancient, sacred Indian tradition.
Yogi Ashokananda spent many years in India learning, exploring and developing what he has found to be the most simple, beneficial forms and techniques of meditation. He believes that meditation is one of the most powerful and subtle ways of getting to know yourself, and to understand who are we. This exploration of the self helps you to explore the depth and subtleties of both your human self and your spiritual self; known as “swadharma” – finding the centre of yourself, your self-religion.
Yogi’s approach to the origins of yoga and meditation is grounded and down to earth, based on beginning with embracing the human self and all that entails. This can help you return to a place within you which is both magical and very real. When you rediscover this place, your life will change around you as your perception shifts and you see through new eyes. It is not about running away from yourself or creating a fantasy, it is in fact the opposite; it is based on staying with yourself, on every level and with every aspect of your physical body as well as your emotional and psychological self.
European Counsel, Davis Polk & Wardwell London
Mr. Sholem is counsel in Davis Polk’s Corporate Department, practicing in the London office.
His practice focuses on the supervision and regulation of banks, investment firms, insurance companies and asset managers, including in connection with new authorizations, changes of control, corporate governance and regulatory investigations. His practice has also included advising non-financial groups on the impact of new regulation, with a particular focus on market infrastructure.
Mr. Sholem also has extensive experience advising clients on developments in European Union laws, rules and policies affecting financial institutions.