Programme

13 November 2018
09:00
Conference Opening

Morning MC
Mr Anthony Muh Yi-tong
Chairman, Asian Corporate Governance Association
Partner and Asia Chairman, H.R.L. Morrison & Co; Chairman, JIDA Capital Partners, Hong Kong

09:30
Plenary 1: Asia Overview, China Focus

A regional corporate governance overview based on ACGA research, including a preview of our forthcoming regional survey “CG Watch 2018” and an overview of our recent “China CG Report”. A local expert will discuss current corporate governance trends and challenges in China.

Speakers
Mr Jamie Allen

Secretary General, ACGA, Hong Kong

Ms Nana Li
Senior Research Analyst, ACGA, Hong Kong

11:00
Coffee Break
11:30
Plenary 2: The ACGA Debate – “Are hostile takeovers good for capital markets?”

Hostile takeovers are rare in China, with the first successful case dating from only May 2018. Yet as China’s capital market grows and welcomes a broader array of investors and investment vehicles, the market for corporate control could intensify. Will attitudes towards hostile takeovers change and become more positive? Are such “uninvited” takeover bids a necessary component of a modern capital market? Even if they are encouraged in China, would they make a significant difference to overall corporate governance practices?

Moderator
Mr Jenn-hui Tan

Head of Capital Markets & Corporate Governance – Asia-Pacific, Fidelity International, Singapore

Debaters 
Ms Maggie Lin Zhaowen

Corporate Governance Consultant, International Finance Corporation China, Beijing

Ms Melissa Brown 
Partner, Daobridge Capital, Hong Kong; Specialist Consultant, ACGA, Hong Kong

12:30
Lunch – The Residence, P2 Level, Grand Hyatt Beijing
14:00
Afternoon Workshops Overview

Five workshops organised around small-table discussions on practical imperatives of ESG and corporate governance in Asia today.

14:01
Concurrent Workshops, Session 1

Three workshops before the break divided into three streams.

14:01
Stream A. Company governance and ESG

Creating effective whistle-blower systems

With concerns about public- and private-sector fraud and corruption increasingly on the agenda both regionally and globally, how can companies create workable whistle-blower systems that gain the trust of their employees? What are the classic do’s and don’ts? What level of employee training and socialisation is required? How can companies be proactive against bribery and corruption? And can companies create robust internal whistleblowing systems if national law in this area is undeveloped?

Facilitator
Mr Christopher Leahy

Founder and Partner, Blackpeak, Singapore; Specialist Consultant, ACGA, Hong Kong

Speaker
Mr Zheng Baomin

Deputy Director General, Board Secretariat, Sinopec Corp, Beijing

14:01
Stream B. The investor dimension

Is ESG data in Asia fit for purpose?

The emergence of responsible investment and the incorporation of a wider range of governance factors into investment decision-making has led to a surge in demand for comparable corporate CG and ESG data over the past decade. What are the key sources of such data in the Asia-Pacific region? How are they changing and evolving? How can domestic and international institutional investors make the best use of the information services available? What are the pros and cons, the common pitfalls, of relying on such data for investment or engagement decisions? And can corporate governance be analysed from public disclosure documents alone?

Facilitator
Mr Charles Yonts

Head of Power and ESG Research, CLSA, Hong Kong

Speakers
Ms Elaine Ng

Executive Director, Client Coverage, MSCI ESG Research, Hong Kong

Mr Mirza Baig
Global Head of Governance, Aviva Investors, London

14:01
Stream C. Management of sustainability

Prioritising sustainability: What is material?

Climate change, the depletion of the natural environment, toxic pollution—all have profound implications for economic, social and political systems in the coming decades. To what extent are companies in Asia addressing the challenges of sustainability in ways that are relevant to their businesses? How do they define “sustainability” and “materiality”, then prioritise what actions to take? Can they use the insights generated to not only mitigate risks, but explore new business opportunities? Should boards become more climate competent? And what special challenges do group companies face in aligning the sustainability strategies of subsidiaries?

Facilitator
Mr Jeremy Prepscius

Vice President, Asia-Pacific, BSR, Hong Kong

Speaker
Ms Yuan Yuan

Head, GRI Regional Hub China, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Beijing

Mr Michael McComb

Vice President, Communications and Sustainability, SAP Greater China, Hong Kong

15:30
Coffee Break
16:00
Concurrent Workshops, Session 2

Two workshops after the break.

16:01
Stream A. Company governance and ESG

The art of company-investor dialogue

While discussions between listed companies and investors are nothing new, the emphasis on “investor stewardship” over the past decade—an outcome of the Global Financial Crisis—has supercharged all aspects of active ownership, from developing internal CG/ESG policies to voting, engagement and public policy advocacy. How do boards of successful listed companies in Asia-Pacific respond to these trends, in particular investor engagement? What makes for an effective conversation that leads to practical behavioural change within companies? What are the differences between engaging with SOEs and POEs in China? What does meaningful engagement look like in China?

Facilitator
Mr Steven Watson

Partner, Capital International, Hong Kong; Vice-Chairman, ACGA, Hong Kong

Speaker
Ms Flora Wang

Head of Investment Stewardship Team, Greater China Region, BlackRock, Hong Kong

Ms Zhu Xu
Company Secretary, China Vanke, Shenzhen

16:01
Stream B. The investor dimension

What does ESG integration mean in Asia?

Investment managers in Asia-Pacific are under considerable pressure from clients and regulators to “integrate” their policies on corporate governance and ESG into their investment selection and monitoring process, with a view to investing more responsibly. What does this mean in practice? How are successful asset managers prioritising the different components of E, S and G? Is it true that governance matters more in emerging than developed markets? How do E, S and G issues vary across the different markets in Asia?

Speakers
Dr Francois Perrin

Portfolio Manager, Greater China, East Capital, Hong Kong 

Mr Ronnie Lim
Senior Engagement Specialist, Robeco Hong Kong

18:00
Cocktail Reception – Grand Hyatt Beijing, Ballroom Foyer
19:00
Gala Dinner – Grand Hyatt Beijing, Ballroom

Topic: “Tech innovation in China—what is really going on?”

Speaker
Mr Liu Yadong

Editor-in-Chief, Science and Technology Daily, Beijing

14 November 2018
08:00
Start the Day

A discussion of the main ideas emerging from each of the five workshops on Day 1. Workshop facilitators will present the most interesting points, followed by Q&A.

09:00
Day 2 Welcome

Morning MC
Ms Pru Bennett
Managing Director and Head of Investment Stewardship APAC, BlackRock, Hong Kong; ACGA Council Member

09:15
Morning Panel Discussions

Parallel panels will focus on two key issues: the reform of state-owned enterprises in China and the impact of technology on Asia’s energy future.

09:16
1. “SOE Reform in China: Direction and Challenges”

The reform of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) is a challenging and multifaceted topic in China. This panel will outline the different types of SOEs in China and discuss the government’s main reform measures affecting the financing, operations and governance of these enterprises. What does “mixed ownership” mean and why has the government chosen to focus on it? What does the new “capital management” strategy mean for SASAC and will SOEs enjoy more autonomy over operational decision-making? To what extent do remuneration policies need to be amended to attract and retain talent? What role do Party organisations play in this process?

Moderator
Mr Chu Xuping

Vice Chairman, Association of China Directors Branch of Chinese State-owned Property Exchanges Association, Beijing 

Speakers
Dr He Jibao

Director, Research Institute, Shenzhen Stock Exchange

Professor Zheng Zhigang
Professor of Finance, Renmin University of China, Beijing

Dr Zhang Zhengjun
Founding Partner and CEO, King Parallel Consulting, Beijing

09:16
2. “Thinking Ahead about Asia’s Energy Future”

How should listed companies and investors think about the challenges that a shift to a lower carbon economy, with disruption by new technologies, will bring in future? What do commitments under the Paris Agreement mean for Asian economies and industrial development? Are Asian countries investing significantly in renewable energy for themselves and the rest of the world? What impact is green financing having on bank lending practices and corporate investment allocations?

Facilitator 
Mr Richard Lawrence 

Executive Chairman, Overlook Investments, San Francisco

Speakers
Mr Xie Feng

CFO, China Yangtze Power Corporation, Beijing

Ms Herry Cho
Head of Sustainable Finance, ING Singapore

Mr Li Junfeng
First Director and Chairman, Academic Committee, National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation, Beijing

10:45
Coffee Break
11:15
Plenary Session: The Chairman’s Dialogue

“CG with Chinese Characteristics: Understanding how it works in practice”

An informal discussion on the evolving and complex role that directors play in Chinese listed companies, both state and private sector. Executive directors often wear more than one hat, sitting on both the board of directors and in the Party Committee as well as managing company operations. Independent directors require flexibility in order to be effective, needing to balance informal discussions between meetings with the more formal structure of board and committee meetings. How do directors manage these different challenges, in particular the heightened role in recent years of the Party Committee? How do boards engage with supervisory boards to minimise duplication and overlap? Who has final responsibility for corporate decision-making?

Moderator
Mr Anthony Muh Yi-tong

Chairman, Asian Corporate Governance Association
Partner and Asia Chairman, H.R.L. Morrison & Co; Chairman, JIDA Capital Partners, Hong Kong

Speakers
Mr Feng Lun

Chairman of Yufeng Capital and Founder of Vantone Holdings, Beijing

Professor Lu Tong
Professor, Corporate Governance, Institute of World Economics and Politics,
Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing

12:30
Closing Session

Reporting back from the morning panel discussions and conference closing remarks.

12:45
Lunch – Grand Hyatt Beijing, Ballroom Foyer

Conference ends with lunch.