Programme

*All timings are Hong Kong time.

17 November 2021
08:15
Registration starts for delegates attending in person

Coffee will be served.

08:45
Online delegates to sign in
09:00
Conference Opening

Mr Anthony Muh Yi-tong, Chairman, Asian Corporate Governance Association; Asia Chairman, H.R.L. Morrison & Co, Hong Kong

09:30
Plenary 1: Asia overview – An ESG reality check

An ACGA review of the links between corporate governance, ESG and sustainability in Asia-Pacific. In the headlong rush towards ESG reporting and investing, are regulators putting in place consistent policies for companies and investors? Is the G receiving enough attention? How far along the climate-risk reporting curve are different Asia-Pacific markets? Which markets are being the most innovative or regressive in ESG?

Moderator:
Mr Jamie Allen
, Secretary General, Asian Corporate Governance Association, Hong Kong

Speakers:
Ms Jane Moir
, Research Director, Hong Kong & Singapore, Asian Corporate Governance Association, Hong Kong
Dr Margaret Burnett, Programme Director, Sustainability Leadership and Governance, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

10:45
Coffee Break
11:15
Plenary 2: Balancing the E, S and G: What smart corporate leaders need to know

A discussion focussed on the key things that corporate leaders in Asia-Pacific need to be thinking about in terms of managing environmental, social, and governance issues for the long term. How can ESG be turned from a compliance exercise to an engine for business growth? Should companies form sustainability committees in the board and senior management to address climate and other environmental risks? What does “integrated thinking” mean and why is it of value? Why are more directors reading sustainability reports? And how can boards think most constructively about diversity?

Moderator:
Ms May Tan
, Independent Director, CLP Holdings; HSBC Insurance; JPM Growth and Income; Link REIT, Hong Kong

Speakers:
Ms Pru Bennett, Partner, Brunswick Group, Sydney; ACGA Council Member
More to be added.

12:30
Lunch break
13:30
Keynote Luncheon Speech: “The Next Frontier: The Promise and Perils of Decentralised Finance”

The distributed ledger technology of blockchain continues to extend its tentacles and will have a significant impact on the financial system in coming years as more assets are “tokenised” and traded. As our keynote speaker recently told the Australian Financial Review, “DeFi (decentralised finance) is revolutionary”. Over the next decade it would, he said, create “a parallel financial system operating on the Internet”. Greg Medcraft will address the emergence of this new form of finance and its implications for central banking, financial regulation, capital market development, and the rights of investors..

Moderator:
Mr Anthony Muh Yi-tong
, Chairman, Asian Corporate Governance Association; Asia Chairman, H.R.L. Morrison & Co, Hong Kong

Speaker:
Mr Greg Medcraft
, Independent Director, Australian Finance Group, Sydney; Former Chairman, Australian Securities and Investments Commission; Former Director, OECD Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs, Paris

14:30
Plenary 3: The New ACGA Debate - “ESG investment and engagement: Are the public markets innovating fast enough?”

The public equity investment world has experienced seismic changes in recent years: the extraordinary expansion in the range of index funds, a shift towards passive investors accounting for ever larger amounts of the ESG company engagement pie, and newly formed activist ETFs like Engine No. 1 in the US. At the same time, some fear that public equity markets are becoming less relevant as highly liquid private equity investors finance private firms for longer prior to IPO and fixed income investors increasingly turn their attention to ESG investing (eg, green bonds) and engagement strategies. How should public equity investors, both active and passive, reinvent themselves? Is the sector innovating fast enough in terms of new products and human resource capabilities for greatest impact? Does it align its own compensation with the long-term nature of its responsible investment philosophies? And when giving advice to companies, is it getting the balance right in communicating both ESG risks and opportunities?

Moderator:
Mr Steven Watson
, Partner, Capital International Investors, Hong Kong; ACGA Council Member

Speakers:
Ms Sheela Veerappan, Head of Australia and New Zealand, Principles for Responsible Investment, Sydney
Mr Kei Okamura, Director of Japan Investment Stewardship, Neuberger Berman, Tokyo

15:45
Coffee Break
16:15
Plenary 4: China – The Big Issues

The regulatory and investment environment in China has undergone dramatic changes in recent months, with many investors surprised by the rapidity and direction of reform. Controls over tech-firm data, educational firms forced to adopt a non-profit model, new rules for overseas IPOs—these are just some of the changes announced. Towering above everything is the new national theme of “common prosperity”, a response to inequality and an attempt to balance growth and financial stability. What are the implications of these changes for investors in the coming years? Where does ESG fit into this framework? And how will China respond to the threat to delist Chinese firms whose audited accounts cannot be inspected by American audit regulators?

Moderator:
Ms Nana Li
, Research and Project Director, China, Asian Corporate Governance Association, Hong Kong

Speakers:
Ms Katherine Han
, Head of ESG Research, Harvest Fund Management, Beijing
Ms Karine Hirn, Partner, East Capital, Hong Kong
Mr Arthur Kroeber, Founding Partner and Head of Research, Gavekal Dragonomics, Hong Kong/Beijing

17:30
Conference Closing
18:00
Cocktail reception, Kerry Hotel

 

 

24 November 2021
17:00
Follow-up webinar workshop 1: Whistleblowing warts and all

Some of the biggest corporate frauds in modern history were triggered by whistleblowers: Enron, Worldcom, 1MDB, and Wirecard to name a few. Yet the personal stories of these insiders suggest there is still little upside for the whistleblower in shining a light on covert and illegal practices. During this session, we will look at different approaches markets are taking to protecting whistleblowers, both at the company level and through legislation. What are the risks of lifting the lid, and where are policies and laws coming up short? How can insiders be encouraged to report—and what can be done to mitigate the personal, career and even safety risks of doing so?

Moderator:
Ms Jane Moir, Research Director, Hong Kong & Singapore, Asian Corporate Governance Association, Hong Kong

Speakers:
Ms Clare Rewcastle-Brown, Founder, Sarawak Report
Mr Arnaud Vagner, Director, Iceberg Research

1 December 2021
08:00
Follow-up webinar workshop 2: Communicating the energy transformation

Asian energy and infrastructure companies face significant challenges in the coming decade as they try to transform their business models away from fossil fuels and move towards a Net Zero world. Firms at the forefront of this transition will likely suffer reduced returns and share prices as they set a new strategic direction by selling or writing off “stranded” assets and investing in new ones. Others that are slower to change may maintain, or even increase, short-term returns but be left with unviable and increasingly unprofitable businesses and increasing regulatory and physical climate risks. Corporate leaders face considerable challenges in communicating these challenges to their investor base. How can they ensure that their reporting and disclosure has clarity and a solid foundation? But first, how do they create the right governance processes to balance and make these complex and strategic decisions?

Moderator:
Mr Yuelin Yang
, Deputy Group Managing Director, IMC Industrial Group, Singapore; ACGA Council Member

Speakers:
Mr Eugene Cheng
, Group Chief Financial Officer, Sembcorp Industries, Singapore
Mr Hendrik Gordenker, Senior Advisor, JERA, Tokyo
Ms Melissa Brown, Director, Energy Finance Studies, Asia, Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, Hong Kong