Council of Institutional Investors

Section: September 30, 2021 | Vol 26, Issue 36 Part 2: Fall Conference Coverage
CII Members Approve Updates to CII Policies on the Board of Directors
CII members approved updates to three CII corporate governance policies concerning board and CEO succession planning and the board’s role in strategy and risk oversight.
What’s Next at the SEC?
SEC Chair Gary Gensler told CII Executive Director Amy Borrus that the commission staff is busy writing proposed rules on corporate disclosure of human capital management, board diversity, climate risk and cybersecurity.
A New Era for Nasdaq
Adena Friedman, president and CEO of Nasdaq, told BlackRock Managing Director Michelle Edkins that the SEC should include private companies in the new rules it is drafting on board diversity.
Lessons from the ExxonMobil Proxy Contest
A panel discussed takeaways from the ExxonMobil proxy contest that resulted in the election of three new outside directors to the oil giant’s board.
Board Oversight of Diversity and Inclusion
Catherine Winner, VP at Goldman Sachs, moderated a discussion among a trio of experienced directors. Martin Nesbitt, who serves on the boards of American Airlines, CenterPoint Energy and Chewy, said the push toward more diversity on boards started with pressure from investors, but now management recognizes it as a value-enhancing proposition.
Expanding Employee Ownership
Meredith Miller, former chief corporate governance officer for the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust, interviewed Pete Stavros, partner and co-head of Americas Private Equity, KKR, about employee-based equity plans that give rank-and-file workers an investment interest in the companies where they work.
Tracking Net Zero Progress
CII Executive Director Amy Borrus moderated a discussion among Benjamin Colton, global co-head of asset stewardship at State Street Global Advisors; Drew Hambly, executive director, Morgan Stanley; and the Rev. Kirsten Spaulding, senior program director for the investor network at Ceres.
Breakdowns in Voter Integrity
CII’s International Governance Committee organized a plenary session that tackled some of the voting irregularities that investors encounter when voting an international portfolio.
Worker’s Health and Safety as an Investment Risk
During a plenary hosted by the Shareholder Advocacy Committee, panelists discussed the risks presented to investors when companies fail to be attentive to their workers’ health and safety.
Lightning Round
Following the plenary discussion, 10 CII members shared their plans for the 2022 proxy season, in short. CII members can access the notes submitted by those speakers as part of the “Lightning Round” here.
Executive Compensation—Where Do ESG Metrics Fit?
A panel discussion moderated by Michael McCauley, senior officer of investment programs and governance at the State Board of Administration of Florida, examined what boards are doing and what investors are seeking as ESG metrics are integrated into executive pay metrics.
The Role of the Corporation in Society
Lynn Forester de Rothschild, founder of the Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism, interviewed Ursula Burns, chairwoman of Teneo and a director at ExxonMobil and Uber.
Private Company Governance
In one of two conference breakout sessions, Nell Minow, vice chair of Value Edge Advisors, spoke with Donna Anderson, VP and head of corporate governance at T. Rowe Price; Hillary Flynn, director of ESG and private investments at Wellington Management; and Craig Marcus, a partner at Ropes & Gray, about private company governance.
Cybersecurity Risk
This breakout session kicked off with Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) giving a brief overview of legislation that he has introduced on the topic.
Markets Advisory Council
The Markets Advisory Council (MAC), which provides CII with input on legal and financial reporting and investment market trends, met September 16, under the leadership of chair Karla Bos, associate partner, Aon.
Corporate Governance Advisory Council
CII’s Corporate Governance Advisory Council covered a host of timely topics during its September 15 virtual meeting.