CLARS Law & Business Seminar Series: Global Stewardship in Practice

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Event Details

Date:
21 October 2020 at 5:30 pm – 6:45 pm
Venue:
Online via Zoom
Register here:
https://bit.ly/3lQNDWi

Description

Effective stewardship of investors covering hundreds of companies in global portfolios requires significant, specialist resource. Because of the associated costs and the fact that benefits of stewardship are shared and often occur many years after interventions, even large asset owners and managers rarely have put such resource in place. This webinar will focus on formalised collaborative engagement involving groups of investors as a solution to the costs/benefits dilemma of properly resourced stewardship activities across diversified portfolios.

The session will start with a brief introduction of EOS at Federated Hermes (EOS) which provides a stewardship platform for like-minded investors through formalised collaboration drawing upon a large, specialist team of engagers with a wide range of experiences and skills.

It will then provide insights into collaborative engagement practice using EOS case study examples from key regions, including Asia, Europe and the US. These will cover a range of issues including climate change, classic corporate governance and human capital management. The case studies will provide the context for some observations about differences ‘on the ground’ in those jurisdictions. [These principally relate to how engagement is conducted rather than the substance of the interactions, which is determined through an annual process that seeks to identify shared stewardship priorities of EOS clients.]

The session will conclude with an overview of the recent, wide-ranging changes to the UK Stewardship Code a decade after it was launched and observations on whether the reform will address its shortcomings and drive real changes in practice. This will set the scene for remarks and discussion about stewardship in Australia.

Dr Hans-Christoph Hirt, Dr Tim Bowley, Professor Jennifer Hill

Speaker

Dr Hans-Christoph Hirt
Executive Director and Board Member, Hermes EOS

Dr Hans-Christoph Hirt is an executive director and board member at Hermes EOS and as head of the organisation leads a multi-national team ensuring the sustainable success of the business. In this role, he is responsible for and oversees the global engagement programme and the quality of the service Hermes EOS provides to its clients around the world. Hans also leads some high-profile stewardship activities, including priority engagements with major companies in Germany and the UK, as well as interactions with key regulators and organisations.

Prior to joining Hermes EOS, Hans worked with international law firm Ashurst. He is the author of numerous publications on corporate governance and law, responsible investment and stewardship. He is a member of the Corporate Governance Advisory Council of the Council of Institutional Investors and the Advisory Board of CECP’s Strategic Investor Initiative. Hans is a UK-qualified lawyer, holds degrees in Business Administration from universities in Germany and the UK, the ACCA qualification and a PhD from the London School of Economics (LSE). He continues to be involved in academia as a Corporate Governance Fellow at the LSE’s Financial Markets Group and a Teaching Fellow at University College London. Hans speaks French, German and Mandarin.

Commentator

Dr Tim Bowley
Corporate Lawyer and Researcher, Monash Law

Tim Bowley is a corporate law researcher and experienced corporate lawyer. His research interests focus on contemporary regulatory debates in corporate and securities law, with a particular focus on the role of shareholders in corporate governance. Tim received his PhD in law from the University of Sydney; his PhD dissertation argues that recent debates in Australia regarding the regulation of shareholder activism have not been informed by an adequate empirical understanding of the nature of Australian shareholder activism.

Tim’s current research projects involve research into the need for regulatory change to address institutional investor stewardship, and participation in a research project into corporate accountability being undertaken by Monash University and the National University of Singapore. In addition to his research projects, Tim teaches sessionally at Monash University and is a consultant for a national Australian law firm. Prior to commencing his academic career, Tim was a partner in a national Australian law firm and practised in London at one of the leading “Magic Circle’ firms.

Moderator

Professor Jennifer Hill
Bob Baxt AO Chair, Monash Law & Director of CLARS

Professor Jennifer Hill is the inaugural Bob Baxt AO Professor of Corporate and Commercial Law at Monash University Faculty of Law and is the Director of the Centre for Commercial Law and Regulatory Studies (CLARS). Jennifer is an internationally recognised legal scholar in the field of comparative corporate law and governance.

Jennifer is a graduate of the University of Sydney (BA LLB (Hons) and the University of Oxford (BCL). She is a research member of the European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) and has held visiting teaching and research positions at leading international institutions, including the University of Cambridge; Cornell University; Duke University; NYU Law School; University of Virginia, University of Texas, and Vanderbilt University Law School.


Name
Janice Hugo
E-Mail
janice.hugo@monash.edu
Phone
03 9905 3327