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The 6th ICSA Corporate Governance Conference

19 March 2014, ExCel, London

The UK’s most influential governance forum


The 6th ICSA Corporate Governance Conference was held on 19 March at ExCel London.

This high-level conference attracted more than 250 governance professionals across sectors and industries, to discuss and debate on current and emerging corporate governance issues and challenges. Complete with a combination of in-depth and interactive sessions on core governance topics, and a wide range of specialist services and products- our 2014 event was the best yet!

A special thank you goes to our conference sponsors, speakers, and supporting partner who helped shape this event to be a huge success. And thank you to those who attended the conference. Please tell us what you thought - email us at

The date for the 2015 conference will be announced soon. Register for the conference update.

“Good range of subjects covered – relevant, current and practical.”
Mr J.Smith Corporate Governance Consultant, Jordans Corporate Law

“Excellent selection and variety of speakers”
Director, Graham Campbell Consulting Ltd

2014 Programme

09.00 Registration

09.30    Morning Keynote

Just weeks into his job as CEO of camera and optical instruments company Olympus, and with more than 30 years at the company behind him, Michael Woodford uncovered an accounting fraud on the scale of some $2 billion. With colleagues closing ranks around him, what happened next is a sobering lesson in governance. In this session, Michael talks about how he went from CEO to whistleblower.
Michael Woodford MBE, Former CEO & President of Olympus Corporation

10.15    Shareholder activists: friend or foe?

For businesses on the receiving end, they can be a thorn in the side. Yet the new breed of activist shareholders can add real long term value. In this session, we look at how shareholder activists can effect real change within organisations and consider some recent case histories.
David Pitt-Watson, Executive Fellow, London Business School

10.40    Remuneration: is the tide turning?

New shareholders rights on pay, the possibility of EU action limiting bankers’ bonuses and the spectre of changes to the UK corporate governance code mean companies may have to seriously rethink how they reward their top staff. We examine the biggest changes to remuneration policy in a more than a decade.
Peter Swabey FCIS, Policy & Research Director, ICSA   
Deborah Hargreaves, Founding Director, The High pay Centre
John Lee, Managing Partner, FIT Remuneration Consultants

10.05    Tea/coffee

11.30    Conflicts of interest: competency vs independence

Under the Companies Act 2006, directors have a statutory duty to avoid conflicts of interest. But working out what is, and what isn’t, a conflict can be notoriously tricky. In this session, we look at how businesses manage those conflicts in the real world and ask, are they being too risk averse?
Robert Chaplin, Partner, Slaughter and May
Anthony Doolittle, Associate, Slaughter and May


Technology: engaging strategically with IT
In today’s fast-moving, connected world, almost everything an organisation does is dependent upon the use of technology. We consider how boards should start to think more strategically about incorporating technology into the governance structures of their organisations.
Charlie Horrell, Managing Director, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Diligent Boardbooks Limited
Marcos Castro, Company Secretary, London Metal Exchange

Cyber risk: you are being targeted
The threat organisations face from cyber crime attacks has increased to the point that boards should start to view the risk not as an ‘if’ but as a ‘when’. Designed for a non-technical audience, this session provides some guidance on best practice in this area.
Simon Kendall, Head of Private Sector Engagement, Cyber Security, Department for Business, Innovation & Skills
Martin Jordan, UK Head of Cyber Security, KPMG

12.45    Lunch

13.40    Afternoon Keynote
Professor Colin Mayer, Peter Moores Professor of Management Studies, Saïd Business School


Risk reporting: raising the bar

A recent survey by ICSA and AIRMIC highlighted significant variance in the quality of risk reporting by listed companies in the UK. Based on recent research, this interactive session uses real world examples to demonstrate the value of good risk reporting, and highlight common pitfalls and best practice.
John Hurrell, Chief Executive, Airmic
John Ludlow, Senior Vice President, Global Risk Management, IHG

Supply chain governance: getting it right
Recent high profile cases such as the horsemeat scandal and the tragic collapse of a clothing factory in Bangladesh had a huge impact, and highlighted the risks companies face when dealing with often complex supply chains. So, what assurances do you need to ensure a robust, stable and ethical supply chain?
Niya Khant, Senior Manager, Deloitte LLP
Tom Sykes, Senior Associate, Deloitte LLP

14.55    Tea/coffee

15.20    Board diversity: rethinking the pipeline

If the case for greater diversity on boards has been accepted, that still leaves the problem of where businesses should be looking to find suitably qualified candidates. In this session we take in the bigger picture and ask, do organisations do enough to develop talent for the board?
Helen Pitcher, Chairman, Advancd Boardroom Excellence

15.45    Board tenure: optimising turnover

So-called ‘zombie boards’, those where long-serving members are seemingly just going through the motions, are often the root cause of sluggish corporate performance. So, how long really is too long for directors to serve? When does competence, experience and stability become a barrier to innovation?
Patrick Dunne, Visiting Professor, Cranfield School of Management

16.10    Panel debate: tax, is it a governance issue?

Perfectly legal and, some argue, in the best interest of shareholders, corporate tax avoidance has become a hot topic over the last few years. Yet is it morally wrong to pursue an aggressive tax avoidance strategy? And what are the governance implications boards have to consider?
Julie Bamford FCIS, Joint Head of Policy, Corporate, ICSA
Frank Shephard, Partner, Corporate Team, DWF LLP
David Quentin, Barrister

16.40    Final remarks followed by drinks

The conference will be chaired by broadcaster and journalist Sara Coburn.

Conference date

To be confirmed

Conference date

To be confirmed

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