September

MONDAY 14 JUNE 2021

LEARN & NETWORK

LEARN & NETWORK

GUEST EXPERTS

Keynote Interviews

NO TRAVEL NEEDED

NO TRAVEL NEEDED

CONFERENCE OVERVIEW

IR and the Purpose-Driven Business and the Festival of IR

More than a virtual event. More than just an online conference. The Festival of IR is a multi-day programme of seminars, panel discussions, roundtables and networking with practical content for IR professionals at every level of their career.

Alongside our usual plenary sessions and keynotes, the Festival of IR will also include a range of sessions provided by the IR Society and its member companies to ensure the event really does provide something to engage the whole IR community.

The Festival of IR will run from Monday 14 – Thursday 17 June, with sessions every day, and with the main plenary sessions all taking place on the afternoon of Thursday 17 June from 12:30pm. Pre-recorded keynote interviews will also be available on the platform in advance of the plenary sessions.

The main theme of the 2021 event will be IR and the purpose-driven business. The Covid-impacted environment has accelerated the need for companies to have a clear vision of their purpose and sometimes to revisit and potentially adjust it. Purpose revolves around ensuring sustainable future performance as well as corporate raison d’etre. Whilst the past year has been a testing one for all, companies now must learn from that experience and invest to drive growth, whilst building business resilience for an uncertain future environment. This year’s event will take a look at the challenges and opportunities companies face including the growing impact of ESG in all its dimensions. The plenary sessions will address all of these themes, from the ‘big-picture’ trends, real world examples of purpose in action and investor perspectives, through to hands on advice for IR practitioners as their roles continue to evolve.

With prices held at 2020 levels this additional content comes at no additional price.

Videos

Conference Overview from Laura Hayter

Introduction to the Diploma in IR

Agenda


Monday 14 June

09:00:00
09:30:00

An overview from Alison Owers, Chair of the IR Society Membership Committee, and the IR Society team of all of the benefits of being an IR Society member and how to get maximum value from your membership, with live Q&A.

10:30:00

Journalist and broadcaster, Evan Davis, interviews Bernard Looney, Chief Executive Officer at bp.

11:30:00

Trusted and organised data can be used again and again, and across multiple touch points, to connect with your ever-growing audience however they want to engage. During this lively session, you will learn: The power of structuring your data How working in a media-neutral way will help future-proof your company How to prepare for change – with a specific focus on recent developments in ESG and financial reporting.

Speakers: 

  • Hamish Prince, Solutions Manager, Workiva
  • Ian Whitworth, Director of Product Management, Workiva
  • Jacqueline Whitworth, ESEF Product Marketing Manager, Workiva

 Workiva Logo

14:30:00

Companies are increasingly using innovative types loans and bonds linked to ESG targets in the debt markets. Institutional investors are now being offered a wide range of investment options, helping to drive the transition to a more sustainable economy. Companies are increasingly using innovative types loans and bonds linked to ESG targets in the debt markets. Institutional investors are now being offered a wide range of investment options, helping to drive the transition to a more sustainable economy. 

This panel discussion will focus on:

  • How are these the financial instruments different?
  • What is size, scale and scope of sustainability-linked debt?
  • What are the current issues and trends in the market?
  • How can we link this type of debt to a company’s strategy?
  • What regulatory and reporting requirements need to be considered?
  • What is the future for loans and bonds in the space?

Speakers:

  • Moderator: Helen Wood-Gush, Senior ESG Consultant, Responsible Investor 
  • Carmen Nuzzo, Head of Fixed Income, Principles for Responsible Investment
  • Rhys Petheram, Fund Manager, Head of Environmental Solutions, Jupiter Asset Management
  • Trisha Taneja, Head of ESG Advisory, Origination & Advisory, Debt Capital Markets, Deutsche Bank

 

Deutsche Bank Logo

Tuesday 15 June

09:30:00

Ross Hawley, Chair of the IR Society Education Committee, and the IR Society team give an overview of the Society's comprehensive professional development course programme. 

10:30:00

Evan Davis interviews Sir Anthony Habgood, Chairman of Preqin Holding Ltd.

11:30:00

Join us for an update from the team on our internationally-recognised IR qualification, the CIR. The team will be on hand to answer any questions on the syllabus and what to expect when you register to undertake the CIR.

14:30:00

Please join us for an overview of the current and future state of ESG disclosures for global capital markets and practical guidance on where and how to start and evolve effective ESG communications. 

Comparability and specificity of decision useful ESG disclosures is an ongoing concern of global capital markets and regulators. The push for standardisation has a long list of challenges, especially for multi-national companies. The language of ESG is evolving as quickly as the science behind it and societal expectations, and Investor Relations is charged with finding effective and manageable ways to incorporate this information into ongoing investor dialogue and existing company reporting. Many investors view ESG factors as complementary information, which can aid them in making more informed investment decisions that contribute to the pursuit of alpha or risk management.

For many years GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) was the gold standard, mostly because it was the only global standard. However, over the past few years we have experienced a rapid rise to prominence of standards and frameworks focused on material, or potential financially impactful, ESG aspects related to business strategy and resiliency. These include SASB (Sustainability Accounting Standards Board), TCFD (Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures) and the World Economic Forum’s Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics. Coupled with this evolution of voluntary reporting standards is the increase of mandatory compliance frameworks in the U.K., the E.U. and undoubtedly in the U.S. over the next couple of years. Many investors view ESG factors as necessary information which can aid them in making more informed investment decisions that contribute to the pursuit of alpha and accurately calculating risk-adjusted returns. This will all invariably impact investor relations and create an increased demand to meet investor expectations and perceptions of initiatives, performance, disclosures, and communications. 

Join us to discuss the following questions and more: 

  • How can Investor Relations professionals embrace the value that can be recognised by leveraging these frameworks and positioning the company to enjoy the “ESG premium” to valuation, as Larry Fink stated in BlackRock’s latest letter to CEOs?  
  • What are investors looking for as it relates to business strategy and company purpose? 
  • How do we elevate our sustainability focused engagement with investors? 
  • What is the likely impact of increased global regulators and compliance mandates? 

Speakers:

  • Moderator: Claire Lavery, Executive Director, Europe & Asia, Rivel
  • Dave Bobker, Senior Vice President & Managing Director of Governance and Sustainability, Rivel
  • Edward Packshaw, Sustainability Consultant, Rivel
  • Leah Rozin, Associate Director, Governance & Sustainability, Rivel

Rivel Logo

Wednesday 16 June

09:30:00

Even before the coronavirus outbreak, more investors were looking at companies through the lens of environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices. But now, corporate decisions on human capital, customers and society carry greater weight. This combined with increased pressure from regulators and wider stakeholders on these issues means that proactive communication is a must. 

We will share thoughts on how companies have adapted to, and capitalised on different formats, tools, channels, and approaches to engage with investors and wider stakeholders. 

Join us to explore how IROs can proactively own their ESG narrative by:

  • Collaborating internally with sustainability, governance, finance, strategy, risk, senior management and the Board to define, measure and proactively communicate your company's ESG risks and opportunities
  • Communicating insight into how environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks and opportunities are identified, understood, managed and measured in your business
  • Navigating the various frameworks, standards such as SASB, TCFD, GRI, SDGs to maximise your communications effectiveness
  • Creating a year-round communications approach on material ESG issues and long-term value creation with your investors and wider stakeholders
  • Leveraging digital, social media, video to bring your story to life

Speakers:

  • Anne Kirkeby, Investor and ESG Communications Director, Black Sun
  • Leighton Barnish, Sustainability Communications Director, Black Sun
  • Dan Cowley, Head of Digital Strategy, Black Sun

Black Sun Logo

10:45:00

Evan Davis interviews Julie Brown, COO & CFO of Burberry.

11:30:00

Ross Hawley and the team talk about the creation of the Diploma in IR, the IR Society's senior level professional qualification. Executives will be online to run through any questions about this programme as we look to enrol candidates for another Diploma cohort later in 2021. 

14:30:00

CMDs are a cornerstone of the IRO's long term communication strategy.  The pandemic has forced a re-think on how to engage investors in a more virtual world.  In this session, we share insights on how companies have adapted to, and indeed capitalised upon, the restrictions put in place on travel and in person gatherings to engage a wider potential audience using different techniques and strategies.  You will hear from experts and senior IROs who have sought to redefine the CMD over the last year. Covering key strategies, planning considerations and technologies, we will highlight some great practical examples and show what good really looks like.   The information will also help IROs to think about how they can harness the resources and tools available to deliver an event that keeps audience engagement high and achieves their strategic communication objectives.   The format of this event will comprise a presentation, panel discussion, IRO interviews and live Q&A. 

Speakers: 

  • Hugo Fisher, Group Investor Relations Director, DS Smith
  • Matthew Johnson, Group Investor Relations Director, Vodafone
  • Adam Kay, Investor Relations Director 
  • Sarah Lawrence, Creative Director, BRR Media
  • Julian Smith, Managing Director, BRR Media

BRR Media Logo

Thursday 17 June

10:30:00

Best Practice Committee chair, Sallie Pilot, and the executive team give you a run down on the work of the Best Practice Committee, the awards process, the new awards for 2021 and why you should enter this year! 

12:45:00

A first big picture session to set the scene and address the conference theme – IR and the purpose-driven business. Our panel of senior industry and markets participants will discuss how business and the broader economic system is having to evolve in order to meet the demands of all stakeholders and how this is likely to influence shareholder returns and macroeconomic out-turns, including how we measure and assess these variables. They will additionally discuss how events in the past year and the unprecedented political and societal responses have led to governance and environmental trends that are likely to have an enduring influence on financial markets and company issuers in the years ahead.

Moderator: Gary Leibowitz
Chief Strategy & Transformation Officer

Unilever

Naina Dhingra
Partner

McKinsey

Ed Humpherson
Director General for Regulation, Office for Statistics Regulation

UK Statistics Authority

Vicky Pryce
Chief Economic Adviser

Board member of Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR)
13:35:00

The COVID-19 crisis has intensified existing disclosure trends, particularly around purpose and culture, and many companies have had to adjust rapidly. This has caused many to revisit their purpose as they hurried to demonstrate business resilience and now seek to drive sustainable growth, ultimately building resilience for the future. This panel session, featuring IROs drawn from a variety of sectors and company sizes, will address the challenges, risks and opportunities faced by companies and how the IR function has had to pivot to, not only communicating a roadmap out of Covid, but continuing growth and the degree to which ESG has played a role in helping or hindering their efforts. With the sharing of experience, this session will aim to provide practical advice as companies adjust to a post-Covid world and the considerations along the way.

Moderator Douglas Radcliffe
Group Investor Relations Director

Lloyds Banking Group

Holly Gillis
Head of Investor Relations

Go-Ahead

Jack Gorman
Head of Investor Relations

Greencore

Isabel Green
Head of Investor Relations

Rolls-Royce

Thomas Kudsk Larsen
Head of Investor Relations

AstraZeneca
14:50:00

This panel of buy-side participants will convene to build on and respond to themes developed from the previous IRO session. With a mixed panel of views, this session aims to challenge current thinking and opinion, as well guide IR professionals on investor expectations and how they can prioritise their disclosure to demonstrate purpose-led reporting.

Moderator: Paul Baker
Chairman of Corporate Broking

Morgan Stanley

Jessica Strine
Managing Partner and CEO

SGP

Freddie Woolfe
Global Sustainable Equities

Jupiter Asset Management

Ben Yeoh
Senior Portfolio Manager

RBC Investment Management
15:40:00

As pressures mount for businesses to address climate change as a strategic consideration, there is increased urgency for companies to communicate their own plans as well as own their ‘climate’ story. Panel participants will share their views on how companies are working towards plans, the key elements for companies to consider around climate disclosure, and how IR can influence the agenda to ensure this important topic is addressed at all levels, both internally and externally.

Moderator: Jessica Fries
Executive Chairman

Accounting for Sustainability, A4S

Angela Broad
Senior Investor Relations Director

National Grid

Kate Cawley
Founder

Veris

Shivani Kak
Head of IR

Moody’s
16:30:00

IR Society Chair, David Walker, closes the 2021 Annual Conference and Festival of IR live week with his thoughts on the event.

Agenda


Monday 14 June

2021-06-14 09:25:00
2021-06-14 09:30:00
2021-06-14 14:30:00

Companies are increasingly using innovative types loans and bonds linked to ESG targets in the debt markets. Institutional investors are now being offered a wide range of investment options, helping to drive the transition to a more sustainable economy. Companies are increasingly using innovative types loans and bonds linked to ESG targets in the debt markets. Institutional investors are now being offered a wide range of investment options, helping to drive the transition to a more sustainable economy. 

This panel discussion will focus on:

  • How are these the financial instruments different?
  • What is size, scale and scope of sustainability-linked debt?
  • What are the current issues and trends in the market?
  • How can we link this type of debt to a company’s strategy?
  • What regulatory and reporting requirements need to be considered?
  • What is the future for loans and bonds in the space?

Speakers:

  • Moderator: Helen Wood-Gush, Senior ESG Consultant, Responsible Investor 
  • Carmen Nuzzo, Head of Fixed Income, Principles for Responsible Investment

 

Deutsche Bank Logo

Tuesday 15 June

2021-06-15 09:30:00
2021-06-15 11:30:00
2021-06-15 14:30:00

Please join us for an overview of the current and future state of ESG disclosures for global capital markets and practical guidance on where and how to start and evolve effective ESG communications. 

Comparability and specificity of decision useful ESG disclosures is an ongoing concern of global capital markets and regulators. The push for standardisation has a long list of challenges, especially for multi-national companies. The language of ESG is evolving as quickly as the science behind it and societal expectations, and Investor Relations is charged with finding effective and manageable ways to incorporate this information into ongoing investor dialogue and existing company reporting. Many investors view ESG factors as complementary information, which can aid them in making more informed investment decisions that contribute to the pursuit of alpha or risk management.

For many years GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) was the gold standard, mostly because it was the only global standard. However, over the past few years we have experienced a rapid rise to prominence of standards and frameworks focused on material, or potential financially impactful, ESG aspects related to business strategy and resiliency. These include SASB (Sustainability Accounting Standards Board), TCFD (Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures) and the World Economic Forum’s Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics. Coupled with this evolution of voluntary reporting standards is the increase of mandatory compliance frameworks in the U.K., the E.U. and undoubtedly in the U.S. over the next couple of years. Many investors view ESG factors as necessary information which can aid them in making more informed investment decisions that contribute to the pursuit of alpha and accurately calculating risk-adjusted returns. This will all invariably impact investor relations and create an increased demand to meet investor expectations and perceptions of initiatives, performance, disclosures, and communications. 

Join us to discuss the following questions and more: 

  • How can Investor Relations professionals embrace the value that can be recognised by leveraging these frameworks and positioning the company to enjoy the “ESG premium” to valuation, as Larry Fink stated in BlackRock’s latest letter to CEOs?  
  • What are investors looking for as it relates to business strategy and company purpose? 
  • How do we elevate our sustainability focused engagement with investors? 
  • What is the likely impact of increased global regulators and compliance mandates? 

Speakers:

  • Dave Bobker, Senior Vice President & Managing Director of Governance and Sustainability, Rivel, Inc.
  • Edward Packshaw, Sustainability Consultant, Rivel, Inc.
  • Claire Lavery, Executive Director, Europe & Asia, Rivel, Inc.

Rivel Logo

Sponsors and Exhibitors

Thank you to our 2021 conference sponsors, supporters and exhibitors

CONFERENCE SUPPORTERS

Thank you to the following associations for supporting the conference