2022 Corporate Accountability forums begin 2/22 at 11 am Pacific (2 pm Eastern) with Brandon Rees as our first guest speaker using our own Zoom account and registration process. Each session will last 60 minutes or more, so everyone should get a chance to join the discussion. Flexibility is key, so meeting days and times will vary. Register for only the sessions you will attend.
2022 Corporate Accountability Forums: Background
Last year we held our forums using university facilities. That required charging tuition and a laborious registration process. Scheduling was inflexible. Recording would have been difficult. Still, we had a successful series featuring Nell Minow, Michael O’Leary, Andy Behar, Josh Zinner, Doug Chia, Bruce F. Freed, Heidi Welsh, Jon Lukomnik, Tim Smith, Christina Sautter, Rick Alexander, Karen E. Woody, and Sanford Lewis.
We will continue the forums on our own since we can be more flexible and do not need to charge participants. Forums will be posted to YouTube, then upload as podcasts on various platforms if the quality is sufficient. Only attendees can ask questions and join the discussions. Most forums will include a variety of institutional investors, financial advisors, ESG/investing professionals, faculty, students, and others. Space is limited but can be raised for future forums if needed.
2022 Corporate Accountability Forums
Brandon Rees is the Deputy Director of the Office of Investment for the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO). The AFL-CIO is a federation of 56 labor unions that represent 12.5 million members. Union-sponsored and Taft-Hartley pension and employee benefit plans hold approximately $540 billion in assets. The AFL-CIO Office of Investment promotes the interests of workers’ funds in the capital markets by leading corporate governance shareholder initiatives and advocating for legislative and regulatory reform. Brandon Rees is also a member of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board’s standing advisory group. He received his B.A. in Economics and J.D. from U.C. Berkeley.
2/28 William Burckart/Meredith Miller: 10 am Pacific, 1 pm Eastern – Register
William Burckart is the President of The Investment Integration Project (TIIP), a consulting services and applied research firm that provides advice, thought leadership, and a turnkey solution to help investors manage systemic risks and opportunities. Mr. Burckart has advised a range of clients, including investment management firms, private foundations, and endowments, government and major industry bodies, working with them to integrate impact and investment goals through the development and implementation of related strategies. He has also contributed to the field through groundbreaking research, including the development of market insights and practical guidance for investors and financial advisors in collaboration with the Money Management Institute (MMI); co-editing the New Frontiers of Philanthropy: A Guide to the New Tools and Actors that Are Reshaping Global Philanthropy and Social Investing (Oxford University Press), and helping to write the “Status of the Social impact investing Market: A Primer” (UK Cabinet Office) that was distributed to policymakers at the inaugural G8-level forum on impact investing. His writing has been featured in Barron’s, Pensions & Investments, The Guardian, Forbes, Quartz, top1000funds, Investment & Pensions Europe (I&PE), Benefits & Pensions, InvestmentNews, Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR), ImpactAlpha, CSRwire, Alliance, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, FundFire and Next Billion to name a few. Mr. Burckart is a fellow of the High Meadows Institute and co-author of the book 21st Century Investing: Redirecting Financial Strategies to Drive Systems Change (Berrett-Koehler, 2021).
Meredith Miller is the Managing Partner of Corporate Governance and Sustainable Strategies LLC (CGSS), providing consulting services to asset owners. Prior to CGSS, Meredith served as the Chief Corporate Governance Officer for the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust where she led the corporate engagement program and was responsible for the Trust’s investor coalitions on opioids, human capital management, and diversity. Before joining the UAW Trust, Meredith served in the Connecticut State Treasurer’s Office as Assistant Treasurer for Policy and in the U.S. Department of Labor as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy in the agency that enforces ERISA. Her public service was preceded by a decade in the labor movement working for the AFL-CIO Department of Employee Benefits as Assistant Director and at the Service Employees International Union as Assistant Director for Research, Employee Benefits. Meredith currently serves on the Supervisory Board of the Global Reporting Initiative and as Chair of the Washtenaw Community College Women’s Council. Meredith received a BA from Hampshire College and an MSc from the London School of Economics.
Homework: Those planning to attend should read the book 21st Century Investing: Redirecting Financial Strategies to Drive Systems Change (Preface here), which focuses on the need for a broadened definition of and approach to investment. Investors highlighted have pioneered a wide range of tools designed to contend with contemporary social and financial system challenges through collaborative action, building shared knowledge bases, setting industry standards, and creating a rising tide of investment opportunities for all investors. This book will be a major theme of our discussion. Please also see here for an interview Burckart did with Matt Orsagh, senior director of capital markets policy at CFA Institute, where they unpack the book and implications for how investors can better manage systemic risks.
3/7 Corey Rosen/Jack Moriarty: 10 am Pacific, 1 pm Eastern – Register
Corey Rosen is the founder and an active staff member of the National Center for Employee Ownership, a private, nonprofit membership, information, and research organization in Oakland, CA. The NCEO is widely considered to be the authoritative source on broad-based employee ownership plans. He co-founded the NCEO in 1981 after working five years as a professional staff member in the U.S. Senate, where he helped draft legislation on employee ownership plans. Prior to that, he taught political science at Ripon College. He is the author or co-author of over 100 articles and numerous books on employee ownership, and co-author (with John Case and Martin Staubus) of Equity: Why Employee Ownership is Good for Business (Harvard Business School Press, 2005).
Rosen has a Ph.D. in Political Science from Cornell University. He previously served on the Board of Directors of the Great Place to Work
Institute (creators of the “The 100 Best Companies to Work for in America” list) and is currently on six ESOP company boards.
Jack Moriarty is the Founder & Executive Director of Ownership America, a public policy and grassroots advocacy organization committed to turning Americans into owners. Ownership America is building a movement for inclusive ownership through policy development at the state and federal levels coupled with organizing grassroots advocates across the country. Jack’s work at Ownership America spans the management of federal and state policy initiatives, external coalition-building, and grassroots mobilization.
Prior to Ownership America, Jack held a number of strategy and operations roles at early-stage healthcare delivery and technology organizations including Buoy Health and Iora Health. He is an AmeriCorps alum and has previous gubernatorial campaign experience. Jack received his MBA from the Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management where he was a Roy H. Park Leadership Fellow and holds a BA & an MA in Political Science from Boston University.
3/14 Leo E. Strine, Jr.: 11 am Pacific, 2 pm Eastern – Register
Leo E. Strine, Jr., is Of Counsel in the Corporate Department at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. Prior to joining the firm, he was the Chief Justice of the Delaware Supreme Court from early 2014 through late 2019. Before becoming the Chief Justice, he served on the Delaware Court of Chancery as Chancellor since June 22, 2011, and as a Vice-Chancellor since November 9, 1998.
Homework: Lifting Labor’s Voice: A Principled Path Toward Greater Worker Voice and Power Within American Corporate Governance could be one to read. Strine has authored many papers. More on him and his publications.
3/21 Jackie Cook: 1 pm Pacific, 4 pm Eastern – Register
Jackie Cook is Director, Stewardship, Product Strategy & Development in Sustainalytics’ Stewardship services team. Pioneer in applying automated text analysis to building structured datasets from unstructured corporate and investor disclosures. Motivated by a genuine belief in the power of investors and financial markets to move the dial on pressing environmental and social challenges. Follow Jackie on Twitter: @FundVotes
Homework: See a partial list of possibilities.
3/28 Judy Samuelson: 11 am Pacific, 2 pm Eastern – Register
Judy Samuelson is the founder and executive director of the Aspen Institute’s Business and Society Program. Signature programs under Judy’s leadership include a ten-year campaign to disrupt Milton Friedman’s narrative about corporate purpose, the Aspen Principles of Long-Term Value Creation, and a partnership with Korn Ferry to rethink executive pay. She previously worked in legislative affairs in California and banking in New York’s garment center and ran the Ford Foundation’s office of program-related investments. Samuelson blogs for Quartz at Work and is a Bellagio Fellow and a director of the Financial Health Network.
Homework: Six New Rules of Business: Creating Real Value in a Changing World (Berrett-Koehler, 2021), which describes the profound shifts in attitudes and mindsets that are redefining our notions of what constitutes business success. Old rules focused solely on profits, shareholder mindset, and the bottom line. That led to corporate greed and short-termism. The book offers a new set of rules that enable executives and leaders to think and manage differently by embracing a new definition of business success.
4/4 David Webber: 10 am Pacific, 1 pm Eastern – Register
David H. Webber is a Professor of Law and the Associate Dean for Intellectual Life at Boston University School of Law. The winner of Boston University School of Law’s 2017 Michael Melton Award for Teaching Excellence, Professor Webber also coteaches the Pensions and Capital Stewardship course for the Harvard Trade Union program at Harvard Law School. He is a graduate of Columbia University and NYU Law School.
4/11? Bruce Herbert: Register (soon)
Bruce is a pioneer in the field of sustainable impact planning and wealth management, with particular expertise in shareholder engagement and advocacy on behalf of institutions and individuals who seek to align their mission or values with investments.
His career began at Merrill Lynch where he developed a focus on responsible investment. In 1994 he co-founded and was first Director of the NW Coalition for Responsible Investment, and also served on the Governing Board of ICCR, which is responsible for the first social shareholder proposal filed with GM, and for creating the South African Divestiture Movement.
Newground Social Investment is well-known for its ESG-SRI money management, was the nation’s 1st Social Purpose Corporation, and the 2nd money manager to focus exclusively on ESG-SRI impact investing.
More to Follow
Suggestions on future guest speakers are welcome from Forum participants.