17 November 2021
All timings are Hong Kong time
Registration starts for delegates attending in person
Coffee will be served.
Online delegates to sign in
09:30 – 10:45
Plenary 1: Asia overview – An ESG reality check
A review of the links between corporate governance, ESG and sustainability in Asia-Pacific. In the headlong rush towards ESG reporting and investing, are regulators putting in place consistent policies for companies and investors? Is the G receiving enough attention? How far along the climate-risk reporting curve are different Asia-Pacific markets? Which markets are being the most innovative or regressive in ESG?
10:45 – 11:15
11:15 – 12:30
Plenary 2: Balancing the E, S and G: What smart corporate leaders need to know
A discussion focussed on the key things that corporate leaders in Asia-Pacific need to be thinking about in terms of managing environmental, social, and governance issues for the long term. How can ESG be turned from a compliance exercise to an engine for business growth? Should companies form sustainability committees in the board and senior management to address climate and other environmental risks? What does “integrated thinking” mean and why is it of value? Why are more directors reading sustainability reports? And how can boards think most constructively about diversity?
ModeratorMs May Tan, Independent Director, CLP Holdings; HSBC Insurance; JPM Growth and Income; Link REIT, Hong Kong
12:30 – 13:30
13:30 – 14:15
Keynote Luncheon Speech: “The Next Frontier: The Promise and Perils of Decentralised Finance”
The distributed ledger technology of blockchain continues to extend its tentacles and will have a significant impact on the financial system in coming years as more assets are “tokenised” and traded. As our keynote speaker recently told the Australian Financial Review, “DeFi (decentralised finance) is revolutionary”. Over the next decade it would, he said, create “a parallel financial system operating on the Internet”. Greg Medcraft will address the emergence of this new form of finance and its implications for central banking, financial regulation, capital market development, and the rights of investors.
Moderator Mr Anthony Muh Yi-tong, Chair, Asian Corporate Governance Association; Asia Chairman, H.R.L. Morrison & Co, Hong Kong
Speaker Mr Greg Medcraft, Independent Director, Australian Finance Group, Sydney; Former Chairman, Australian Securities and Investments Commission; Former Director, OECD Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs, Paris
14:15 – 14:30
14:30 – 15:45
Plenary 3: The New ACGA Debate – “ESG investment and engagement: Are the public markets innovating fast enough?”
The public equity investment world has experienced seismic changes in recent years: the extraordinary expansion in the range of index funds, a shift towards passive investors accounting for ever larger amounts of the ESG company engagement pie, and newly formed activist ETFs like Engine No. 1 in the US. At the same time, some fear that public equity markets are becoming less relevant as highly liquid private equity investors finance private firms for longer prior to IPO and fixed income investors increasingly turn their attention to ESG investing (eg, green bonds) and engagement strategies. How should public equity investors, both active and passive, reinvent themselves? Is the sector innovating fast enough in terms of new products and human resource capabilities for greatest impact? Does it align its own compensation with the long-term nature of its responsible investment philosophies? And when giving advice to companies, is it getting the balance right in communicating both ESG risks and opportunities?
15:45 – 16:15
16:15 – 17:30
Plenary 4: China – The Big Issues
The regulatory and investment environment in China has undergone dramatic changes in recent months, with many investors surprised by the rapidity and direction of reform. Controls over tech-firm data, educational firms forced to adopt a non-profit model, new rules for overseas IPOs—these are just some of the changes announced. Towering above everything is the new national theme of “common prosperity”, a response to inequality and an attempt to balance growth and financial stability. What are the implications of these changes for investors in the coming years? Where does ESG fit into this framework? And how will China respond to the threat to delist Chinese firms whose audited accounts cannot be inspected by American audit regulators?
Moderator Ms Nana Li, Research and Project Director, China, Asian Corporate Governance Association, Hong Kong
17:30 – 17:45
18:00 – 20:00
Cocktail Reception – Outdoor Deck, Level 4, Kerry Hotel