Governance Track


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The Governance track explores the planning and execution of investment strategies – from active ownership to underpinning the legalities and decision-making processes for an impact mandate. This year’s sessions provide “how-to’s” about selecting an advisor, incorporating C4 strategies, and divestment versus engagement. Join us Wednesday morning for the Annual Active Owners Working Group Breakfast.

Selecting an Advisor (Tuesday, March 5th | 9:00 AM)
Organized with the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation

This session will explore strategies that foundations can take to assess, manage, and collaborate with values-aligned investment advisors. We will hear from foundations with distinct missions and investment priorities, to learn from their experiences and answer the question, “how can the practices and culture of an advisor or fund manager embody the values of a foundation?” Panelists will share their distinct processes for evaluating their own needs, identifying service providers, and collaborating with their chosen advisor. Speakers will also provide resources and practical tips for foundations looking to change the way they collaborate with their advisor.

Speakers

  • Rini Banerjee, President, Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation (moderator)

  • Susan Babcock, Consultant, Susan Babcock Consulting

  • Philip Carey, Trustee, The Sapelo Foundation

Divest or Engage: From Fossil Fuels to Gun Stocks (Tuesday, March 5th | 10:00 AM)
Organized with Trillium Asset Management

When an industry or specific company does not align with an investor's values, the investor has two options: divest or engage. In this session, we’ll discuss what an investor can achieve through either of these two strategies and why and how some choose to implement both divestment and engagement to drive change.

Speakers:

  • Matt Patsky, CEO, Trillium Asset Management (moderator)

  • David Abbott, Executive Director, The George Gund Foundation

  • Sampriti Ganguli, CEO, Arabella Advisors

  • Linda Stephans, Managing Director, Graystone Consulting, A business of Morgan Stanley 

Active Owners Breakfast: Get Involved in 2019! (Wednesday, March 6th | 8:45 AM)

Shareholder engagement is one of the most powerful ways for investors to 'Own' what they own, and push for a change in the way business is conducted. During this learning breakfast meeting we will discuss the need for investor engagement, diving deeply into active ownership strategies (including voting proxies, advocacy, shareholder resolutions, and public statements). We will talk about the ‘hot’ shareholder issues this year: ranging from climate, pay equity, to facial recognition software; and more! In 2019 it is expected that more than 400 environmental and social shareholder resolutions have been filed for spring meeting votes. Join us to learn about the latest active ownership trends, and how your organization can support these movements during the upcoming 2019 proxy season.

Speakers:

  • Andy Behar, CEO, As You Sow (moderator)

  • Tim Dunn, Chief Investment Officer, Terra Alpha Investments LLC

  • Lisa Hayles, Vice President, Institutional Investment Services, Boston Common Asset Management

  • Kelly Ryan, President and CEO, Incourage Community Foundation

Clarity on Commitments: Not all Impact Investment Mandates are Created Equal (Thursday, March 7th | 11:30 AM)
Organized with Ceniarth

As a field, we have developed a disturbing tendency to celebrate the announcement of any new impact investing commitment with equal fanfare, whether the move represents a truly pioneering approach or an incremental shift in the way assets are managed. But what do these commitments actually mean in practice? This session will feature a range of practitioners discussing the factors – historical constraints, financial return parameters, progressive leadership – that led them to pursue disparate strategies. The discussion will not be limited to specific asset classes, but will focus on how each investor approaches their strategy. We will discuss to what extent practitioners evaluate each investment for direct mission alignment and how/if investments are aligned with programmatic priorities. And we’ll explore how boards approved different strategic approaches and whether certain obstacles stood in the way of even more progressive options.

Speakers:

  • Vince Knowles, Investment Manager, Ceniarth LLC (moderator)

  • Lisa Hall, Senior Fellow, Beeck Center, Social Impact and Innovation

  • Meredith Heimburger, Board Member & Finance Committee Member, Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation

  • Napoleon Wallace, Board Member, Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation