28.10.20 – Panel Discussion – Does delivering “Shareholder Value” conflict with ethical “ESG” engagement?

28 October 2020
6.00 – 9.00pm

Panel Discussion – Does delivering “Shareholder Value” conflict with ethical “ESG” engagement?

Covid-19 Message: Please book with confidence, if we make changes to the event or you are unable to attend, we will always be happy to refund your booking.

The Devonshire House Panel Discussion on Corporate Governance

Organised and presented by Devonshire House, chaired and led by Genius Boards and supported and hosted by Pinsent Masons, this Panel Debate asks the question:- 

Does delivering “Shareholder Value” conflict with ethical “ESG” engagement?

What is ESG – Environment – Social – Governance? This source meaning is understood and remains the acronym in use – ESG.  But today these three letters have a far wider meaning and demands an integrated board involvement.

This important Panel Discussion is promoted and organised by Devonshire House, chaired by Genius Methods and hosted by Pinsent Masons on 21.5.20 at 30 Crown Place, Earl Street, London EC2A 4ES.  A collaborative and interactive discussion, we will take a hard look at this crucial area of Corporate Governance – offering information, exchanges of views and ideas around solutions.

Important update NOTE – 29.4.20

As already notified, this Event, originally scheduled for 21.5.20  has been postponed.  It will now take place on 28.10.20.  Same place.  Same time.  Already, our Comments and Agenda need to be amended in the light of Covid-19.  Between now and when we actually convene in October for our Panel Discussion, we think we will need to redraft the Agenda – possibly by delving more deeply into:-

  • What is the current/original Definition of ESG – and how does this manifest itself in practical terms in relevant areas – and how – if at all – does it need to change?
  • What is Covid-19 likely to look like in October and what is likely to be the extent of the damage and type of damage?
  • Will shortage of profit and cash – and its implications around corporate and personal “survival” – override the established and laudable aims of ESG.
  • In particular, the role of people will be undergoing major and mostly all harmful disruptions. Will their misfortunes – and new opportunities – be addressed by whatever ESG looks like post Covid-19?

……….. after all, the core purpose of this Panel Discussion was about the money, businesses and investment aspects of Governance.  We were aware of the supporting issues – the “E” and the “S” – but now these are going to also be different.

We think that our Panel Discussion – now rescheduled for 28.10.20 – will be an unusually important and insightful Event.

The Agenda and Considerations – to be confirmed nearer the time – based on:-

Companies have to take note of all ESG inter-related issues and accelerating changes that are happening to their customers and other stakeholders in terms of directly impacting  our businesses, our markets, the climate and the environment. We thought we knew what these were when we first put together the ideas behind this Panel Discussion – but we are probably all going to be thinking differently by October.

  • Do Boards really have to shift their thinking and lead the organisation differently?
  • Do “The Principles of Responsible Investment “still stand? What exactly do we understand to be profits, cash or wealth creation in the eyes of today’s public or today’s investor?How absent do Profits and cash have to be before ESG principles become compromised?
  • If People and Planet do override the direct Profit generation focus, should, or will, the bottom line ultimately benefit?
  • What does this do to our understanding of “Capitalism” ?

Will it be business as usual?  

Sadly NO!

Who should attend this Panel Discussion…………….  ?

………….. senior Directors responsible for Corporate Governance or the strategic direction of their businesses – or the businesses of the organisations they advise. Those who will get most out of this Panel Discussion are likely to be those who know more about the topic to start with!  Those to gain the most are those who need to work out how to add value and make changes to deliver on their ESG agenda.  

The Chair

Sharon Constançon, Genius Boards and Genius Methods.

Sharon Constançon, (CDir MBA FCIS), is CEO of Genius Boards and Genius Methods specialising in Board Evaluations and Board development. Sharon lectures for final level The Chartered Governance Institute level seven exams on Boardroom Dynamics, she trains NEDs on the practical complexities of being a NED, sharing her vast experience to help Directors determine how to do what is always best for the company.  Sharon is also part of the Risk Coalition team launching a new Code of Risk Governance in financial services.

Genius Boards focuses on robust Board Evaluations that address the difficult topics, making them easier to manage. The focus is on being fit for the future; providing tips and recommendations for the Chairman to deliver a Board at its best.  Genius Boards engages with the FTSE 350, financial services, large corporates, family businesses, NHS, Housing Trusts, Investment Trusts, Charities, membership organisations and many more, unlocking the board’s collective capability.  www.geniusboards.co.uk

Genius Methods focuses on board development, mentoring, coaching, NED development, women empowerment and empowering Company Secretaries to be their best.  www.geniusmethods.com

Sharon can be contacted at  sconstancon@geniusmethods.com


The Panellists   

Sharon Constancon will chair the Panel, details of which will be published soon. We will include legal expertise from Pinsent Masons, coverage of the nature, range and scope of ESG and also of the financial/ investment areas from experts in their field.

About Martin Webster – Partner with Pinsent Masons.

Martin Webster has practised as a corporate lawyer for more than 35 years.  He specialises in corporate governance and advisory work, helping boards, company secretaries and senior management teams with all aspects of corporate compliance, risk management and governance.  He regularly runs training and up-date sessions for boards and co sec teams and presents on governance at seminars and conferences, including the Thomson Reuters Company Secretary Forum in 2017 and 2018.  Martin is the editor and lead author of The Director’s Handbook, the Institute of Directors – the authoritative  guide to a director’s duties, responsibilities and liabilities, now in its third edition.  He has also contributed to the London Stock Exchange’s Corporate Governance Guide and he produces a very popular monthly one-page Boardroom Briefing providing updates on governance and related matters.

Pinsent Masons LLP is an international law firm which specialises in the energy, infrastructure, financial services, real estate and advanced manufacturing and technology sectors. The firm ranks among the top hundred law firms in the world by turnover and has over 400 partners, a total legal team of around 1,800 people and more than 2,500 staff. The firm has 25 offices across Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East.  www.pinsentmasons.co.uk

We are grateful to Pinsent Masons for also hosting this Event.

Marc Kahn is Global Head of People & Organisation for Investec.

Marc Kahn is Global Head of People & Organisation for Investec, and Visiting Professor of People, Organisation and Strategy at Middlesex University. He is based in London. Marc is a Chartered Business Coach and clinical psychologist, and the author of “Coaching on the Axis.” He teaches with a fundamental message: An extraordinary environment, more-so than any special individual, creates the most valuable outcomes in organisational life. Marc has been with Investec since 2008. Prior to that he was managing director of a consulting house (subsequently acquired by EY) that specialised in organisational and leadership development, executive coaching, mediation and facilitation in both the private and public sectors. He began his career in 1997 as a clinical psychologist in private practice, where he focused on adult psychotherapy as well as psycho-legal assessments, for which he acted as expert witness in High Court matters. He speaks at conferences and events on organisational success, leadership, culture, diversity and inclusion, innovation and learning in the twenty first century.

Daniel Widdicombe, Head of Investment Banking, China Construction Bank (London) Limited

Daniel has worked as Head of Investment Banking at China Construction Bank (“CCB”) in London since 2009, building the institutional client platform in the UK and Europe. He has worked on numerous ground-breaking transactions for CCB including the first London-listed RMB-denominated Dim Sum bond issued by a Chinese bank in 2012, the first London-listed RMB-denominated ETF in 2015, and the acquisition of an LME Category 1 Ring Member company, Metdist Trading, in 2016. Daniel’s international investment advisory work has increasingly reflected ESG and its future-proofing implications.  Prior to CCB Daniel lived in China, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore for 18 years, where he held a number of positions including Chief Financial Officer of Nasdaq-listed Chinadotcom (CHINA US) and I-Quest Corporation, Independent Non-Executive Director of Nasdaq-listed Corgi Holdings (CRGI US), Head of Pan-Asian Equity Research at Bear Stearns, and China Investment Analyst at HSBC.  Daniel has been an Independent Non-Executive Director (INED) of the Hong Kong-based AVIC-CCBI AVIATION INDUSTRY FUND MANAGEMENT COMPANY LTD, a joint venture fund between China’s largest aviation company, AVIC, and China Construction Bank International HK, investing in upstream and downstream aviation-related concerns. Daniel graduated with a 1st Class Honours MA in Chinese and Japanese from Edinburgh University and North-West University, Xi’an, China, and has visited over 60 Chinese cities in over 30 Provinces nationwide.

Rob Evans, Chief Executive of Earth Active

Trained as an ecologist, and a Chartered Environmentalist, Rob is a recognised ESG specialist and brings over 25 years of experience of designing and delivering major environmental, sustainability and climate change programmes and projects across the world.  Having been the former head of PwC Indonesia’s sustainability and climate change team, Rob has designed and delivered major Environmental, Sustainability and Climate change programmes and projects. Locations include countries such as; Tanzania, Egypt, Djibouti, Nigeria, Panama, Russia and Uzbekistan. Rob has worked extensively with development and commercial banks and has led internal capacity building initiatives for both the World Bank and the Equator Principles Association. I have also worked as a visiting Associate of the Doughty Centre for Corporate Responsibility at Cranfield, helped found the carbon-reduction charity Carbon Leapfrog, and worked with the Cambridge Program for Sustainable Leadership on supply chain issues.

Earth Active is an environmental, social and governance (ESG) consultancy.

Focused on providing institutional investors with the insight and assurance need to de-risk investment in emerging markets, Earth Active’s international team of cross-disciplinary consultants have delivered hands-on analysis and advised on key deals and decisions in some of the world’s most challenging environments.

We catalyse sustainable development by helping clients maximise the economic, social and environmental benefits of their investments in emerging markets. Drawing on experience gained in some of the world’s largest consulting firms and working for and with international finance institutions, they understand the factors that influence investment decisions and the practical and political challenges of working in emerging markets.

Their experienced team and extensive network of sector specialists; their proven understanding of the highest levels of priorities and procedures together with their hands-on delivery and clear accountability define their brand and which is reflected in their focus on enabling growth and assuring investor reputation.

About Charles Russam and Devonshire House

Charles Russam is Managing Director of Devonshire House.  Devonshire House Network is a people-focused membership club for Director-level professionals in leadership roles who have an instinctive focus on the human side of enterprise. Our purpose is to create, for our members, thinking time and space for key business issues and where people make the difference. At the heart of Devonshire House are senior decision makers keen to discover and explore original thinking and information generated from all the Events we promote and delivered primarily through our broad range of high-level Speaker Events, Director Forums, our Debates and peer-to-peer networking.– more info at  www.DevonshireHouseNetwork.co.uk

Date & Time

28th October 2020
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Pinsent Masons
30 Crown Place
Earl Street