Key issues under the spotlight at the Virtual Governance and Risk Management Forum

For the first time, the Governance Institute’s annual Governance and Risk Management Forum has been transformed into a completely virtual event.

The two-day event in May will feature ASIC’s Commissioner, the ASX’s Chief Compliance Officer, NSW Treasury’s Chief Economist, the CEO of Elders, and Telstra’s Chief Risk Officer, and many more key business and government leaders  all speaking from their home offices  about the major issues currently sweeping across the globe.

“Like the rest of the world, we have responded to circumstances brought about by the coronavirus (COVID-19) and moved one of our largest events of the year to a purely online format,” Governance Institute CEO Megan Motto said.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be able to go ahead with this event given that governance and risk management has never been so crucial.

“What organisations do now, and how they respond to the impact of COVID-19 is vital. We are pleased to be able to still showcase these experts who will analyse and provide guidance on what organisations need to do now  and how they can best do it.”

The Virtual Governance and Risk Management Forum – to be held on 11 and 12 May – has been divided into key themes across the two days with delegates able to tune in for all of the sessions, or just some, or catch up on the recorded discussion at a later time.

The focus on day one will be on governance and compliance matters as well as the primary and secondary responses for business leaders. On day two, business models and business continuity plans will be challenged as key risk management issues are explored. 

A deep dive: Key issues set for discussion

How the regulators respond now to the fallout from COVID-19 will be crucial for Australia’s recovery post-crisis and an entire session at the upcoming forum will be dedicated to these issues.

The ‘regulators panel’ will feature ASIC Commissioner John Price, the ASX’s Chief Compliance Officer Kevin Lewis FGIA, and the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) Commissioner Dr Gary Johns.

The panel will examine how regulatory efforts are focused on meeting the challenge of COVID-19.

ASIC in coordination with the Council of Financial Regulators are working on recalibrating their regulatory priorities to focus on the challenges raised by COVID-19. Meanwhile the impact on global and national markets and the need for stability and resiliency is top of mind for ASX Limited. ACNC’s attention is focussed on providing short-term guidance and positions on compliance to allow charities to operate effectively through this time.

Some of the other topics for discussion at the Virtual Governance and Risk Management Forum include:

  • The economic state of play: The NSW Treasury’s Chief Economist Stephen Walters will be among the key speakers to look at the economic impact of COVID-19 and the fiscal and monetary response. This session will also recap the unfolding economic impact and look ahead at the long path to recovery.
  • Rebuild, reframe, restructure: CEO of Elders Mark Allison and non-executive director Andrea Staines OAM will lead a discussion examining the response to the primary threat people, operations, supply, demand and financial structures, and how to manage communications and stakeholder engagement. The panel will also examine the drivers of recovery, restructuring and reframing at the other end of this crisis.
  • Challenges for company secretaries in the coming year: ASX General Manager and Company Secretariat Daniel Csillag and South32 Vice President Legal and Company Secretary Melanie Williams will look at the enormous legal and compliance challenges in the wake of the pandemic, the impact on board function, AGMs, investor relations and directors duties.
  • From ethical to social to ESG integration: Two of Australia’s ESG thought leaders Måns Carlsson-Sweeny and Darian McBain join US standards body the SASB Foundation’s CEO Janine Guillot to look at how recent events have elevated the need for strong environmental, social and governance practice as businesses focus on pressing issues like employee welfare, supply chains, modern slavery climate and labour rights.
  • Risks, threats, changing priorities and business landscape: Telstra’s Chief Risk Officer Joanna Knox and Australian Ethical Investments Chief Risk Officer Karen Hughes will examine how chief risk officers and their teams must navigate this crisis, and the strategies to remain nimble and proactive while strengthening the integrity and preparedness of the risk management system.

There will also be sessions on leadership during a crisis, the challenges for company secretaries in the coming year, and building the influence of risk management through internal engagement.

And providing a unique insight into what is top of mind for risk teams during this extraordinary time, the Governance Institute will be launching the annual Risk Management Survey in partnership with PKF. The results will lay the ground for discussion on the quality of leadership when navigating external threats, the focus on cyber security, and challenges for businesses managing large remote workforces.

For more information about the Virtual Governance and Risk Management Forum 2020 and to register, please click here.

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