Date: 3/19/2019
Event start time: 9:00 AM
Event end time: 5:30 PM
Category: Seminar
Price: $395 Members; $595 Nonmembers

NIRI's new Investor and Issuer Invitational Forum™, or "The Big I", will engage public company stakeholders in a constructive learning experience on emerging issues common to investors and issuers, and create opportunities for collaboration and ongoing dialogue among topical thought leaders. This annual forum represents a deep dive into a specific theme and includes presentations by leading thinkers and influencers with different points of view as a prelude to discussion. The theme of our first Big I will be ESG.


Baruch College
William & Anita Newman Conference Center
Room H750
151 East 25th Street, 7th Floor




  • Gary LaBranche, President & CEO, NIRI


Setting the Stage: The Current State of the ESG Landscape

Investors increasingly want or need corporate ESG information, but many issuers are challenged to produce it, or even concede its necessity. A brief overview of the current state of the landscape from a variety of stakeholder perspectives.
  • Emily Chasan, Sustainable Finance Editor, Bloomberg (moderator)
  • Ken Bertsch, Executive Director, Council of Institutional Investors
  • Michelle Edkins, Managing Director, BlackRock
  • Peggy Foran, Chief Governance Officer, SVP and Corporate Secretary, Prudential

All Investors Are Not Created Equal: Differing Drivers and Expectations

The type of ESG disclosure investors expect from issuers varies widely based on the specific focus of the fund. Several leading fund managers provide their perspectives on corporate ESG reporting.
  • Elizabeth Saunders, Partner, Clermont Partners (moderator)
  • Jonathan Bailey, Managing Director, Head of ESG Investing, Neuberger Berman
  • A. Carolina San Martin, Managing Director and Director, ESG Research, Wellington Management

Networking Break


THE GREAT DEBATE: Do the Benefits of ESG Reporting Outweigh the Challenges?

A deep-dive into the central thesis that, although difficult, the rewards of ESG reporting by companies outweigh the challenges.

The Case for Harmonized ESG Disclosure and Reporting Metrics
  • Marc Siegel, Partner, Financial Accounting and Advisory Services, EY (moderator)
  • Olga Emelianova, Executive Director, ESG Research, MSCI
  • Janine Guillot, Director of Capital Markets Policy and Outreach, SASB
  • Dinah Koehler, Executive Director, Sustainable Equities, UBS Global Asset Management
Limitations and Barriers to Mandatory ESG Disclosures: The Issuer Perspective
  • Gary LaBranche, President & CEO, NIRI (moderator)
  • Paul Atkins, CEO, Patomak Global Partners
  • Peter Gleason, President & CEO, NACD
  • Richard McMahon, SVP, Energy Supply and Finance, Edison Electric Institute

Networking Lunch


Capital Markets Perspective – Why ESG ETFs & Indices Matter to Public Companies

A look behind the trends of firms launching ESG ETFs, the proliferation of ESG indices, and what it all means for public companies.
  • Dan Romito, Global Head of Investor Analytics, Nasdaq (moderator)
  • Tony Campos, Director, ESG Product Management, FTSE Russell  
  • Reid Steadman, Managing Director, Global Head of ESG, S&P Dow Jones Indices

ESG in Shareholder Proposals – Is This the New Activist Battleground?

Activists have begun pushing for environmental and social change, and how companies should think about this trend. 
  • Ted Allen, VP, Communications and Member Engagement, NIRI (moderator)
  • Christian Asmar, Managing Partner, Impactive Capital  

Why Taking ESG into Account is Good for Business

The arguments for companies both “doing good” and reporting on their efforts leading to beneficial corporate outcomes in areas including financial performance, corporate reputation, and more.
  • Michael Goodman, Ph.D., Professor, Baruch College (moderator)
  • Daryl Brewster, CEO, CECP
  • Darcie Renn, Senior Sustainability Manager, Albertsons Companies

Networking Break


Parsing the E, S, and G – Moving Toward an Understanding of Globally Recognized Factors

What constitutes environmental, social, and governance factors are inconsistent across investors and also vary across the globe. How are companies to make sense of this?
  • Chris Fowle, Head of Americas, UN PRI (moderator)
  • Karina Funk, CFA, Portfolio Manager, Head of Sustainable Investing, Brown Advisory
  • Linda Giuliano, SVP, Head of Responsible Investment, AllianceBernstein

Stakeholder Discussion: Approaching a Strategic Level Consensus

Harnessing the power of the participants’ views to drive consensus around solutions. What are the day’s learnings? What wasn’t discussed that should be addressed? How to collaborate to achieve mutually advantageous goals? What actions need to be taken and by whom?
  • Gary LaBranche, President & CEO, NIRI

Closing Remarks

  • Ron Parham, Board Chair, NIRI

Networking Reception

*subject to change

Who Should Attend:

This forum will be of interest to anyone with a stake in the ESG discussion, including C-suite executives, investor relations professionals, public relations, corporate secretaries, board members, communications counselors/advisors, investors, and others. For media inquiries, please contact Matt Brusch at

Sponsored By:

Clermont Partners Computershare/Georgeson Nasdaq

Registration & Cancellation Policy

All cancellation and refund requests must be submitted in writing via email to Cancellation requests received up to 30 days before the event will be refunded in full, less a $100 processing fee. Cancellation requests received up to 15 days before the event will be refunded 50% of the registration fee, less a $100 processing fee. No refunds will be given for cancellation requests received within 15 days of the event, including no-shows. All refunds will be processed within 10 business days of confirmation and in the same manner as original payment. Registrations are nontransferable between events. Badge sharing or splitting is strictly prohibited.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Professional Development team at or +1 703-562-7700.