In today's economic environment, ESG (environmental, social and governance) - related risks are quickly becoming something businesses cannot ignore. The World Economic Forum's Global Risk Report 2018 outlines the growing severity and frequency of ESG related risks over the past 10 years, and this report makes it clear that both the threats and opportunities arising from ESG cannot be ignored.
Members and guests gathered on April 25 for an ESG - focused discussion led by Paul DeNicola, a Principal in PwC’s Governance Insights Center.
Paul, Ray Cameron, Managing Director, BlackRock Investment Stewardship, and Doug Harmon, lead Partner of Parker Poe’s Security & Corporate Governance Group, addressed questions about ESG that your board should be asking such as:
What is the ESG landscape and why do ESG related risks matter for business?
How does ESG affect your business strategy?
What do investors think about the importance of ESG?
What Standards and guidelines are emerging related to applying Enterprise Risk Management to ESG- related risks and reporting these risks in regulatory filings (ie SASB and COSO)?
Ray Cameron: Managing Director, BlackRock Investment Stewardship
Paul DeNicola: Principal, PwC’s Governance Insights Center
Doug Harmon: Partner, Parker Poe's Securities & Corporate Governance Group
Ray A. Cameron, Managing Director, is the Head of BlackRock's Investment Stewardship team for the Americas region based in New York. In this role, Ray leads a team of specialists responsible for engagement and proxy voting activities in relation to the companies in which BlackRock invests on behalf of clients. Through direct engagement with companies, the team encourages corporate governance practices that support sustainable financial performance over the long-term.
Prior to joining BlackRock, Ray most recently managed the corporate access engagement practice at several investment banking firms, including Stifel and Cowen. In these capacities, he oversaw teams that established and enhanced constructive dialogue with hundreds of portfolio companies' boards and management teams.
Ray started his Wall Street career at Morgan Stanley on the institutional equity sales desk. After spending several years as a generalist, he became a technology specialist. It was in that capacity, he recognized the potential of corporate access as a stand-alone business opportunity. Ray is credited for creating and managing the first fully integrated corporate access team on Wall Street. His team included a diverse group of sector specialists who were responsible for driving engagements in their respective industries and enhancing relationships with corporate boards and management and with internal investment professionals within the firm.
He was subsequently recruited to re-engineer the corporate access engagement practice at Lehman Brothers. There he successfully maintained the entire team through the Lehman bankruptcy filing and the eventual acquisition of equity assets by Barclays.
Ray earned his Masters of Business Administration degree from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas and his Bachelors of Business Administration degree from The University of Texas at Austin.
Paul DeNicola is a principal in PwC’s Governance Insights Center,
which strives to strengthen the connection between directors,
executive teams and investors by helping them navigate the evolving
With more than 15 years of corporate governance experience, Paul has
a broad range of knowledge in numerous emerging governance issues.
Paul is also an Associate Professor at New York University's Stern
School of Business where he teaches courses in corporate governance
and professional responsibility. Paul serves on the board of the Society
for Corporate Governance as well as the board of the National Association of Corporate Directors New Jersey Chapter, and on the Markets Advisory Council of the Council of Institutional Investors.
Doug Harmon leads Parker Poe's Securities & Corporate Governance Group and its Public Company Growth & Compliance Group and co-leads the Governance, Risk & Compliance Group. With more than 30 years of experience, he represents domestic and international public and private entities in a full array of capital markets and finance, merger and acquisition, securities compliance, and corporate governance, risk, and compliance matters. The Compliance Certification Board has accredited him as an Certified Compliance & Ethics Professional (CCEP and CCEP-International)Â®.
Doug has worked with clients from a wide range of industries, including energy, financial services, manufacturing, retail, sports and entertainment, and technology.
He has been honored as one of Woodward/White's The Best Lawyers in America in Securities Law since 2007 and is a member of the Energy Bar Association.