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2020 Villanova Environmental Law Journal Blank Rome LLP Symposium, 2/7

“Shareholder Environmental Activism”

 

Friday, February 7
9:00 a.m – 12:30 p.m.


Laurence E. Hirsch ’71 Classroom (Room 101)
Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law
299 North Spring Mill Road, Villanova, PA 19085

 

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Proxy proposals give shareholders a voice in how corporations address issues ranging from corporate governance to social concerns. Shareholder proposals addressing environmental issues have been increasing in recent years, tackling important topics such as climate change, sustainability, water use and waste. In November 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission proposed new amendments to Exchange Act Rule 14a-8, the regulation that governs the process for shareholder proposals to be included in a publicly traded company’s proxy statement. Supporters of the proposed amendments contend that it will prevent misuse of the proxy proposal process, but opponents allege that it will stifle shareholder voices.

At the 2020 Villanova Environmental Law Journal Blank Rome LLP Symposium, representatives from shareholder activist groups, advisors, companies, attorneys and academics will discuss the use of shareholder proposals to advance environmental objectives, including the proposed Rule 14a-8 amendments.

The symposium will take place on Friday, February 7, 2020 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Laurence E. Hirsch ’71 Classroom (Room 101) of the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. This program is approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education board for 3 substantive CLE credits.

 

9:00 a.m. — Welcome

9:10 a.m. — Introductory Panel

Jonathan Doh, PhD, Associate Dean of Research, Herbert G. Rammrath Endowed Chair in International Business, Co-Faculty Director of the Moran Center for Global Leadership and Professor of Management at Villanova University School of Business
Sarah Haan, Associate Professor of Law, Washington and Lee University School of Law
Heidi Welsh, Executive Director, Sustainable Investment Institute (Si2)
Moderated by Jennifer O’Hare, Professor of Law, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law

10:00 a.m. — Shareholder Panel

Kathy Belyeu, Senior Associate, Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS)
Mary Beth Gallagher, Executive Director, Investor Advocates for Social Justice
Sr. Nora Nash, OSF, Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia
Moderated by Heidi Welsh, Executive Director, Sustainable Investment Institute (Si2)

10:50 a.m. — Break

11:00 a.m. — Companies Panel

Yelena M. Barychev, Partner, Corporate Practice Group, Blank Rome LLP
Hagen J. Ganem, Counsel, SEC Reporting and Compliance, Mergers and Acquisitions and Corporate Governance, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates
Sarah Friedman Hersh, Senior Investment Stewardship Strategist, Vanguard
Nancy Smith, Senior Vice President, Corporate, Securities and Finance Law, Lincoln Financial Group
Moderated by Todd Aagaard, Professor of Law, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law

11:50 a.m. — Plenary Discussion

12:30 p.m. — Adjourn