Capital Link's "CSR & IR Forum" Attracts 375+ Delegates

Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:00pm EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

  NEW YORK, NY, Mar 18 (Marketwire) -- 
Capital Link's Annual "CSR & IR - Maximizing Shareholder Value" Forum
took place on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at the Metropolitan Club in New
York. The event was organized in cooperation with NYSE Euronext. It
attracted 375+ influential C-level Corporate, financial and investment
executives, service providers and media who got together for a half day
to discuss, debate and exchange information on critical industry topics
and to network. 

    FORUM OVERVIEW
 Companies and investors are increasingly looking at
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) not only as a means of
accomplishing corporate governance, but also as a measurable, concrete
way to increase shareholder value and profits. 

    CSR is becoming a fundamental component of a company's business model
meant to produce tangible and profitable results in response to
stakeholder expectations. 

    Capital Link's Forum focused on three major topics. From the corporate
perspective it explored how CSR impacts the valuation and cost of capital
for private and publicly listed companies as investors and financiers may
perceive them as safer and more sustainable financing and investment
choices. From the investors' point of view, it explored how CSR
integrates among the investment criteria, what Socially Responsible
Investing (SRI) is all about and its comparative return performance. And
the third topic explored the alignment of the CSR, IR and the overall
corporate communications strategy, message and function. Also, the
developments in the area of Integrated Reporting Standards and updates on
Reporting Solutions, standards and guideline.

    FORUM STRUCTURE & PRESENTERS
 The half day Forum was structured into
lively panel discussions of industry experts from Fortune 500 listed
companies, banks, investment companies, audit companies, consulting
firms, Foundations and Reporting Organizations who came together to
provide valuable insight and analyses on topics of critical importance to
CSR & IR. 

    Nicolas Bornozis, President of Capital Link, mentioned that a consistent
corporate CSR track record can be a differentiating factor and a
competitive advantage from an operational, commercial and financial point
of view, impacting a company's valuation and cost of capital, along with
its overall profitability and long term viability. He noted the increased
demand from the investment community for CSR information, thereby
necessitating closer cooperation between the IR, CSR and Corporate
Communications departments. Capital Link aims to host this Forum on an
annual basis to discuss and debate trends and developments in this field
while providing during the year a flow of thought leadership initiatives
through webinars.

    PANEL DISCUSSION:
 "VALUING COMPANIES BEYOND FINANCIAL METRICS - CSR,
Finance & Capital Markets" 

    Moderator: 
 Eric J. Hespenheide, Global Leader, Deloitte Sustainability
Audit & Enterprise Risk Services - Deloitte & Touche 

Panelists:
 Marc
Fox, Director, Investor Initiatives - The Carbon Disclosure Project 

Bruce Kahn, Sustainability Management Program - Columbia University 

Erika Karp, Managing Director, Head of Global Sector Research - UBS
Investment Bank. She stated that "a greater consciousness by corporate
leaders of the environmental, social, and governance factors which impact
their economic outcomes will prove to benefit ALL stakeholders. Given the
fundamental challenges facing society, ranging from climate change to
women's economic empowerment, education and healthcare, great companies
can both manage risk, and seize growth opportunities, by a systematic and
transparent effort towards Sustainability."

    PANEL DISCUSSION: 
 "CSR & SHAREHOLDER VALUE: OPTIMIZING VALUATION &
RETURNS" 

Moderator:
 Joe Sibilia, Chief Executive Office - CSRwire


Panelists:
 Adam Kanzer, Managing Director & General Counsel - Domini
Social Investments; VP & Chief Legal Officer - The Domini Funds 
 Michael
Jacobson, Director, Corporate Responsibility Office - Intel Corporation 

Al Iannuzzi, Sr. Director, Product Stewardship, WW Environment, Health &
Safety - Johnson & Johnson 
 Paula Luff, VP Corporate Social
Responsibility - Hess Corporation (NYSE: HES)
 Kevin Anton, Chief
Sustainability Officer - Alcoa, Inc. (NYSE: AA) - He stated that
"Throughout Alcoa's 125-year history, sustainability has been central to
our activities, embedded in our strategies, product offerings and
operations. We take a long-term approach by balancing the interests of
our stakeholders -- shareholders, customers, employees communities -- to
offer sustainable products and ensure our continued success."

    PANEL DISCUSSION:
 "CSR, ALIGNING STRATEGY & COMMUNICATIONS" 

Moderator:

Michelle Greene, SVP & Head of Corporate Responsibility - NYSE Euronext
(NYSE: NYX)

Panelists:
 Dave Stangis, VP Public Affairs & Corporate
Responsibility - Campbell Soup Company (NYSE: CPB)
 Beth Shiroishi, VP,
Sustainability & Philanthropy - AT&T 
 Maggie Kohn, Director, Global
Corporate Responsibility - Merck & Co., Inc. 
 Jacqueline Strayer, VP,
Corporate Communication - Johnson Controls, Inc. 

    PANEL DISCUSSION:
 "INTEGRATED REPORTING AND UPDATES ON REPORTING
SOLUTIONS, RATINGS STANDARD & GUIDELINES" 
 The panel shared their
expertise and perspectives on the present and future of corporate
responsibility and sustainability disclosure and reporting. The expansion
of third party ratings, rankings, scorecards, best-of-list of companies
was discussed and panelists helped the audience to better understand the
various standards, frameworks, analyst models, and other approaches fit
in the broadening mix of information related to corporate ESG
performance. 

Moderator:
 Hank Boerner, Chairman - Governance &
Accountability Institute, Inc. (G&A) 

Panelists:
 Stathis Gould, Head of
Professional Accountants in Business - IFAC 
 Janice Warren, President -
OneReport 
 Marjella Alma, Manager External Relations - Global Reporting
Initiative USA (GRI) - She stated that "The process of sustainability
reporting should help enable companies to identify issues that have a
material impact -- justifying public disclosure. Sustainability was never
intended to be an 'add-on' exercise, but should be used to smarten up
your business, be holistically integrated with your corporate strategy
from a 21st century perspective, and focus on long-term viability by
looking through a broader 'sustainability' lens."

    Mark Tulay, Program Manager - GISR - He stated that "... do these
financial and other mandated reports tell the whole story of the
corporation? Are there missing elements that pose risk... or present
opportunity... that we are not seeing in the numbers alone? The answer is
YES -- and so we are now seeing a welcome and expanding flow of
non-mandated information related to corporate sustainability and ESG
performance. This expanded disclosure in the form of corporate
sustainability or responsibility or citizenship disclosure... and
reports... come from large-cap as well as mid- and small-cap enterprises.
We find that 53% of the S&P 500 Index companies and 57% of the Fortune
500 companies issued reports in 2011 and to mid-year 2012. That's up from
a base of about 20% reporting for each the previous year."

    PANEL DISCUSSION:
 "CSR & INVESTING-THE INVESTOR'S POINT OF VIEW-WHAT
MATTERS?" 

Moderator:
 Dan Hanson, Managing Director & Portfolio Manager
- BlackRock 

Panelists:
 Jan C. Childress, Director, Investor Relations
- Consolidated Edison, Inc. 
 Gary Buesser, Director - Lazard Asset
Management, LLC 
 Elizabeth Seeger, Principal - Kohlberg Kravis Roberts
(NYSE: KKR) 
 Joseph M. Kinard, Investment Committee Member, Board of
Pensions - Presbyterian Church USA Pension Fund He mentioned that "SRI
equals SRI. Socially Responsible Investing equals Solid Returns on
Investment."

    PANEL DISCUSSION:
 "SUSTAINABLE INVESTING & CREATED SHARED VALUE"


Moderator:
 Bennett Freeman, SVP, Sustainability Research and Policy -
Calvert Investments 

Panelists:
 Mark D. Sloss, Executive Director, Sr.
Portfolio Manager - UBS Wealth Management Americas 
 Paul Hilton,
Portfolio Manager & Director of Business Development - Trillium Asset
Management, LLC. He mentioned that "It is very important that investors
realize they can combine performance and impact in selecting an
investment manager. This is driving the growing demand for sustainable
and responsible investments among retail and institutional investors
alike and sending a powerful message to corporations that it pays to be a
responsible company."
 Orin Kramer, General Partner - Boston Provident
L.P., Chairman of the Board of Directors - Robert F. Kennedy Center for
Justice & Human Rights. He mentioned that "The fundamental premise of
sustainable investing is that there isn't a trade-off between investment
returns and sustainability considerations. Sustainability isn't about
imposing policy values on fiduciaries; it's about incorporating factors
which do, in fact, affect investment outcomes into risk management."

    PANEL DISCUSSION:
 "PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS/GLOBAL CSR" 
 This panel
examined public private partnerships across the spectrum from those
focused on philanthropic objectives to those aiming to create shared
value for both the company and the society. They discussed how these
types of partnerships differ, how they are measured and key trends for
various industries.

Moderator:
 Laura Herman, Managing Director - FSG


Panelists:
 Judith Moore, Consultant, Environment & Corporate
Responsibility, Treasury & former Head of CSR - World Bank 
 Mauricio
Barbeiro, Sustainable Business Manager - Banco Santander Brasil 
 Bulbul
Gupta, Head of Market-Based Approaches - Clinton Global Initiative. She
mentioned that "Trends in Public Private Partnership = Corporate
Strategic Philanthropy as Market Differentiation = mobilizing core
business competencies while meeting beneficiaries' needs, to know what a
corporation stands for re core business, as well as social impact. 

    Important to identify the right social issue to address as a corporation,
that is based on community needs (and that takes advantage of core
business and staff expertise, provides business unit engagement as well
as traditional CSR and volunteering opportunities).

    Important to then identify the right partners to commit with long-term --
corporate philanthropy can be a series of first or second dates, but
strategic philanthropy can and should be a deeper engagement, especially
to see impact at the base of the pyramid populations and least-developed
markets. 

    Core Business + strategic philanthropy = Shared Value is one of the most
powerful approaches that has helped take that internal analysis of
external societal problems into an ideal tool for designing the next
generation of PPPs.

    Conference theme = Maximizing Shareholder Value - truly possible if we
work to better align core business and CSR to achieve business as well as
social value."

    Sharon D'Agostino, VP, Corporate Citizenship - Johnson & Johnson 
 She
told us that "Partnerships are critical in delivering our commitment to
improve health and well-being around the world. Johnson & Johnson was the
first private sector partner to join the United Nations Health4+, a
partnership that trains skilled birth attendants in Emergency Obstetric
and Newborn Care in Ethiopia and Tanzania, two countries where maternal
and infant mortality rates are high."

    SPONSORS & MEDIA PARTNERS
 Event Organized in Cooperation with: NYSE
Euronext
 Sponsor: Deloitte & Touche LLP
 Supporting Sponsor: OneReport

Contributing Sponsors: Harvard Business School, Executive Education;
Johnson & Johnson
 Media Partners: CSRwire, Barclay Hedge

    AUDIO RECORDING & TRANSCRIPT
 The full audio recording and transcription
for this event is available upon request. 
 Please send your requests to
csr@capitallink.com

    WEBINAR SERIES
 Capital Link will hold a series of CSR related webinars
providing updates until the 2014 CSR & IR Forum. 
 The Dec. 4, 2013 "CSR
& Shareholder Value" Webinar is still accessible at the link below. 

http://webinars.capitallink.com/2012/csr/index.html

    ORGANIZER - CAPITAL LINK, INC.
 Capitalizing on our 17-year track record
with the organization of uniquely successful investment conferences,
Capital Link has pioneered a series of CSR-focused forums in London,
Athens, and New York. We complement our forums with webinars that we
regularly organize for each topic. Our London CSR Forum focuses on the
Maritime and Offshore Industries, while our Athens Forum on the
significance of CSR in a country that is tested by severe economic
decline and social discomfort. Capital Link is a New York based Advisory,
Investor Relations & Financial Communications firm with strategic focus
on CSR issues, the global maritime & offshore industry and U.S.
Closed-End Funds & Global ETFs. As an Advisory and Investor Relations
firm Capital Link is at the forefront of the major issues of interest and
concern among financiers, analysts, investors and companies, enabling us
to put together a powerful agenda with the right topics and panelists. We
complement our industry expertise with highly targeted databases of
contacts from the corporate, financial and investment communities, as
well as from the CSR & the financial media. The Capital Link Forums
combine an educational, informational and marketing platform with unique
visibility and networking opportunities. Capital Link is a GRI
Stakeholder.

    

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
To become part of our database and to be invited to future events or for any other request please contact:

Dana Carey
Director of Business Development
Capital Link, Inc.
230 Park Avenue, Suite 1536
New York, NY 10169
Tel. (212) 661-7566 ext. 234
Email: csr@capitallink.com 

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