speakers 2021

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Martin Skancke advises SWFs on investment and governance issues and is Chair of the Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI). He is a Board member at Storebrand ASA,  Storebrand Livsforsikring AS and Norfund and a member of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

Martin Skancke was head of the Asset Management Department of the Norwegian Ministry of Finance from 2006 to 2011, with responsibility for overseeing the Norwegian Government Pension Fund. Previous roles include Director General of the Office of the Prime Minister of Norway, head of the section for monetary policy and fiscal affairs at the Norwegian Ministry of Finance and consultant at McKinsey & Co. 

Martin Skancke holds a business degree from NHH, a Russian language degree from the University of Oslo and an MSc (Econ) from the LSE.

Chair of the Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI)

Martin Skancke

Dr Hans-Christoph Hirt is an executive director and board member of EOS at Federated Hermes and as head of the organisation responsible for the sustainable success of the business. In this role, he leads a multi-national team based in London and the US and oversees the global engagement programme and the quality of the services EOS provides to its clients around the world.

Prior to joining Hermes EOS, Hans worked with international law firm Ashurst. He is the author of numerous publications on corporate governance and law, responsible investment and stewardship. Hans is a member of the Corporate Governance Advisory Council of the Council of Institutional Investors in Washington and the Advisory Boards of CECP’s Strategic Investor Initiative in New York and the Corporate Governance Centre at the Institute of Directors in London.

Hans is a UK-qualified lawyer, holds degrees in Business Administration from universities in Germany and the UK, the ACCA (accounting and auditing) qualification and a PhD from the London School of Economics (LSE). He continues to be involved in academia as a Teaching Fellow at University College London. Hans speaks French, German and Mandarin.

Executive Director and Member of the Board EOS at Federated Hermes

Dr Hans-Christoph Hirt

As Aker BioMarine’s CEO, Matts is on mission to improve human and planetary health. Leading the global krill company, which was named Norway’s most innovative business in 2017, and Europe’s most innovative business in 2018, Matts is a natural risk-taker. From rolling on a board, to sitting in the boardroom, as a former professional skateboarder, Matts believes his business mind-set has been influenced by the do-or-die determination he developed while skateboarding. “Before you drop-in from the top of a ramp, you have to be 100 percent focused on the trick you are going to do and be convinced that you can do it. If you start doubting your ability, you will fall, and fail. It is the same in business, you must be totally committed, and you have to go all in,” Matts says.

Matts joined Aker BioMarine in 2009. Before being named the CEO in 2015, Matts was the Chief Operating Officer of Aker BioMarine. Prior to joining Aker BioMarine, he was the Chief Marketing Officer at Telefonica O2. He studied at Oslo University College and Columbia University.

CEO Aker Bio Marine

Matts Johansen

Kiran Aziz is a lawyer and senior responsible investment analyst for Norwegian pension fund KLP. In her role she monitors and assesses how the investee companies maintain responsible business practices along with dialogue with the boards and managements on ESG matters in the companies. Prior to joining KLP Asset Management, Ms Aziz was lecturer and researcher at BI Business School. She was responsible for developing and delivering tax law courses on all university levels at BI. Simultaneously conducted research with two programs on tax policies, as FairTax  project for EU.  Furthermore, through independent data gathering delivered recommendations on tax administration between multinational companies and the tax authorities. She has experience as a lawyer from EY and international legal aid projects for marginalized people. She also has extensive board experience. She is currently on board for Norwegian Refugee Council which is one of the world`s largest humanitarian organizations for displaced people. She is a member of Global Shapers Community under World Economic Forum.  Ms Aziz holds a law degree from University of Oslo and Cornell Law School.

Responsible investment analyst for Norwegian pension fund KLP

Kiran Aziz

Leyla Boulton is Development Editor, FT Live, and a senior editor at the Financial Times.  She joined the FT as a correspondent in Moscow in 1990, then became global environment correspondent in 1995. After five years as Turkey correspondent, Leyla's roles have included executive editor managing the FT Special Reports department, and pioneering the integration of web and print news at the FT.

She studied Russian at Cambridge university, before gaining an MA in international journalism at London’s City university. In 1992 she was part of the team that won a UK press award for the Financial Times’ investigation into Robert Maxwell. A US-UK national of Turkish origin, Leyla was highly commended in the Asian Women of Achievement awards UK 2019 for championing diversity and digital transformation.

Development editor, FT Live Senior editor, Financial Times

Leyla Boulton

Geoff is an entrepreneur whose experience spans sustainability consulting, tech startups, and academic research. He holds a PhD in artificial intelligence, and is CEO and Co-Founder of Future-Fit Foundation, a UK charity which translates systems science into free tools to help companies and investors accelerate the transition to a responsible, regenerative and resilient future for all.

CEO and Co-Founder of Future-Fit Foundation

Dr Geoff Kendall

Kjetil Ebbesberg (49) joined DNV GL as Group CFO from 1 April 2020, coming from a long career with Norsk Hydro. He most recently served 5 years as Executive Vice President, Hydro Rolled Products out of Dusseldorf, Germany. He has a wide background from Hydro since 1996, including roles as EVP Metal Markets, CFO for Metal Products, Head of BU Foundry Alloys and Plant Manager of the Rolling Mill in Holmestrand, Norway. He was a member of Hydro's Corporate Management Board for eight years. His responsibilities during this time included overseeing businesses in Europe, the US, Middle East, Asia and Australia. Kjetil has a Master's degree in business economics from the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration (NHH) in Bergen, Norway, in combination with University of Ottawa, Canada. In addition to more than 20 years at Hydro, Kjetil brings experience from the position as CFO for the Norwegian retail group Coop from 2007 to 2009. He has also held numerous board member positions, including as President of the European Aluminium Association.

Group CFO, DNV

Kjetil Ebbesberg

Kim Noguera Gabrielli is the CEO of UN Global Compact Norway. The UN organization for sustainable business and the largest sustainable corporate initiative in the world, with close to 13,000 companies as members globally and 260 of them Norwegian. Gabrielli is the podcast-host of the Abelia and UN Global Compact podcast «Business of the Future».

Gabrielli was formerly the Deputy Executive Director of the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF Norway, worked at UNICEF’s headquarters in New York and as the international advisor of the President of the Norwegian Olympic Committe.

Gabrielli has longstanding experience in the field of sustainability, business and international cooperation. In 2021 he was chosen as one of the top ten young business leaders in a national competition by the business newspaper E24 in the category of sustainability. Gabrielli holds a Masters in Migration and Languages from the University of Munich.

CEO UN Global Compact Norway

Kim N. Gabrielli

Turid Elisabeth Solvang is an international corporate governance expert. In 2016, Ms Solvang founded FutureBoards AS, a project-driven company and a global network of experts and practitioners committed to building better boards that supports sustainable value creation. Ms. Solvang is co-founder and former CEO of the Norwegian Institute of Directors, former board member and chair of the European Confederation of Directors’ Associations. As Chair, she represented ecoDa on the board of the Global Network of Director Institutes. Ms. Solvang is also co-founder, member of the Advisory Board, as well as former vice chair of European Women on Boards. Ms. Solvang holds an MSc in General Business (Siviløkonom) from BI Norwegian Business School, and she has held non-executive directorships in the financial and service sectors and membership organizations. Ms Solvang is a seasoned international speaker and writer on corporate governance topics, including women on boards.

Founder & CEO FutureBoards

Photo: Mikkel Becker Aakervik, Thought Leader Media

Turid Elisabeth Solvang

Jonathan Labrey is a global expert in corporate governance and reporting with over 16 years’ experience in the accountancy profession, regulation and corporate reporting.  He joined the IIRC at its outset in 2012 and today leads its work on formulating the organization’s strategy and global public policy to ensure integrated reporting becomes the norm.  Jonathan has particular expertise in Asia, and has lived in Singapore and travelled widely across Asia, developing a deep understanding of capital market and corporate governance issues, successfully delivering a mandate to create awareness and build support for integrated reporting, working closely with businesses, investors, regulators and accountancy professional bodies.

Jonathan has a background in UK and EU government relations, policy and regulation, having headed up the public affairs and policy team at the ICAEW from 2004-10 and from 2010-2012 he was head of communications at the UK’s Financial Reporting Council, the accounting, audit and corporate governance regulator. He started his career as a political advisor in the UK Parliament, having read Law at King’s College, University of London.

Chief Strategy Officer, International Integrated Reporting Council

Jonathan Labrey

Professor Mervyn E. King is chair of the King Committee on Corporate Governance for South Africa and an international corporate governance thought leader. The 4th edition of the King Report has been cited as "the most effective summary of the best international practices in corporate governance”.

He has been a chairman, director and chief executive of several companies listed on the London, Luxembourg and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges. He has consulted, advised and spoken on legal, business, advertising, sustainability and corporate governance issues in 53 countries and has received many awards.  He is the author of two books on governance and sustainability and sits as an arbitrator and mediator internationally.

Chair King Committee on Corporate Governance for South Africa, Chair Emeritus International Integrated Reporting Council

Professor Mervyn E King

Carine Smith Ihenacho was appointed Chief Corporate Governance Officer on 1 January 2018. She joined Norges Bank Investment Management in August 2017 as Global Head of Ownership Strategies. Prior to joining Norges Bank Investment Management, Ms Ihenacho was Vice President Legal and Global Chief Compliance Officer in Statoil ASA. She has more than 20 years’ experience as a lawyer, working in both financials and the oil and gas industry, as well as in law firms. She also has extensive board experience. Ms Ihenacho holds a law degree from the University of Oslo, a Masters of Law from Harvard Law School and a Master of Economics from the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH).

Chief Corporate Governance Officer, Norges Bank Investment Management

Carine Smith-Ihenacho

Former: Minister, Norwegian Foreign Affairs, Trade and Industry, Environment; Deputy Chairman, Norwegian Conservative Party; Member, Norwegian Parliament; Member, Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs and Deputy Chairman, Standing Committee on Energy and Environment; Chairman, UN Sustainable Development Commission; Secretary-General, Norwegian Red Cross; International Vice-Chairman, China Council for Int'l Cooperation on Environment and Development; Board Chairman, Mesta; Board Member, Norwegian School of Economics; Managing Director, World Economic Forum. Political Adviser to Conservative Party Chairman; Chairman, Young Conservatives; CFO, KB-entrepreneur. Since 2017, President, World Economic Forum. Member: Board, Statoil; UN High-level Advisory Group for Every Woman Every Child; Municipal Executive Board, Trondheim; Core Advisory Council, Harvard International Negotiation Program; Steering Committee, Bilderberg Meetings; Board of Directors, P4G – Partnering for Green Growth and Global Goals 2030; Board of Directors, Technology for Ocean Foundation, C4IR Ocean. BA Norwegian Univ. of Science and Tech. Recipient, awards, honours: Harish Mahindra Memorial Global Award for Outstanding Contributions to Economic Welfare and Sustainable Growth (2020); Order of the Aztec Eagle, Mexico (2018); Grand Cross, Order of San Carlos, Colombia (2018); Commander, Royal Norwegian Order of St Olav (2005); Cavaliere Di Gran Croce, Italy (2005); Grand Cross, Order of the Phoenix, Greece (2004); "Gift to the Earth", WWF (2004).

President World Economic

Børge Brende

Amra Balic, Managing Director, is Head of BlackRocks EMEA Investment Stewardship team based in London.

Amra is responsible for leading BlackRocks investment stewardship efforts in London, covering company engagement including voting in Europe, the Middle East and Africa on behalf of BlackRocks clients globally and integration of extra financial issues in the investment process. She is an alumna of BlackRock’s Women’s Leadership Forum. Amra is also a member of the European Commission (EC) Expert Group on technical aspects of corporate governance processes.

Amra is an active participant in the public corporate governance, stewardship and responsible investment debate and as such regularly speaks on the importance of these issues for company performance and investment decisions. Amra represents BlackRock on a number of industry bodies including the UK Investment Association Corporate Governance and Engagement Committee and the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (UK) Stewardship Advisory Group. Amra is also a board member of Eumedion, the leading Dutch association representing institutional investors interests in the field of corporate governance and sustainability. Amra is also a member of the FRC Investor Advisor Group.

Prior to joining BlackRock, Amra spent 14 years working on issues surrounding investors and investment decisions ranging from analysis of financial and extra-financial issues, deal origination, investment appraisal and management. Amra joined BlackRock after 11 years with Standard Poors (now S&P Global), where she was a Director in European Corporate Credit Ratings. During her time at SP Amras responsibilities included integration of corporate governance into the credit ratings process. Amra started her career in the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), London in 1997 as a financial analyst.

Amra holds a B.A. (Hons) Economics and MSc Accounting and Finance from London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

Managing Director, Head of EMEA Investment Stewardship team, BlackRock

Amra Balic

Henrik Syse is Research Professor at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), and Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Bjørknes University College. He also teaches regularly at the Norwegian Defense University College, MF (the Norwegian Free School of Theology), the University of Oslo, and other institutions of higher learning, and he is Chief Editor (with James A. Cook) of the Journal of Military Ethics. He was Head of Corporate Governance for Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), which manages Europe’s largest sovereign wealth fund, from 2005 to 2007, and he continued, until 2009, as an advisor and consultant on social issues for NBIM. Henrik has published widely in the fields of philosophy, politics, and ethics, he was nominated as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2007, and he is a much-used lecturer in Norway and abroad. He was a member of the Norwegian Press Complaints Commission from 2002 to 2016, has been a Member of the Norwegian Academy of Language and Literature since 2010, and a member of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, which awards the Nobel Peace Prize, since 2015, serving as its Vice Chair since 2017.

Research Professor, Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), Member of The Norwegian Nobel Committee until 2020

Dr Henrik Syse

Richard Milne is the Financial Times' Nordic and Baltic Correspondent, based in Oslo, and covering everything in the region from business and economics to politics and culture. He took over the role in July 2012 after two years as capital markets editor. He started at the FT on its graduate trainee scheme in 2003 before working in Paris and Frankfurt. In 2008, he was named European business correspondent. He read English Law and French Law at King's College London and the Sorbonne in Paris from 1997-2001

Nordic Correspondent Financial Times

Richard Milne

Kate currently heads up Strategy Development for Statkraft, a Norwegian renewables energy company. She was previously an Engagement Manager based in London at McKinsey, an international consulting company and received her MBA from Harvard Business School. She began her career in the UK Civil Service, in the Treasury and Taxation departments and in the Foreign Office.

VP Head of Strategy Development, Statkraft

Kate Bragg

Mr. Munro is a Senior Client Partner at Korn Ferry’s Oslo office, and is a part of the Technology and CEO & Board Practices in EMEA. Munro has a 30-year leadership/executive career spanning the air transport industry, telecommunications/ICT, consulting and industry politics. He has held positions as Managing/Country Director, Commercial Director and HR Director for amongst others, DHL, US West (one of the “Baby Bell” companies) and Tandberg as well as a Telenor spin-off – and has lived and worked in Africa, Russia, Central Asia and the Nordics/ Baltics. He has also been the Director of Knowledge & Technology for Virke – the Norwegian Industry Federation, where he was responsible for building the member base and otherwise engaging in industry/sector lobbyism/politics. Alisdair has also been a Partner and Head of Technology Practice (Norway) for Heidrick & Struggles. Munro has gained broad international leadership experience throughout his career in Norway and abroad and now applies this at Board, CEO and C-suite level – where he focuses mainly on executive/NED search, succession planning, CXO/NED/Board assessments as well as competency architecture.

Senior Client Partner Korn Ferry

Alisdair Munro

Bente Sverdrup is Head of Sustainability in Gjensidige group with a formal background as a State Authorised Public Accountant. She is an experienced lecturer and engaged in understanding consequences of climate and nature risk in general and consequences for the insurance industry. She has 25 years of experience practicing as an external auditor and was partner in Deloitte for 5 years. She has been Head of Internal Audit in Gjensidige for 4,5 years and HR director in Gjensidige for 2,5 years

Direktør Bærekraft Gjensidige

Bente Sverdrup

Joacim joined Aftenposten in 2005. He writes op-ed articles about politics, technology, business and entrepreneurship. Author of «Hele bøffelen», a book about global food systems.

Commentator, Aftenposten

Joacim Lund

Amy Bell is a commissioning editor and writer in the Project Publishing team at the Financial Times, where she has edited reports on women in business, the future of work and the legal sector – acting as legal communities curator for the FT Innovative Lawyers series. She also leads curation for FT Live events, improving engagement with FT audiences with multimedia content including reports, video, audio and newsletters. In FT Live she has been the lead content editor for several flagship FT events including Women at the Top. She was on the judging panel for the Inspiring Fifty in 2017 highlighting European role models in tech. Before joining the FT in 2009 Amy worked in Madrid teaching English and has a special interest in Spain and Latin America, editing the BritishSpanish Society’s magazine La Revista from 2013 to 2017. She holds a BA in English from the University of Nottingham and a Diploma in Journalism from the NCTJ.

Commissioning Editor, Financial Times

Amy Bell

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