• What Is A Corporate Secretary And Why Am I A Panelist At Their Annual Meeting?

    By • Jun 11th, 2012 • Category: Where I've Been

    In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been traveling a lot and speaking when I stop. The invitations have been flowing in and I’ve had more than one event, it seems, each and every month since January.

    I usually point to the beginning of my column for American Banker last October as the inflection point. What was a steady stream of occasional speaking engagements prior has now become something I must constantly juggle with writing and other commitments. I’m not complaining. I like getting out once and a while even if my Rottweiler Rosie does not seem to like the extended absences.

    The Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance professionals will gather for its 66th annual National Conference at JW Marriott Hotel in Washington, DC from July 11-14. Conference Chairman Douglas Chia, Corporate Secretary for Johnson & Johnson, and his team are planning an exciting mix of sessions on “The Shape of Things to Come” in governance for public, private and non-profit companies of all sizes.

    I have been asked to join a panel, “Auditors, the Board and Shareholders: An Evolving Relationship,” scheduled for Thursday, July 12, 2012 at 10:30 – 11:45 am. I’m joined by Kayla Gillan of PwC, Guy Jubb of Standard Life, a UK based investment advisor and Marilyn Mooney of Fulbright & Jaworski. The panel will be moderated by Ken Bertsch, President of the Society. Some of the topics we’ll be talking about:

    • How and what auditors should communicate to the Audit Committee
    • Auditor independence
    • Mandatory audit firm rotation and auditor proxy vote
    • Shareholder dialog
    • Auditor independence/conflicts
    Readers of this blog and my columns in Forbes and American Banker know that I have commented frequently and at length on these subjects. Here are just a few of my more recent articles:

    The Auditor’s Responsibility to Report Illegal Acts Up and Out

    Comments on US and European Audit Reform

    Auditor Independence – The KPMG and GE Tax Work Case

    US Auditor Rotation Proposals

    Audit Reform Going In Circles

    Auditor Independence and the OCC/FED Foreclosure Reviews

    Auditor Independence and the Social Media IPOs

    Auditors and their Role In Corporate Investigations – The Lehman Case

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    8 Responses »

    1. I’m excited to have you as a panelist at our conference this year, Francine!


    2. @Douglas Chia

      Thanks, Doug and thanks again for the invitation.

    3. Francine,
      Not the point, I know, but love Rosie.

    4. Carol,

      She’s my baby. Couldn’t live without her. 🙂


    5. Any thought of posting audios or videos of you – giving talks, etc. It would be nice to see you in action.

    6. @David

      There are a few videos on my Speaking page http://retheauditors.com/Speaking

      I’m pretty proud of my latest appearance on Lauren Lyster’s Capital Account:


      Thanks for asking!

    7. One of my firm’s slots just opened up, so I’ll be there too. Looking forward to that panel – those topics are going to see much more spotlight soon, I think. Giving some serious consideration of blowing up that pic of Rosie onto 24″x24″ pressboard and holding it up from the bleachers. That or starting the wave. Maybe just sitting quietly and taking notes – haven’t decided yet.

    8. @Ted Wallace

      Will be great to finally meet! You could always hold up a boom box playing ‘Don’t Get Me Wrong” by the Pretenders a la John Cusack in “Say Anything” in lieu of applause. 🙂