Finance Norway, Storebrand, NORSIF, KLP, Global Financial Integrity (GFI), Oslo Metropolitan University and PWYP Norway hosted a digital investor conference 20th October 2020, in Oslo, Norway.
Watch the conference here:
The world is filled with information that is either inaccessible, unintelligible, not possible to compare or downright not trustworthy. This cost society and investors enormous amounts of money every year.
The main focus for investor conference was:
“Quality of Information. Quality of Reporting”.
Quality of information: how information needs to be standardized and normalized in order to become accessible and possible to compare.
Quality of reporting: how information needs to be trustworthy and brought forward in ways that makes it universally accessible for the benefits of investors and the wider society.
This conference gathered interested actors wishing to be a part of an international environment discussing the direction, quality and development in the area of tax and transparency.
We hope this conference was a starting point for bringing the investor community together in an effort to get information that is trustworthy, that is intelligible, that is comparable in places that is accessible and allows for automated collection and treatment. Last, but not least, it is necessary to ensure that information that is made available follows a logical build-up and some minimum requirements that ensure that the information is internally coherent and externally complete within the frame it is intended to fill.
Welcome by Mona Thowsen, Secretary General, PWYP Norway
Session 1: Keynotes
The Norwegian Bank Investment Management (NBIM).
Expectations on tax and transparency.
“Tax and Transparency: Expectations towards companies”
Carine Smith Ihenacho, Chief Corporate Governance Officer, NBIM
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. The aim of the oil fund is to ensure responsible and long-term management of revenue from Norway’s oil and gas resources in the North Sea so that this wealth benefits both current and future generations. The fund’s formal name is the Government Pension Fund Global.
“Transparency challenges in the global economy”
Grace Perez-Navarro, Deputy Director, Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, OECD
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is an intergovernmental economic organisation with 36 member countries, founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade.
Session 2: Panel: "What is the risk of not knowing about tax and transparency?"
No matter what kind of investor you are, tax and transparency are factors that can increase the risk in an investor’s portfolio and in society at large.
- 09:45 - 09:47:
Idar Kreutzer, CEO, Finance Norway, the industry organisation for the financial industry in Norway
- 09:47 - 09:49:
Kiran Aziz, lawyer, responsible investments, KLP
- 09:49 - 09:51:
Alex Williams, senior governance specialist, APG Asset Management
- 09:51 - 09:53:
Andy Jones, Lead Engager: Europe at Federated Hermes
- 09:53 - 10:05:
Live moderated Q & A.
Session 3: What is Quality of information? (going into the reporting)
If you as an investor want to have control of risks related to tax and transparency, what can you do?
- 10:05 - 10:15:
Monica Mee, KPMG Pure Sustainability: "Active ownership. How active are share-holders or does engagement come from the boards?"
Monica Mee is a a Senior Manager at KPMG Pure Sustainability. She has 16 years’ experience from Wealth management in Nordea and has been engaged with sustainability in different ways since Nordea signed the UN PRI in 2007. She was also engaged in the field through sector organisations such as Norsif, where she had three different roles, and Finans Norge to drive sustainable development and impact on a higher level. Her knowledge and interest for sustainability covers governance, environment, climate, society, human rights as well as global economy and mega trends. She is also engaged in EU driven financial activities and was recently involved in a global project regarding shareholders stewardship code.
- 10:15 - 10:35:
Mona Thowsen, Publish What You Pay Norway: "What is Quality of Information? Extended Country-by-Country Reporting (ECBCR), Experiences from implementation in Norway"
Mona Thowsen is Secretary General at Publish What You Pay Norway, the Norwegian chapter of the global Publish What You Pay network which organizes and mobilizes over 650 civil society organisations from over 70 countries in campaigning for transparency and accountability in the payment, receipt and management of revenues from the oil, gas and mining industries. PWYP Norway works to develop new knowledge to strengthen financial transparency and promote policy solutions to hinder tax and capital flight.
- 10:35 - 10:45:
Joanne Houston, Frank Bold: "Results of the Alliance for Corporate Transparency research on the sustainability disclosures of 1000 European companies"
Joanne is EU Policy Officer at Frank Bold. She joined the Responsible Companies section in 2019 to work on policy developments in the area of corporate reporting and governance. She is in charge of stakeholder relations and is currently supporting the work of the Alliance for Corporate Transparency, where she contributes to the development of the project’s advocacy strategy.
Session 4: What is Quality of Reporting? (coming out of the reporting)
- 10:45 - 10:50:
Mia D’Adhemar, senior manager, Standards, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)
GRI are the first global standards for sustainability reporting. How does the new reporting standard on Tax and Transparency relate to mandatory reporting? While voluntary, the standard is likely to drive companies forward to increase their transparency on tax issues in the following areas; approach to tax, tax governance, control and risk management, stakeholder engagement and management of concerns related to tax and country by country reporting
- 10:50 - 10:55:
Lakshmi Kumar, Policy Director, Global Financial Integrity (GFI)
GFI works to curtail illicit financial flows by producing research, promoting pragmatic policy solutions and advising governments
- 10:55 - 11:00:
Andreas Bjørbak Alnæs, Head of sustainable investments at Storebrand Asset Management
The Storebrand Group is a leading player in the Nordic market for long-term savings and insurance and Norway's largest asset manager.
- 11:00 - 11:05:
David Frazer, Sustainalytics
Sustainalytics is a global leader in ESG and Corporate Governance research and ratings. Over the last 25 years, Sustainalytics has brought together leading ESG research and client servicing professionals to retain that personal touch that has helped them to grow. Today, Sustainalytics supports hundreds of the world’s foremost investors who incorporate ESG and corporate governance insights into their investment processes.
- 11:05 - 11:10:
Erik Ohman and Henrik Sandström, Investment Banking, Morgan Stanley
Morgan Stanley is an American multinational investment bank and financial service company. With offices in more than 42 countries and more than 60,000 employees, the firm's clients include corporations, governments, institutions, and individuals.
- 11:10 - 11:15:
Vaishnavi Ravishankar, Senior Analyst, ESG, UN PRI
The United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) is an international network of investors working together to put the six principles into practice. Its goal is to understand the implications of sustainability for investors and support signatories to incorporate these issues into their investment decision-making and ownership practices. In implementing the Principles, signatories contribute to the development of a more sustainable global financial system.
Session 5: What are success stories of companies on tax and transparency?
- 11:15 - 11:30:
Alfredo Manero Ruiz, Directorate of Fiscal Affairs, REPSOL
Repsol is one of the world’s leading integrated oil and gas companies. Repsol is a global, integrated energy company. Their activities span the entire value chain: ranging from exploration, production, and refining to marketing and new energy R&D. The corporate headquarters are located right in the center of Madrid.
- 11:30 - 11:45:
Zahira Quattrocchi, Group Head of Tax, Anglo American
Anglo American is a global mining company with a portfolio that spans diamonds, platinum, copper, iron ore and more. The stated ambition is our ambition to be “a trusted corporate leader and, more specifically, a leader in transparency – going beyond the requirements of the transparency initiatives to which we adhere”.
Thank you and key take aways
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 Master of Law from Harvard Law School and a Master of Economics from the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH).
Grace Perez-Navarro is the Deputy Director of the OECD’s Centre for Tax Policy and Administration. As such, she plays a key role in all of the OECD’s tax work including the tax challenges of digitalisation, the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project, improving international tax cooperation, tackling illicit financial flows, promoting better tax policies and engaging developing countries in OECD tax work. Since joining the OECD in 1997, she has held several key positions, including having led the OECD’s tax work on bank secrecy, e-commerce, harmful tax practices, money laundering and tax crimes, countering bribery of foreign officials, and strengthening all forms of administrative cooperation between tax authorities.
Prior to joining the OECD, she was a Special Counsel at the IRS Office of the Associate Chief Counsel (International) where she coordinated guidance to field offices on international tax issues, oversaw litigation of international tax issues, negotiated TIEAs and treaties, and reviewed regulations, rulings and other policy advice. In 1993, she was seconded to the OECD to launch the revision of the OECD’s Transfer Pricing Guidelines.
Idar Kreutzer is CEO of Finance Norway. From 2000 to 2012 he was the CEO of Storebrand ASA. Mr. Kreutzer has been a member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and has Co-Chaired their Vision 2050. He holds several key board positions, and in 2015 he was appointed member of The Norwegian Commission for Green Competitiveness by the Prime Minister of Norway. In 2017 Mr. Kreutzer was appointed by the Nordic Council of Ministers to evaluate the access to risk capital for companies in the Nordic region.
Kiran Aziz has a background as a lawyer with specialty of International tax from EY. In addition she has been a lecturer and a contributor to the four year research project on cooperative compliance, FairTax, under The European Union’s Horizon 2020 program.
She is currently working at KLP Asset Management with responsible Investments where she is responsible for tax engagement.
David Frazer is a Caribbean born engagement manager at Sustainalytics, covering the financial services sector and the lead for the taxation related engagements. He leads research on racial diversity and works on LGBT inclusion and is also a published author of an economics textbook, as an on-going economics educator.
David achieved his master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University and currently pursuing a Bachelor of Laws at the University of London
Lakshmi Kumar is the Policy Director at Global Financial Integrity with several years of experience working on issues of financial policy, securities investigation, regulatory governance, anti-corruption, and anti-money laundering/terrorist financing.
Prior to joining GFI, Ms. Kumar was a lawyer and policy professional in India, working with governments and regulatory agencies across South Asia, East Africa, and Eurasia to investigate money laundering and terrorist financing risks to their financial systems.
Her prior work includes drafting legislation to identify beneficial ownership for the financial sector in India, assessing and evaluating the robustness of the securities market in the Eurasian region for the Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering (EAG), and conducting investigations on sovereign wealth funds, procurement procedures, and other off-shore investment entities for fraud and terrorist financing risks.
Andreas has worked in Storebrand Kapitalforvaltning's team for sustainable investments since 2018. His focus area is anti-corruption and SDG 16 Peace and justice. Before joining Storebrand, he worked with aid work and anti-corruption in Norad, as an advisor in the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Foreign Service Control Unit and in UNDP.
Andreas holds an MSc in Economics and Administration from NHH and the International University of Japan.
Mona Thowsen is Secretary General at Publish What You Pay Norway, the Norwegian chapter of the global Publish What You Pay network which organizes and mobilizes over 650 civil society organisations from over 70 countries in campaigning for transparency and accountability in the payment, receipt and management of revenues from the oil, gas and mining industries.
Zahira Quattrocchi has been Group Head of Tax at Anglo American since April 2019. Zahira joined Anglo American in from CNH Industrial, one of the world's largest capital goods companies. Prior to that, she was Global Head of Tax at Italian food processing company, Barilla.
A trained lawyer, Zahira has practised in Italy where she started her career in EY and then moved to Industry working for Bayer and Shell.
As well as a wealth of experience in multinational transfer pricing, restructuring and tax compliance, Zahira is a leading authority on tax audits.
A regular speaker at events, Zahira has contributed to the debate around Cooperative Compliance, Transparency and Good Tax Governance. Under Zahira’s leadership, Barilla was admitted between the 9 MNEs piloting the OECD International Compliance Assurance Program.
Mia is a Senior Manager in the Standards Division of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) in Amsterdam and currently leads the Sector Program.
In this position Mia is responsible for a new program of work in which Standards will be developed that describe impacts and stakeholder concerns from a sustainable development perspective for up to 40 different sectors. Prior to this, Mia was the Project Manager for the development of GRI’s new tax Standard, GRI 207: Tax 2019.
Mia has 10 years of experience in stakeholder engagement and social performance in the oil and gas sector and has worked across exploration and development projects in Australia, Asia, North America, Europe and Africa. Before GRI, she worked at Woodside Energy, Australia’s largest independent oil and gas company.
Mia holds Bachelors of Commerce and Arts, as well as a Graduate Certificate in Social Impact from the University of Western Australia.
A lawyer by profession, Alfredo joined Repsol’s tax team in 2006 after an extensive career in several law Firms.
Ever since that moment, he has undertaken different cross-disciplinary functions within Repsol Group (namely, tax advisory in strategic Group investments projects, corporate restructuring and M&A tax related matters) as well tax responsibilities at regional level (supervision and control of the Group’s tax function in The Netherlands and Luxembourg).
At present, one of the most exciting and challenging responsibilities that he has assumed is that related to the monitoring and compliance with the best practices in the field of corporate tax governance. In this sense, Alfredo coordinates the tax division within Repsol in charge of pursuing a deeper knowledge of cooperative compliance initiatives. He has been an active member of the team that led the successful experience of Repsol in the first ICAP pilot, as well as part of the workgroup that collaborated in the drafting of the “B-Team Responsible Tax Principles”. His team’s contributions to the “Spanish Code of Best Tax practices” initiatives are also worth mentioning.
In his current position Alfredo firmly believes that the promotion of tax transparency is key to facilitating a better understanding of Repsol reality as a company that acknowledges the importance of a responsible approach towards tax matters.
Vaishnavi has worked in responsible investment over the last ten years. She currently works as a senior analyst within the ESG team at the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), managing corporate governance focused workstreams, including leading work on corporate tax responsibility.
Prior to joining the PRI, Vaishnavi worked for CAER, an Australian based ESG research service provider. In this role, she assessed corporate ESG performance, developed ESG position papers and thematic research papers for institutional investors. She has a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Accounting and Finance from the Australian National University (ANU) and is working towards a Graduate Certificate of Law at the ANU.
Based in Stockholm, Henrik focuses on raising capital for companies across the capital structure. His day to day responsibilities include IPO processes, private placements, acquisition financings and accelerated bookbuilt offerings.
Prior to his current role, Mr Sandström was based in New York focusing on leveraged finance for the energy and transportation sectors. Mr Sandström has 15 years of experience working in the investment banking industry, and holds an MSc in Business Administration and Economics from the Stockholm School of Economics.
Andy focusses on extractives and the UK, US and Spanish markets where he engages with company boards, investor groups, industry associations and policy makers on material environmental, social and governance issues.
Prior to joining EOS, Andy spent 10 years as a consultant on sustainable business and finance at PwC, in London and Madrid. In this role he worked closely with over 50 companies, across sectors and 15 countries, on risk and opportunity.
Andy was the lead author for the City of London’s position paper on globalising green finance, the BVCA’s responsible investment training, ASCRI’s responsible investment guide, the CDP annual reports on the Global 500, FTSE All-Share and IBEX35 and other publications, including integrated reporting in the IBEX35. He has also worked in strategy and risk consulting and banking, and holds a degree in physics.
Monica has 16 years’ experience from Wealth management in Nordea and has been engaged with sustainability in different ways since Nordea signed the UN PRI in 2007. She has also been engaged in the field through sector organisations such as Norsif, where she had three different roles, and Finans Norge to drive sustainable development and impact on a higher level.
Her knowledge and interest for sustainability covers governance, environment, climate, society, human rights as well as global economy and mega trends. She is also engaged in EU driven financial activities and was recently involved in a global project regarding shareholders stewardship code.