Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Blackbaud last night won two of the top categories at the 16th annual Corporate Governance Awards, hosted by Governance Intelligence (formerly Corporate Secretary).
HPE was named governance team of the year (large cap) and Blackbaud received the governance team of the year (small to mid-cap) title.
The two companies were presented with their awards at a gala event in New York. The awards ceremony capped two days of events hosted by Governance Intelligence at Governance Live 2023 in New York: the M&A Forum and the Corporate Secretary Forum.
The Corporate Governance Awards celebrate outstanding achievements by the governance profession in areas such as hosting AGMs, compliance and ethics programs, ESG reporting, entity management, use of technology, proxy statements, investor engagement and corporate transactions. This year for the first time there was also recognition for best board assessment program and outstanding work by an independent director. A total of 42 separate companies were short-listed for their work.
The top individual prizes this year went to Jen Brewer of Activision Blizzard as governance professional of the year (large cap) and Robyn Koyner as governance professional of the year (small to mid-cap) for her work at Coeur Mining. Koyner left the company in September 2023.
JLL had an outstanding evening, taking home the awards for best use of technology, best board assessment program and best ESG reporting (mid-cap). HPE also won the title for best AGM.
Elsewhere, Fannie Mae was recognized for best ESG reporting (small cap) while HP was awarded for best ESG reporting (large cap). In the proxy statement segment, the winners were Empire State Realty Trust for best proxy statement (small cap), Healthpeak Properties for best proxy statement (mid-cap) and Chevron Corporation for best proxy statement (large cap).
Middlesex Water Company was honored for best compliance and ethics program, Salesforce for best global entity management and American International Group for best governance around a corporate transaction. Burlington Stores was honored for best shareholder engagement (small to mid-cap), while Regeneron Pharmaceuticals took the title for best shareholder engagement (large cap).
Linda Riefler of CSX Corporation won the award for outstanding work by an independent director. Erika Murdock Balbuena of Robinhood Markets was named rising star.
The Governance Intelligence editorial team reviewed all nominations submitted by the industry. Once the short lists were finalized, they and their supporting evidence were passed to an independent judging panel to select the winners. Judges recused themselves from categories as appropriate.
The distinguished judges for this year’s awards were:
– Anna Catalano, board member, Ecovyst, Frontdoor, Hexion and HF Sinclair
– Jacqueline Condron, vice president for governance and proxy voting manager, Mellon
– Joan Conley, board member, EJF Acquisition Corp and Tigo Energy
– Matthew Geekie, senior vice president, secretary and general counsel, Graybar
– Eileen Kamerick, non-executive director, Associated Banc-Corp, ACV Auctions, Hochschild Mining and Legg Mason Closed End Funds.