Prudential Financial and Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings last night won two of the top categories at the 15th annual Corporate Governance Awards.
Prudential Financial was named governance team of the year (large cap), while Atlas Air took home the trophy for governance team of the year (small to mid-cap).
They and other companies were honored at a ceremony in New York – the first Corporate Governance Awards event to take place in person since the pandemic. The gala capped two days of live events hosted by Corporate Secretary: The M&A Forum and the Corporate Secretary Forum.
The awards recognize excellence by governance professionals in areas such as hosting AGMs, compliance and ethics programs, ESG reporting, entity management, use of technology, proxy statements, investor engagement and corporate transactions. More than 40 separate companies were short-listed for awards in 17 categories.
The top individual awards this year went to Aya Kiy-Morrocco of Cognizant, who was named governance professional of the year (large cap), and Chris Gaskill of Summit Materials, who was named governance professional of the year (small to mid-cap).
Hewlett Packard Enterprise went home with an impressive haul of four separate awards for best AGM, best ESG reporting (small to mid-cap), best shareholder engagement (small to mid-cap) and best use of technology.
JLL was honored for having the best compliance and ethics program, while PepsiCo was recognized with the award for best ESG reporting (large cap). Willis Towers Watson was recognized for best global entity management and Quantum Corporation was honored for best governance around a corporate transaction. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals took home the prize for best shareholder engagement (large cap).
The awards for best proxy statement went to CSG Systems International (small cap), Voya Financial (mid-cap) and Nasdaq (large cap).
Nasdaq’s Caroline Boutwell was named rising star. Ira Millstein, senior partner with Weil Gotshal & Manges and founding chair of The Millstein Center for Global Markets and Corporate Ownership at Columbia Law School, was honored with this year’s lifetime achievement award.
The Corporate Secretary editorial team reviewed all the nominations submitted by the industry. Once the short lists were agreed, 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:
- Prabha Sipi Bhandari, senior vice president, deputy general counsel and corporate secretary at American International Group (AIG)
- Joan Conley, board member at EJF Acquisition Corp and Tigo Energy and senior adviser on corporate governance and ESG programs at Nasdaq
- Lucy Fato, executive vice president, general counsel and global head of communications and government affairs at AIG (scoring selected categories)
- Matthew Geekie, senior vice president, secretary and general counsel at Graybar
- Stephen Giove, co-founder and chief content officer of Ebullience and former partner with Shearman & Sterling
- Eileen Kamerick, non-executive director at Associated Banc-corp, ACV Auctions, Hochschild Mining and Legg Mason Closed End Funds.