Message From The Chair – 29 June 2021

Message From The Chair – June 2021

29 June 2021

Dear Members,

Following a busy few weeks I wanted to provide an update on some key recent events and some upcoming events that will be of interest.

Political Engagement Day – Canberra 23 June
Thank you to the 35 of you who attended the Political Engagement Day and Dinner.  It was a fascinating day, I am very pleased that we were able to get so much 1:1 time with the Treasurer, Shadow Treasurer, Finance Minister and other Cabinet Ministers.  Having the opportunity to discuss key policy issues such as class actions, online reporting, paying back the debt and the vaccine roll out, as well as hearing of their concerns is not something afforded many groups.

As Tania Archibald, CFO of BlueScope, said of the day: “It was a very worthwhile event. Really valuable having quality discussions with key policy decision makers. They listened to our perspectives and counsel, and I think it’s fair to say the Group of 100 is accepted as a trusted adviser”.

We look forward to hosting more members in Canberra again next year which is likely to be soon after the next election.

Sustainability working group leads discussion on VRF in webinar – 24 June
The Sustainability working group held a webinar late last week on the newly created Value Reporting Foundation, the result of the recent merger of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB).

The discussion focussed on how non-financial reporting frameworks are slowly coming together and what this means for businesses and investors as they develop a shared understanding of company value.  Janine Guillot, CEO of the VRF (formerly CEO of SASB), with others provided detail on what is happening overseas and how it is likely to impact Australia.  This will be a topic considered in detail at the CFO Live in October.

ASIC Reporting Workshop – 2 July 12pm-1.00pm (AEST)
NOTE: RSVPs closing soon.  As I mentioned last week, we are holding our annual reporting workshop with ASIC on 2 July.  The workshop will address the issues on which ASIC is focussing this reporting season.  An invitation has been sent to all members, we would encourage you and/or your teams to take advantage of engaging with ASIC to ensure we all enjoy as smooth a reporting season as possible given the latest disruptions.  If you and members of your team would like to join, please email the Group of 100 secretariat at g100@group100.com.au

Click here for invitation >

CFO Women unplugged – 23 July 1.30pm-3.00pm (AEST)
The Diversity & Inclusion working group’s webinar will be a panel session featuring three prominent CFOs sharing insights from a ‘female CFO perspective’ as the finance sector focusses on this area.  Please encourage your teams to attend.  Invitations will be forwarded mid-July, please put a ‘save the date’ in your calendar.

Shaping Business Outcomes – Government agrees to support companies using technology for reporting and meetings
One of our business objectives is ‘shaping the business context’.  I am delighted that the Government has just released exposure draft legislation to support companies and their officers using technology to satisfy Corporations Act 2001 requirements.  This comes after extensive advocacy work by the G100 and others.  Multiple meetings were held with key Ministers and their senior staff  which has resulted in legislation that will facilitate the use of technology in meetings, being able to execute company documents and send meeting-related materials.

These reforms would make the temporary measures put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic permanent.  The exposure draft also:

  • allows companies to hold hybrid meetings;
  • ensures members be given a reasonable opportunity to participate in meetings whether physical meeting, hybrid meeting or virtual;
  • ensures that using a show-of-hands is the default method for voting at both physical and hybrid meetings; and
  • allows members who hold at least 5 per cent of voting capital to have polls independently scrutinised.

The draft legislation includes modernising business communications by allowing sole directors, not also the company secretary, to electronically execute documents.  Consultation on the exposure draft will close on 16 July 2021.

CFO Live – Sydney 28 October
Preparations are underway for this marquee event this year.  The Financial Review is keen to get input from G100 members to ensure CFOs and their teams get the most out of the event again this year.  They have asked if you (and/or your team) would click on the link and answer a few questions https://qfreeaccountssjc1.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0jRFtEKgBSxlcc6

Should you have any questions or issues you believe we should pursue, please contact our CEO Stephen Woodhill at swoodhill@group100.com.au or on +61 413 318 455.

Kind regards

Janelle Hopkins
Chair
Group of 100 Inc
CFO REA Group Limited