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2023 Cgpro Network Monthly Update April

2023 CGPro Network Monthly Update - April

Friday, 14 April 2023

Spring is sprung and we’re now fully into the 2023 Annual General Meeting (AGM) season! Activity levels are high and no more so than following our successful 8 March webinar on “AGM – 2023 themes that will drive voting outcomes”. We had record attendance and really hope that people took away something of interest. More to come on some of the key takeaways from that event.

Anne Marie Clarke Anne-Marie Clarke Head of Corporate Governance

This month we continue with our series “A Conversation with…” where I took a few minutes to speak with Madeleine Cordes, Client Director at Prism Cosec, part of the EQ Advisory business.

Looking to the future, we have some interesting articles in store, where we are linking up with some external voices, to hear their perspectives on ESG, AGMs and more.

And, as always, if you would like to know more about the CGPro Network or require support and advice on any Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) topic, please do contact us here or by email here -

To access the Governance Update Series, please visit here.

CGPro Webinar – AGM – 2023 themes that will drive voting outcomes

Climate change, diversity and remuneration remain high on the agenda as the majority of FTSE 350 AGMs come into view in the coming weeks. And in this special report from a recent CGPro Network event, we explore key AGM trends through the expert eyes of a company secretary, a proxy advisor, an asset manager and a registrar. This discussion was hosted by Anne-Marie Clarke, Head of Corporate Governance at EQ Advisory and Chair of the CGPro Network, on 8 March 2023.

Read the complete article here

A conversation with Madeleine Cordes, Client Director Prism Cosec, EQ Advisory

“….so many things we overlap on and we can add value to our clients by working more closely together…”

I recently took the time to speak with Madeleine Cordes, Client Director Prism Cosec within the EQ Advisory business. So, take a few minutes out of your day to hear Maddie’s initial impressions of the business,and what she’s looking forward to.

Want to know more?

Maddie’s recent article on gender diversity can be found here. She has also introduced a free consultation for recently listed companies and a retainer/helpline service for those clients juggling the co sec alongside other roles.

If you would like to reach out to Maddie and the Prism Cosec team directly to discuss how they might be able to support your team please click on this website link here.

From my perspective, it was a real pleasure to spend time with Maddie, face-to-face, and I look forward to working with Maddie and the Prism Cosec team to develop the EQ Advisory business going forwards.

Diversity…moving the dial

As many of you will know, the CGPro Network had its beginnings as the Women’s Company Secretary Circle (WoCoS) and that focus on women is replicated throughout many other groups that acknowledge the importance of promoting women, and giving them spaces to articulate their needs, challenges and promote gender equality. We were therefore delighted that on International Women’s Day (8 March) we were hosting a webinar that not only demonstrated gender equality, but surpassed that, not by deliberate choice, but by happy co-incidence that 3 of the 4 guest speakers were female. We hope this demonstrates that we have good role models, with experience and knowledge, to aspire to within different roles and different stakeholder groups.

Moving on from gender diversity, and Maddie’s article, we have also now seen the recently published article by EY referring to the Parker Review  and the next steps for ethnic diversity. To re-iterate,

  • Each FTSE 350 company will be asked to set a percentage target for senior management positions that will be occupied by ethnic minority executives in December 2027
  • 50 of the UK’s largest private companies have been set the target of having at least one ethnic minority director on the main board by December 2027. Each company will also be asked to set a target for the percentage of ethnic minority executives within its senior management team

Additionally the report announced the 2022 results, with key excerpts found below:

  • “As of December 2022, the FTSE 100 had 96 companies with at least one ethnic minority director; this contrasts with 47 in 2016 when we had just started our work at the Parker Review.
  • In the FTSE 250, we find that the number of companies with ethnic minority directors continues to grow, reaching at least 60% at the end of 2022 – with two years remaining to hit the 2024 target for each to have at least one minority ethnic director”

Never a truer statement of “What gets measured gets done!”

So now we see the onus put on businesses to determine targets for senior management. This will provide those role models to encourage ethnic diversity throughout an organisation. We are looking forward to seeing continued progress and stakeholders assessing companies on their diversity credentials.


Early indications of matters being considered for the 2023 AGM season revolve around the subjects of: remuneration policies and outcomes in the context of the cost-of-living crisis, climate change disclosures, targets and transition plans, disapplication of pre-emption rights and the time commitments of directors. At this time of year we do see a number of board change announcements and one of our roles here within the EQ Proxy Solicitation business is to advise on disclosures and corporate governance considerations as a result of changes to board composition.

Wishing you a good April and, until our next update, should you like to speak to us about how EQ Advisory could support you, please contact us here.

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