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THIRD ANNUAL MEETING AND COLLOQUIUM EXAMINES THE “DEMISE OF THE U.S. PUBLIC COMPANY”

The American College of Governance Counsel conducted its Third Annual Meeting and Colloquium on November 2 and 3, 2017 at the New York offices of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher.  The Colloquium addressed the “Demise of the U.S. Public Company,” as well as governance of the increasing number of larger and more broadly-held  private companies resulting from that trend.

In an interview conducted by College Chair, John F. Olson, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman, Walter J. Clayton, discussed his concerns regarding the decreasing number of U.S. public companies,  the impact of that development on  “main street” investors and other issues affecting the U.S. capital markets.

The Colloquium included panel discussions chaired by Larry W. Sonsini and Stanford Law Professor Joseph Grundfest. Panels featured  Ken Bertsch (Executive Director of the Council of Institutional Investors), Barry McCarthy (Chief Financial Officer of Spotify), Elisabeth D. de Fontenay  (Professor at Duke Law) and Matt Levine (Columnist at Bloomberg View).

A full Report of the Proceedings of the Colloquium will be prepared and published on this website.

At the College’s  Annual Meeting, it was  also announced that Lawrence W. Sonsini will assume the role of Chairman of the College, effective January 1, 2018, at the conclusion of the successful tenure of the College’s Founding Chair, John F. Olson.

In conjunction with the Colloquium, the College conducted its inaugural Masters Academy held on November 1, 2017 at the New York offices of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. 

The Academy was attended by lawyers with an expressed intention of pursuing a career in the governance field chosen for participation from a group nominated by Fellows of the College.

Founding Co-Chair Ira M. Millstein served as Convenor for the program and delivered a keynote address focusing on the pivotal role that lawyers play in promoting the proper governance of their clients.

The Academy was co-chaired by Founding Trustee Gregory V. Varallo and John Mark Zeberkiewicz of Richards, Layton & Finger.

In addition to presentations by Messrs. Varallo and Zeberkiewicz concerning litigation issues that commonly serve as a backdrop for governance advice, case studies were presented by Founding Trustees Holly J. Gregory and Frank M. Placenti.

AMERICAN COLLEGE OF GOVERNANCE COUNSEL ANNOUNCES THIRD CLASS OF FELLOWS

The American College of Governance Counsel, an organization of leading corporate governance lawyers from the U.S. and Canada, has elected its third class to include 20 Fellows, three Academic Fellows, two General Counsel, and one Honorary Fellow.

“The election of this group of distinguished lawyers from private practice as well as several prominent general counsel and respected academics, will enhance the ability of the College to pursue its mission of promoting a high level of professional standards among governance practitioners and a better understanding and broader adoption of best governance practices,” said John F. Olson, Chair of the College. 

The election of the third group of Fellows will bring the ranks of the College to just over 100 Fellows and Honorary Fellows.

“The newly-elected Fellows were elected following a rigorous selection process that considered the candidates’ professional accomplishments as well as their contributions to the field of governance through speaking, writing or other thought leadership activities,” added Frank M. Placenti, President of the College.

Through its programs, the College, which was established in 2014, addresses the major governance issues facing business enterprises including challenges to traditional models of governance, risk management, shareholder engagement, and an increasingly complex regulatory and enforcement environment.

AMERICAN COLLEGE OF GOVERNANCE COUNSEL ANNOUNCES SECOND CLASS OF FELLOWS

The American College of Governance Counsel, an organization of leading corporate governance lawyers from the US and Canada, has elected its Second Class of 20 Fellows and one Honorary Fellow.

“The election of this group of distinguished lawyers from private practice, as well as several prominent general counsel and respected academics, will enhance the ability of the College to pursue its mission of promoting a high level of professional standards among governance practitioners and a better understanding and broader adoption of best governance practices,” said John F. Olson, Chair of the College.

The election of the second group of Fellows will bring the ranks of the College to 69 Fellows and Honorary Fellows.

“The newly-elected Fellows were elected following a rigorous selection process that considered the candidates’ professional accomplishments as well as their contributions to the field of governance through speaking, writing or other thought leadership activities,” added Frank M. Placenti, President of the College.

Through its programs, the College, which was established in 2014, addresses the major governance issues facing business enterprises, including challenges to traditional models of governance, risk management, shareholder engagement, and an increasingly complex regulatory and enforcement environment.


LEADING GOVERNANCE LAWYERS LAUNCH THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF GOVERNANCE COUNSEL

College Announces Inaugural Fellowship Class

Leading corporate governance lawyers from the US and Canada have founded the American College of Governance Counsel, a professional, educational and honorary association of lawyers widely-recognized for their achievements in the field of governance. The mission of the College is to promote a high level of professional standards among governance practitioners and a better understanding and broader adoption of best governance practices within business organizations.

“Globalization has made it extremely important for organizations to maintain a competitive advantage, which cannot be achieved without strategic decision making grounded in strong governance practices. Recognizing this need, North America’s top governance attorneys collaborated to establish the College,” said John F. Olson, the inaugural Chair of the College and a partner at global law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

Frank M. Placenti, the inaugural President of the College and a partner at global law firm Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP stated: “The College intends to be of service to the legal profession as well as our clients by helping to encourage and foster a strong commitment to professionalism among governance practitioners.”

Through its programs, the College will address the major governance issues facing business enterprises including developing challenges to traditional models of governance, risk management, shareholder engagement, and an increasingly complex regulatory and enforcement environment.

The College (a Delaware nonprofit corporation) has elected as Fellows an initial class of accomplished professionals from the US and Canada who have made significant, sustained contributions to the governance community through their practice activities, speaking, writing and thought leadership.

The honorary founding Chairs of the College are: Martin Lipton (Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz); Ira M. Millstein (Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP); and the Honorable E. Norman Veasey (Gordon, Fournaris & Mammarella, P.A. and Former Chief Justice of the Delaware Supreme Court.)

The Board of Trustees is comprised of eleven members: John F. Olson, Chair (Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP); Frank M. Placenti, President (Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP); Gregory V. Varallo, Vice President and Secretary (Richards, Layton & Finger P.A.); Carol Hansell, Vice President and Treasurer (Hansell LLP); James H. Cheek (Bass, Berry & Sims PLC); H. Rodgin Cohen (Sullivan & Cromwell LLP); Holly J. Gregory (Sidley Austin LLP); Robert Mundheim (Shearman & Sterling LLP); Larry W. Sonsini (Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati); the Honorable Myron T. Steele, (Potter Anderson & Corroon, LLP and Former Chief Justice of the Delaware Supreme Court); and Herbert Wander (Katten Muchin Rosenman, LLP). The Honorary Chairs and the members of its Board of Trustees comprise the 14 founding Fellows of the College.

Membership in the College is extended by invitation only to lawyers who have practiced law for a minimum of 15 years, while devoting at least 10 of those practice years focused on the field of governance. Fellows spend a substantial amount of their time in boardrooms advising directors in a variety of circumstances such as management succession, internal investigations, disclosure obligations, shareholder litigation, shareholder activism and engagement, and a broad range of regulatory and governmental matters.

The Board of Trustees has elected an inaugural class of 36 Fellows to join the 14 founding Fellows and has also admitted 9 Honorary Fellows, many of whom are retired lawyers who rendered distinguished service in the governance field during their careers.