3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
4:00 pm – 4:05 pm
Welcome and Opening Remarks
Speaker: Richard A. Bennett
President & Chief Executive Officer
ValueEdge Advisors LLC
Click here for complete biography
4:05 pm – 5:00 pm
Leadership in Turbulent Times: A Conversation with Theresa May and Jean-Claude Trichet
The Rt. Hon. Theresa May MP
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (2016-2019)
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French Economist, Former President of the European Central Bank
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5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Navigating Global Challenges: Investing with Confidence in Stormy Seas
Speaker: TBD, moderated by Mark Solomon
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Jean-Claude Trichet | French Economist, Former President of the European Central Bank
Jean-Claude Trichet is one of the world’s most respected Central Bankers. He was President of the European Central Bank (2003-11) and President of the Bank of France (1993-2003).
He is currently Honorary Governor of the Bank of France, and holds the position of Chairman of the Group of Thirty, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Bruegel, and Chairman of the European Group of the Trilateral Commission. He is President of SOGEPA (Société de Gestion des Participations Aéronautiques) and is also a member of the Steering Committee of the Bilderberg Group and the “Institut de France” (Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques).
In 1986, he directed the Private Office of the Minister of Economic Affairs, Finance and Privatisation (Edouard Balladur), and in 1987 he became Director of the Treasury and a member of an influential Washington-based financial advisory body, the Group of Thirty. In the same year, he was appointed Censor of the General Council of the Banque de France and Alternate Governor of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
Mr. Trichet was Chairman of the European Monetary Committee from 1992 until his appointment as Governor of the Bank of France in 1993. He was Chairman of the Monetary Policy Council of the Banque de France as of 1994, a member of the Council of the European Monetary Institute from 1994 to 1998, and thereafter was appointed a member of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank. At the end of his first term as Governor of the Bank of France, he was reappointed for a second term.
Mr. Trichet was President of the European Central Bank, President of the Group of 10 Central Bank Governors, President of the European Systemic Risk Board, President of the Global Economy Meeting of Central Bank Governors in Basel, and also President of the Group of Governors and Heads of Supervision for eight years, from 2003-11. He was named “Person of the Year” by the Financial Times (2007), “Policymaker of the Year” twice by The International Economy magazine (1991 and 2007), “Central Banker of the Year” by The Banker (2008), “European Banker of the Year 2007” by The Group of 20 + 1 (2008), and “Central Bank Governor of the Year 2008” by Euromoney.
Mark Solomon | Partner, Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP
Mark Solomon is a founding and managing partner of Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP and leads its international litigation practice. Over the last 29 years, he has regularly represented United States and United Kingdom-based pension funds and asset managers in class and non-class securities litigation in federal and state courts throughout the United States. He was first admitted to the Bar of England and Wales as a Barrister (he is non-active) and is an active member of the Bars of Ohio, California, and various United States federal district and appellate courts.
Since 1993, Mr. Solomon has spearheaded the prosecution of many significant securities fraud cases. He has obtained multi-hundred million-dollar recoveries for plaintiffs in pre-trial settlements and significant corporate governance reforms designed to limit recidivism and promote appropriate standards. Prior to the most recent financial crisis, he was instrumental in obtaining some of the first mega-recoveries in the field in California and Texas, serving in the late 1990s and early 2000s as class counsel in In re Informix Corp. Sec. Litig. in the federal district court for the Northern District of California, and recovering $131 million for Informix investors; and serving as class counsel in Schwartz v. TXU Corp. in the federal district court for the Northern District of Texas, where he helped obtain a recovery of over $149 million for a class of purchasers of TXU securities as well as securing important governance reforms. He litigated and tried the securities class action In re Helionetics, Inc. Sec. Litig., where he won a $15.4 million federal jury verdict in the federal district court for the Central District of California.
Mr. Solomon is currently counsel to a number of pension funds serving as lead plaintiffs in cases throughout the United States. He represents the UK's Norfolk Pension Fund in Hsu v. Puma Biotechnology, Inc. where, in the federal district court for the Central District of California, after three weeks of trial, the Fund obtained a jury verdict valued at over $54 million in favor of the class against the company and its CEO. Mr. Solomon also represents Norfolk Pension Fund in separate class actions currently pending against Apple Inc. and Apple executives in the federal district court for the Northern District of California and against Anadarko Petroleum Corporation and former Anadarko executives in the federal district court for the Southern District of Texas. He represented the British Coal Staff Superannuation Scheme and the Mineworkers' Pension Scheme in Smilovits v. First Solar, Inc. in the federal district court for the District of Arizona, in which the class recently recovered $350 million on the eve of trial. That settlement is the fifth-largest recovered in the Ninth Circuit since the advent in 1995 of statutory reforms to securities litigation that established the current legal regime. Mr. Solomon also represents the same coal industry funds in the recently filed class action against Citrix Inc. and Citrix executives in the federal district court for the Southern District of Florida, and he represents North East Scotland Pension Fund in a class action pending against Under Armour and Under Armour executives in the federal district court for the District of Maryland. In addition, he is currently representing Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association in a class action pending against FirstEnergy and FirstEnergy executives in the federal district court for the Southern District of Ohio and he is representing Strathclyde Pension Fund in a class action pending against Bank OZK and its CEO in the federal district court for the Eastern District of Arkansas.
Before working with the Firm, Mr. Solomon practised at the international firm Jones Day in Cleveland, Ohio, between 1987 and 1990, followed by practising at the Los Angeles office of New York's Stroock & Stroock & Lavan. At these firms, his representations included the defense of securities fraud and other white-collar crimes, antitrust, copyright, commercial and real estate litigation, and reinsurance arbitration. While practising in Los Angeles, acting for plaintiffs as sole counsel, Mr. Solomon took to trial and won complex commercial contract and industrial real estate actions in the Orange County and Los Angeles Superior Courts, respectively.
Mr. Solomon has lost one trial (in a Florida state court in 2007) which involved a dispute among former business partners. Robbins Geller absorbed all of the related fees, costs, and expenses on behalf of its clients in the case.
Mr. Solomon is a past chair of the American Bar Association Directors, Officers Liability Sub Committee and the Accountants Liability Sub-Committee, and is the author of the UK National Association of Pension Funds 2012 "Securities Class Actions made simple" guide; the 2015 "Securities Fraud and Investors Remedies made simple" guide; and the 2018 "Global Securities Fraud Litigation made simple" guide.
The Legal 500 has named Mr. Solomon a Recommended Lawyer in its nationwide category of "Securities Litigation – Plaintiff," citing his dual qualifications in English and U.S. law and his leadership of the Firm's international litigation practice. He has also been named a Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyer by Lawdragon and a Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers Magazine. He earned his law degrees at Trinity College, Cambridge University, England, Harvard Law School, and the Inns of Court School of Law in London.
The Rt. Hon. Theresa May MP | Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (2016-2019)
Former Prime Minister Theresa May served as leader of the United Kingdom from 2016 to 2019. She is the second female in British history to hold the position.
Theresa May served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party from 2016 to 2019, during an extraordinary time in global affairs. She is currently the Member of Parliament for Maidenhead — a position she’s held for over two decades.
Mrs. May has been involved in politics at all levels for many years, starting out stuffing envelopes at her local Conservative Association before going on to be a councillor in the London Borough of Merton from 1986 to 1994. In May 1997, she was elected as the Member of Parliament for Maidenhead, the constituency in which she lives. She has held various positions in Parliament since. In 2005, Mrs. May co-founded Women2Win, an organisation dedicated to increasing the number of Conservative women in Parliament and in public life.
Appointed Home Secretary in May 2010, Mrs. May made history by becoming the longest-serving Conservative Home Secretary in the past 100 years. During this time, she oversaw reductions in crime, reform of the police, and the introduction of the landmark Modern Slavery Act.
Following her election as Leader of the Conservative Party, Mrs. May was appointed Prime Minister in July 2016, where she became the first woman in British history to hold the position since Margaret Thatcher.
As Prime Minister, Mrs. May led negotiations with the European Union after the country’s historic Brexit referendum. She also oversaw the largest ever cash boost to the UK’s National Health Service and the largest expansion of mental health services in a generation. She launched a 25-year Environment Plan and introduced legislation to end the UK’s contribution to global warming entirely. She also established the first ever Race Disparity Audit to shine a light on injustices, and published a Modern Industrial Strategy to ensure that the jobs of the future are created across the whole country — not just in London.
During her time in Downing Street, the UK’s national debt fell, there were more people in work than ever before, and taxes were cut for 32 million people.
Richard A. Bennett | President & Chief Executive Officer, ValueEdge Advisors LLC
Richard A. Bennett is President and CEO of ValueEdge Advisors, a firm he founded in summer 2014 to help institutional investors engage with their portfolio companies. From 2006 he was CEO and then Chairman of GMI Ratings and its predecessor, The Corporate Library, a globally recognised investment research firm specialising in corporate governance and ESG with offices in London, New York, San Diego, and Portland, Maine. In August 2014, GMI Ratings was sold to MSCI.
He worked as Director of Corporate Governance for LENS, an institutional activist fund, from 1997 to 2002. He served from 2004 to 2016 as a non-executive director of Trucost, Plc, a U.K.-based firm offering products and services that allow companies, governments, and fund managers to better understand their environmental performance. From 2009 to 2014, he served on the Board of Governors of the International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN), and currently serves on the ICGN Nominating Committee. He is an independent director of Biddeford Internet Corporation d/b/a GWI (an ISP and telecom business), Atlantic Trust (Maine) (a fiduciary trust company), and Quoddy Inc. (a footwear brand enterprise).
Mr. Bennett has an extensive background in politics and government service as well as a wide range of private sector experience. A former president of the Maine State Senate, Mr. Bennett served four terms in the Maine Senate and two terms in the state’s House of Representatives. From 2013 to 2017, he was Chairman of the Maine Republican Party and a member of the Republican National Committee. In 2014, he volunteered as a member of the MainePERS ESG Integration Task Force.
Directorship magazine has recognised Mr. Bennett six times in its annual list of the 100 "most influential people in corporate governance and the boardroom." In December 2010, he was named by Global Proxy Watch as one of the "10 people around the world who had the most impact on corporate governance in the previous year."
Mr. Bennett was a member of the board of trustees of Hebron Academy from 2010 to 2019. He was a member of the President's Commission on White House Fellowships from 2005 to 2009. He graduated with honours from Harvard College in 1986 and received his M.B.A. from the University of Southern Maine in 2000.