By Josh Feldman. For the sixth consecutive year, the Global Equity Organization (GEO) gathered for their Northern California Forum at the beautiful Auto Vino venue in Menlo Park, CA. Founded in 1999, GEO is a member-founded not-for-profit community of well-informed equity compensation professionals, providing opportunities to share and learn with over 4,500 colleagues worldwide. Over the course of their existence, topics such as governance, financial, cultural, legal, tax and administrative issues affecting equity-based compensation globally have been examined to provide actionable takeaways members can bring back to their respective organizations. This event would prove to include all this and more.
To kick off the event, the forum heard from their keynote speaker, Jeffrey Kleintop, Senior Vice President, Chief Global Investment Strategist at Charles Schwab. Jeffrey spoke on his thoughts on the global investment outlook in 2015. Among the key takeaways, Kleintop spoke on market surprises and “hacks” investors can use to help mitigate investment risks within their portfolio. He discussed perceived sure-thing market strategies, analyzing the what-if scenarios if those “sure-things” do not occur. His energy and enthusiasm made it obvious as to why he is a regular guest on CNBC, Bloomberg and one of “Wall Street’s best and brightest”.
Next up was Top 10 Tips for Making Global Compliance Risk Management your Forte. Here, we heard from Jon Doyle, Denise Glagau and Steve Kavanagh on their thoughts for mitigating compliance risk. The attorney panel touched on knowing your landscape, appropriate due diligence reviews, implementation, planning and continued ongoing review. Concluding with a risk-balanced approach to success, the panel stressed flexibility and a dynamic approach to an ever-changing equity landscape.
Later in the day, an extensive discussion on privacy was hosted by Sorrell Johnson, Rob Robitaille and Jacobin Zorin. Here, Sorrell and Jacobin discussed some of their greatest privacy concerns, while Rob shared what he and his colleagues have done to mitigate the risk of breach at Fidelity. Continuing on, several tips on minimizing the risk of personal data breach were shared such as a clean desk policy, a recurring audit of security systems and a review of employee access to ensure only the appropriate administrators have access to sensitive personal information.
In attendance were an assortment of sponsors as well as more than 50 corporate issuer equity professionals – all eager to share their greatest challenges and ogle over high-priced, privately owned cars at the Auto Vino museum. To learn more on becoming a member of the Global Equity Organization visit GEO’s About Us page.