First Edition of the Italy Corporate Governance Conference

Milan, 12.3.2015 – The Italian Corporate Governance Committee hosts today and tomorrow at Palazzo Mezzanotte the first edition of the Italy Corporate Governance Conference. The conference is created and organized by Assogestioni and Assonime, in cooperation with OECD and with the support of Borsa Italiana.

The Conference is the first event of its kind, attracting issuers, institutional investors, regulators and institutions to discuss the evolution of corporate governance in Italy and in Europe, and to establish a constructive and public dialogue on how corporate governance can contribute to the development of investments and economic growth.

During the two days debate, the Conference will focus on directors’ nomination process, investor stewardship, long term value creation, the new G20/OECD Principles of Corporate Governance and the impact of the CG Code on issuers’ corporate practices and institutional investors’ portfolio decision-making process.

The Italian Corporate Governance Committee issued the Corporate Governance Code in 1999 and almost all issuers decided formally to adopt the Code (93%). The current version of the Corporate Governance Code was approved in July 2015.

After the introduction by Gabriele Galateri di Genola (Chairman – Italian Corporate Governance Committee and Assicurazioni Generali), the conference was opened by Claudio De Vincenti (Italian State Secretary to the Prime Minister). The first roundtable on “directors’ nomination process” was coordinated by Fabio Galli (Director General – Assogestioni); the second roundtable on “investor stewardship” was coordinated by Maurizio Sella (Chairman – Assonime).

“The Italian regulatory and self-regulatory framework – Mr. Galateri said – has been strengthened over the past years in order to ensure a high transparency level as well as a high degree of investors’ protection. Mandatory rules applicable to listed companies are totally aligned to European Regulations and, in several cases, are more stringent than the ones in force in other European Member States”.

“The Italian Corporate Governance Code, as many others, is based on the comply-or-explain principle – Mr. Galateri said – which allows a flexible approach by issuers. Even if the Code is generally referred to listed companies, it represents a set of national and international best practices which could be implemented by all companies, irrespective of whether they are listed or not. Starting from this assumption, we may say that the Corporate Governance Code is also a valuable reference point for unlisted companies. Actually, a good governance structure is of crucial importance even for SMEs and unlisted companies, in order to increase their access to different financing channels”.

Tomorrow the Conference will be opened by Italian Minister of Economy and Finance Pier Carlo Padoan. The new G20/OECD Principles of Corporate Governance will be illustrated by Rintaro Tamaki, Deputy Secretary General OECD. The Conference will be closed by Giuseppe Vegas, Chairman Consob.