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  • Past Event.
Apr 4

2017 Directors Dialogue


PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP
19th Floor
2001 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Registration Options:

Program Only: $1500.00
Program and Dinner: $1500.00

Registration for this event has passed.

Directors Dialogue is an annual full-day program designed for corporate leaders to promote candid discussions of important governance issues, supported by the latest practical research. It is one of the Center’s signature events and is considered by many to be one of the foremost corporate governance events of the year.

The $1500 registration fee covers all program materials, meals, and a seat at the Directors Dialogue Dinner directly following the program. Upon registering, please select whether you will be joining us for the program only or the program and dinner.

Program Co-Chairs: Jerry Maginnis and Steve Zarrilli

For more information, click here.

The 2017 Directors Dialogue Dinner will follow the Directors Dialogue program on April 4, 2017 at the Crystal Tea Room with cocktails beginning at 5:30 p.m and dinner at 6:30 p.m. We are delighted to announce Jack Brennan, Lead Independent Director, General Electric Co; Director, LPL Financial Holdings Inc and Guardian Life Insurance Co; Chairman Emeritus, The Vanguard Group as the keynote dinner speaker.

Please be sure to select the appropriate registration option if you would like to join us for the dinner as well.


SESSION I – Regulatory Update on Corporate Governance Companies need to monitor regulatory developments closely. The president and Congressional leaders have articulated an ambitious agenda to reduce business regulations, simplify the tax code and lower tax rates. Join us for a candid discussion with SEC Commissioner, Michael S. Piwowar and former SEC Commissioner Daniel Gallagher, President of Patomak Global Partners.

Discussion Leader:

  • Ralph A. Walkling, Stratakis Chair and Founder, Drexel LeBow Center for Corporate Governance


  • Michael S. Piwowar, Acting Chairman and Commissioner, US Securities and Exchange Commission

  • Daniel Gallagher, Former Commissioner, US Securities and Exchange Commission, President, Patomak Global Partners

Session II – Capital Allocation and Spin-Offs Traditional investors and activists continue to focus on how companies are deploying capital. The capital allocation process needs to be robust, and the board has a key role to play. While investors and perhaps management, may argue for increased dividends or stock repurchases the company must have access to the capital required to adopt and commit to its strategic plan for both the short and long term. This session will cover the conversation needed in today’s boardroom to ensure that the company’s allocation aligns with and advances its strategic priorities.

Discussion Leader:

  • Steve Zarrilli, President & CEO, Safeguard Scientifics, Inc.; Director, Virtus Investment Partners Inc.


  • Jack Brennan, Lead Independent Director, General Electric Co; Director, LPL Financial Holdings Inc, Guardian Life Insurance Co and American Express Company; Chairman Emeritus, The Vanguard Group

  • Blair Effron, Partner and Co-Founder, Centerview Partners

  • Nick Fanandakis, EVP and CFO, DuPont

Session III – Strategy and Risk in an Age of Digital Disruptions: How Boards Can Play Both Offense and Defense Disruption-it poses risk and creates opportunities. It can be driven by external factors or process enhancements that create increased efficiency. The Digital Revolution is here, bringing products and services to customers at the click of a button. As new strategies emerge to leverage technological advances, change is rapid and often, not easily anticipated. Traditional business models are being disrupted on a daily basis, often as a result of new technologies or business models (for example, consider the impact Amazon has had on the retail industry). Companies in all industries need to be assessing the risk that this could happen to them but also evaluating their own assets and strategies to take advantage of the opportunities created by the current environment. How can an organization leverage its brands, human capital, global presence and customer relationships to seize opportunities and defend against competitive threats? What is the role of the Board in these deliberations? Our session will address how top notch Boards are thinking both offensively and defensively as they evaluate opportunities and risks posed by the Digital Revolution on their strategic direction.

Discussion Leader:

  • Jerry Maginnis, Retired Office Managing Partner, KPMG LLP; Director, Cohen & Steers Mutual Fund Complex


  • Raj Gupta, Chairman, Delphi Automotive PLC; Executive Chair, Avantor Inc; Director, Arconic Inc, HP Inc, Vanguard, and IRI

  • H. Edward Hanway, Chairman, Marsh & McLennan; Former Chairman and CEO, CIGNA Corporation

  • Scott Snyder, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, Safeguard Scientifics; Director, Fulton Financial Corporation

Session IV – Defining the Future State for Boards Boards must guide companies successfully into the future while governing it for the present. Recently, we have seen a shift in the dialogue from “How do companies create value?” to “How do boards create value?” There are boards and directors currently engaged in that dialogue; however, they are the exception, not the rule. This session’s panelists are the forward thinkers who are actively defining and engaging in the discussion of the future of boards today.

Discussion Leader:

  • Patricia Q. Connolly, Executive Director, Drexel LeBow Center for Corporate Governance


  • Doug Conant, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, ConantLeadership; Director, AmerisourceBergen

  • Nance Dicciani, Founder & CEO, RTM Vital Signs, LLC; Former President and CEO, Honeywell International Specialty Materials; Director, LyondellBasell Industries NV, Halliburton Company, AgroFresh Solutions Inc., and Praxair Inc.

  • Paul Hilal, Founder and CEO, Mantle Ridge LP, Retired Senior Partner, Pershing Square Capital Management


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Have Questions?

Alyssa Abbott

Director, Raj & Kamla Gupta Governance Institute

(215) 895-2126

Gerri C. LeBow Hall 428