IR Magazine Webinar – Building an effective ESG engagement and disclosure plan - Speaker biographies
Ben Ashwell, editor, IR Magazine and Corporate Secretary
Ben Ashwell is the editor at IR Magazine and Corporate Secretary, covering investor relations, governance, risk and compliance. Prior to this, he was the founder and editor of Executive Talent, the global quarterly magazine from the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants. Before moving to the US, Ben was the vice president and editor at Executive Grapevine, overseeing a daily news website, ten annual supplements and HR Grapevine, the UK’s leading HR and talent management magazine. In his spare time, Ben writes fiction, poetry and arts and culture reviews. Eyewear Publishing recently named him in their list of the Best New British and Irish Poets.
Karen Greene, investor relations partner, Q4
Karen is an Investor Relations Partner at Q4, working closely with clients as an advisor. Bringing close to 30 years of experience as a senior executive overseeing investor relations and marketing communications for large to small cap and newly public companies, Karen has managed organizations through a wide range of hurdles, milestones and challenges. Karen’s career in Investor Relations includes time at CIGNA Insurance, Safeguard Scientifics, Internet Capital Group (rebranded to Actua), and Hamilton Lane.
Katrina Rymill, vice president of investor relations and sustainability, Equinix
Karen has demonstrated success in targeting and transforming the investor base of publicly traded companies, helping them gain a broader, more aligned following. She has also led IR teams through the IPO process, helping them establish IR plans, budgets and workflow required as a public company. Additionally, Karen brings first-hand knowledge and best practices for how to successfully navigate through a wide range of investor relations issues such as missed earnings guidance, M&A, activist activity, restructurings, strategic shifts, rebrands and corporate governance.
Karen has an MBA from Temple University Fox School of Business/Boston University School of Business and a BA in Economics and Political Science from the University of Rochester.
Katrina Rymill is the VP of IR & Sustainability at Equinix, a global interconnection and data center provider. Joining Equinix in 2011, she spearheaded the effort of re-architecting the company’s IR messaging and communication strategy. Projects have included setting up Equinix’s first share buyback program, establishing long-term financial targets, investor targeting, and expanding Equinix’s Sustainability Program. Prior to Equinix, Mrs. Rymill was Director of Investor Relations at CyberSource, an e-commerce payment gateway, which was acquired by Visa in 2010. In 2009, CyberSource Investor Relations was ranked 2nd by Institutional Investor Magazine. Previously, Mrs. Rymill was the Head of Investor Relations at Redback Networks. There, she created the IR program after Redback emerged from a Chapter 11 debt restructuring, and worked to build a diversified investor base, including a $200 million Secondary Offering. Mrs. Rymill started her career at Merrill Lynch in Investment Banking, where she worked on various leveraged finance and debt deals. Mrs. Rymill earned an M.B.A. from MIT Sloan and a B.A. in Biology from Harvard University.
Chad Spitler, founder and CEO, Third Economy
Chad Spitler is the Founder and CEO of Third Economy, a sustainable investment research and advisory firm. Chad was formerly a Partner at PJT CamberView, an advisory firm specializing in helping public companies engage with their investors particularly around complex or contested shareholder matters. He is most widely known for his role building what are now BlackRock’s Investment Stewardship and Sustainable Investing teams. As a Managing Director at the world’s largest asset manager, Chad led the team responsible for analyzing how environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors may impact financial performance, and integrating that analysis into investment decisions, proxy voting, corporate engagement and product development. His work facilitated billions of dollars of capital into sustainable investments and hundreds of public companies to integrate long-term thinking into their business strategies.
Chad speaks both publicly and privately with regulators, policy makers, non-profits, academics and the largest global companies and investors, to further the field of sustainable investing and transition the capital markets to a lower carbon economy. With over 20 years of institutional investing and sustainability experience, he sits on the Finance Working Group of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, and the Dean’s External Advisory Board of the University of Michigan’s School for the Environment and Sustainability. He holds an M.A. from the University of Colorado, Boulder and a B.S. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.