Vanguard Network for
ESG Leaders

CONCEPT

Vanguard participants have identified the critical importance of regular dialogue with peers around immediate critical issues, and a combination of problem solving and networking in a smaller group with strong follow-up. In response, Vanguard is launching several networks and roundtables for specific groups that may especially benefit (including one for General Counsels.) 

C-Suite Executives and ESG-responsible executives across sectors have noted that this Leadership Network approach would deliver important benefits to ESG leaders

Among the reasons are the global complexity of ESG issues, the freshness of many of the challenges, the needed cross-functional and cross-department collaboration, and the reality that very often ESG leadership must be carried out via persuasion with other executives and teams, including CEOs and Boards. 

Based on this feedback, Vanguard is working with a board of ESG advisors to create an ESG Leaders Network. The Network will follow the format of the existing General Counsels Network, but tailored to the needs of the ESG leadership community.

Very importantly, the Network is not conceived as a policy-, rules-, or regulations- focused organization. Rather it is an intensely pragmatic membership network of top ESG-responsible executives working together on real-world leadership challenges so as to advance their ESG agendas.

THE VANGUARD NETWORK

The Vanguard Network is entering its 10th year of convening conversations and promoting networking among C-Suite executives around high performance leadership. Its Founder is Ken Banta, a highly experienced corporate executive and advisor.

The ≈15,000 Members and 600 Senior Participants cut across sectors and roles within their organizations, both for- and non-profit.

Activities range from one hour virtual Dialogues on specific topics such as high level recruitment, or solving top team issues, to day-long Forums of five or six sessions on critical leadership challenges, including conversations, fire-side chats, simulations and case studies. Key elements of the proceedings are developed into digital content such as video summaries, podcasts, blogs and Q&A pieces, often for use with members’ teams and other reports for development purposes.

Whatever the activity, Vanguard programming is characterized by intimate formats, vigorous dialogue, and pragmatic learnings - no PowerPoint presentations, no podiums.

THE VANGUARD ESG NETWORK

Attendees will be executives with broad ESG leadership mandates. In some cases, this may be individuals whose sole accountability is ESG, and others for whom it is a major part of their portfolio.  

  • Co-Chairs of the Network are Mary Ann Hynes (Dentons) and Kim Yapchai (Tenneco), who are both also Senior Advisors with Vanguard.

  • Membership will consist of senior ESG-responsible individuals across sectors and positions, regardless of formal title. For example, the membership will include ESG-named senior executives, as well as COOs and CEOs depending on the context.

  • The Network will include monthly or bi-monthly intimate Roundtable sessions, where participants can work together on immediate challenges and issues for peer feedback and networking. The Roundtables will be in virtual format for efficiency.

    • The Roundtables will run 60–90 minutes with the appropriate length to be decided by the participants. The participants will be polled regarding the optimal date and time each month.

    • Vanguard will convene, facilitate and execute follow up materials.

  • The Network will also include periodic longer sessions on specific topics, typically led by members with particular expertise, and/or invited guests. These may be virtual or face-to-face, as the members decide.  Vanguard will organize and facilitate the programing (as it does, for example, with the existing General Counsel Network.)

  • All aspects of the Roundtable will be confidential unless otherwise agreed.

  • C-Suite level participants who are not already Vanguard members will receive complimentary Core Membership in the Vanguard Network.

VANGUARD'S ROLE

As with other Vanguard Networks, Vanguard will help to lead, manage and curate the program, including such aspects as:

  • Membership development, recruitment and service

  • Meeting management, agenda setting and moderation, face-to-face and virtual, as appropriate

  • Developing content (e.g. videos and podcasts)

  • Issuing invitations, reminders, and notices

  • Handling  follow up on agenda items with participants and their designees

  • Producing an appropriate record of proceedings, recognizing the needs for confidentiality

  • Operate as a member services team, including making warm introductions, supporting new initiatives requested by members, and creating value-adding linkages with other members of the Vanguard Network

ADVISORY BOARD

The ESG Network Advisory Board, composed of very senior ESG-experienced leaders, will play a critical role in setting the direction and content of the Network.

 

  • Mary Ann Hynes (Dentons, and multiple board and advisory roles), and Kim Yapchai (ESG lead at Tenneco) are also co-chairs of the Board

  • The Board is building and will consist of 8-12 core members, plus advisors

TIMEFRAMES

  • Steering Team and Vanguard develop the initial roundtables (below) through August 2022

  • First series of roundtables will launch September/October 2022

ECONOMICS

The ESG Network will launch with a series of four initial roundtable sessions with enrolled members.

Initial series of four sessions: $4,800 fee per member (The equivalent of $1,200 per session.)

(This is based on benchmarking versus similar executive networks such as Vistage, and is on par with Vanguard’s Executive Roundtable Network for General Counsels.)