Advocacy Talking Points 27 April 2022
Modern Slavery Webinar Series - Legal and Regulatory Landscape
Webinar PresentationDownload PDF
Modern slavery, which involve practices such as forced labor and human trafficking, is becoming an increasingly important issue for investors, corporates and the broader society. Globally, there is estimated to be more than 40 million of modern slavery victims. Across the region, regulators and market participants are stepping up pressure on businesses to identify and manage modern slavery risks in their operations and supply chains. The Australian Government passed the Commonwealth Modern Slavery Act in 2018 (the Act), which establishes reporting requirements for large Australian companies. Under the Act, companies need to identify and address their modern slavery risks, and maintain responsible and transparent supply chains. The Australian Act is not the first of its kind. Two notable predecessors are the United Kingdom’s Modern Slavery Act (2015) and the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act (2010). Other market are following suit.
What’s to come in the legal and regulatory landscape, and what are the implications for asset owners, fund managers and the companies they invest in? What is the business case for companies and investors? What role does the investment community play and how are they addressing such risks? Where do companies see growing risks in the post-COVID world and what efforts are they taking to identify, disclose and prevent modern slavery?
The webinar discusses the current state of modern slavery risks, the impact of the COVID-pandemic and the evolving legal and regulatory landscape in several key markets like Australia and Thailand.
- Mary Leung, CFA, head, advocacy, APAC, CFA Institute
- Nga Pham, PhD, CFA, research fellow, Monash Centre for Financial Studies, Monash University
- Matthew Coghlan, financial sector engagement manager, Walk Free
- Nareerat Santhayati, vice president, sustainable development department 1, The Stock Exchange of Thailand
Mary Leung, CFA, is the head, standards and advocacy, Asia Pacific, at CFA Institute. She is responsible for the development, maintenance, and promotion of capital markets policy perspectives in the APAC region. She also oversees the promotion and development of CFA Institute professional standards in the region. Mary has over 20 years of experience in the global financial industry, having worked in corporate finance, wealth management advisory, and fund management. Previously, she was with Coutts & Co, where she was director of Business Development and Management for North Asia. Prior to that she was executive director at UBS AG, where she led the Corporate Advisory Group in Hong Kong. With experience in both the buy- and sell-sides, Mary has a strong understanding of the drivers and dynamics of different investor groups, including institutional investors, corporates, family offices, asset owners, and high-net-worth individuals. Mary graduated from Peterhouse, Cambridge with a degree in Engineering. She is a CFA charterholder and speaks English, Putonghua, and Cantonese.
Nga Pham is a research fellow at the Monash Centre for Financial Studies (MCFS), Monash University in Australia. She works on issues related to pensions, ESG and shareholder activism. Her most recent research on the disclosure quality of modern slavery has been featured in prestigious media including the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Australia's Financial Review and SBS World News.
Nga is currently also a co-chair of the International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN) Financial Capital Committee. Before that, she was a member of the Disclosure and Transparency Committee of ICGN.
Before joining Monash University, Nga was a consultant at the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, working for the Vietnam Corporate Governance Project. Her work involved raising awareness, regulatory advocacy, capacity building and firm advisory activities in corporate governance. She co-authored a book titled "State on Board: Navigating Corporate Governance in Emerging Market Business".
Nga was also an academic at Hanoi University in Vietnam where she had assumed various leadership roles, including the Executive Director of La Trobe – HANU joint programs, Vice Dean and Dean of the Faculty of Management and Tourism.
Nga is a CFA charterholder and an active volunteer and member of the CFA Society Melbourne.
Matthew Coghlan is the Financial Sector Engagement Manager at Walk Free. He coordinates the Secretariat of the Investors Against Slavery and Trafficking Asia-Pacific (IAST APAC) initiative, an investor-led, multistakeholder initiative comprising 35 investors representing AUD7.7 trillion in AUM. Matthew supports the delivery of other Walk Free Business Engagement team projects, such as the Stock Exchange of Thailand, Walk Free and FAST initiative modern slavery guidance which was launched in December 2022. Before joining Walk Free, he was a Senior Manager in Deloitte Australia’s Sustainability practice, assisting clients with Australian Modern Slavery Act risk management and advising them on broader human rights and ESG issues. Prior to that, Matthew lived in Southeast Asia for 15 years and worked on a range of law, justice and rights projects.
With her strong passion in promoting sustainable finance in the Thai capital market, Nareerat is a key member of The Stock Exchange of Thailand’s sustainability think-tank team. She is also a member of an advisory group of the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative and Sustainability Working Group of the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE). She is currently taking the lead in promoting sustainable investing through engagement with asset management companies, investors and other stakeholders in the Thai investment community. To promote the availability of ESG information for investors, she also develops ESG disclosure practices in alignment with local and global sustainability reporting standards among Thai issuers.
She earned her second master’s degree in sustainability management from Columbia University, New York City. She lives in Bangkok, Thailand.