Francis Byrd is the leader of Laurel Hill Advisory Group's Corporate Governance/ Risk Advisory Practice. Francis and his team provide strategic advice on corporate governance risk and shareholder engagement to boards of directors and senior executive management of corporate issuers.
Prior to joining Laurel Hill, Francis has served in a number of roles focusing on governance risks facing public companies. Notably, Francis was Vice President/Corporate Governance Specialist and member of the fundamental credit rating team at the global rating agency Moody's Investors' Service. During his tenure at Moody's, Francis authored over 90 published corporate governance assessments and sector commentaries; and evaluated the governance attributes and practices of Fortune 1000 companies, with a focus on the relationship between governance, risk and credit.
Prior to Moody's, Francis was a member of the Pension Policy Unit of the NYC Comptroller's Office, where he developed the governance target list and managed the shareowner engagement program for the $100 billion New York City retirement systems and pension funds, global leaders in the field of institutional investor activism. Preceding his tenure with the NYC Pension Funds, Francis was a Senior Analyst with Georgeson Shareholder Communications.
Francis has been recognized as a thought-leader in the field of corporate governance, by NACD Directorship in 2010, as one of thirty "People To Watch" - "a list of movers and shakers who merit serious attention as potential boardroom influentials." (http://www.directorship.com/directorship-100-2010/14/) A persuasive and articulate communicator, Francis is considered an authoritative voice on governance-related issues having appeared on Fox Business, is frequently quoted by Agenda, Corporate Secretary Magazine, ISS Governance Weekly, NACD Directorship, Investor Relations Magazine, Reuters and the Wall Street Journal; and, contributes articles to the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, Practical Law Journal (magazine/website), Forbes.com, Thomson Reuters' Accelus and Business Law Currents publications (magazine/website), the Directorship blog and in Directors and Boards magazine.
As an 18 year veteran in the corporate governance field, Francis has established strong working relationships with leaders among investor advocates, shareholder activists and academics as well as proxy advisory firms and numerous observers and commentators in the corporate governance community.
Francis holds a B.A. in Media Communications from Hunter College of the City University of New York, and is a graduate of the Coro Foundation's Leadership New York (IX) fellows program.