Shareholder Value and the Corporation: a Debate | 24 April 2013, City University, UK

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The conventional wisdom is that corporations should aim to maximise shareholder value. Following the financial crisis, has this idea failed? Do we need to generate new ways of thinking about the ultimate purpose of the corporation?

Speaker(s)

Moderator: Joris Luyendijk, the Guardian’s Banking blogger

  • Professor Igor Filotochev, Associate Dean, Cass Business School
  • Professor Paddy Ireland, Kent Law School
  • Professor Colin Mayer, Past Dean of the Said Business School at Oxford University
  • Dr Arad Reisberg, Director of the Commercial Law Centre at UCL
  • Dr Andre Spicer, Professor of Organisational Behaviour, Cass Business School
  • Dr Daniel Summerfield, Head of Responsible Investments at USS

Description

The idea that corporations should aim to maximise shareholder value seems to be under attack from many corners. Commentators have pointed out that corporations have a wider range of goals they should pursue which go beyond just building shareholder value. Some have even pointed out that simply pursuing shareholder value can actually be destructive for the long term prospects of the corporation. This has led to calls for a radical rethinking of the ultimate purpose of the corporations and how they should be structured.

In this discussion we will ask whether corporations should focus on the pursuit of shareholder value. Is a focus on maximising shareholder value a vital discipline that stops manager from using the shareholders hard earned money to feather their own nests? Or is a relentless focus on maximising shareholder value ‘the dumbest idea in the world’ (to quote Jack Welch)?

To explore these questions, we have bought together a range of experts to discuss whether corporations should focus on maximising shareholder value. The panel will include Professor Colin Mayer (Past Dean of the Said Business School at Oxford University and author of ‘Firm Commitments: why the corporation is failing us and how to restore trust’), Professor Paddy Ireland(Kent Law School), Dr Arad Reisberg (Director of the Commercial Law Centre at UCL), Dr Daniel Summerfield (Head of Responsible Investments at USS) and Professor Igor Filatotchev (Associate Dean, Cass Business School). The debate will be moderated by Joris Luyendijk from the Guardian.

The event is organised by Cass Business School and the Critical Corporation Project.

Wednesday 24 April 2013, 18:00-20:30
Cass Business School, 106 Bunhill Row, London EC1Y 8TZ
Room: LG001
Registration: 06:00 PM-06:30 PM

Book a place directly via the website.

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