Events

Upcoming Events

Public Aspects of Private Equity - November 19, 2019 | New York, NY

Join Chris Cozzone (Principal, Bain Capital Double Impact), Donna Hitscherich (Senior Lecturer in the Discipline of Business and Director, Private Equity Program), and Theresa Whitmarsh (Executive Director, Washington State Investment Board) in a discussion moderated by Aamir A. Rehman (Senior Fellow, Richman Center).

Private equity (PE) plays an important role in investment markets and the broader economy. Private equity funds—managed by general partners, or GPs—take stakes in companies, exercise control, and actively seek to improve the performance of their portfolio companies. They do so in pursuit of financial returns for their investors (limited partners, or LPs) higher than the returns available in public markets. PE has become a key engine of investment markets, seeking absolute return while driving performance and efficiency in portfolio companies. PE is by definition private, and its activities are generally opaque.

This event will explore the public aspects of private equity, including questions such as:

  • What public impact does private equity have?
  • What ESG (environmental, social, and governance) considerations, if any, should GPs consider in their activities? Does the involvement of public institutions as LPs affect the social responsibilities of a fund?
  • Are there trade-offs between financial return and ESG considerations?
  • What actions do LPs take to align the activities of the funds in which they invest with their own ESG commitments and values? How do these actions compare across asset classes?  
  • How are pioneer asset managers navigating these complex issues? What best practices can they offer?
  • What role, if any, should public institutions—for example, pension funds and endowments—play in seeking public good as LPs in private equity funds?

Co-sponsored alonside the Richard Paul Richman Center for Business, Law, and Public Policy, in partnership with the Private Equity Program.

The event will run from 6:30-7:45pm on Tuesday, November 19th in Columbia Business School's Uris Hall (3022 Broadway, New York, NY 10027), Room 142. Food will be served. This event is open to the public and on the record. Registration is required - please register here.

The Incentives Behind Public And Private Offerings In The U.S. And Brazil - November 20, 2019 | New York, NY

Millstein Center and CLS Brazil are delighted to host a panel discussion on “The Incentives Behind Public and Private Offerings in the U.S. and Brazil” on Wednesday, November 20th from 6:30-8pm at Columbia Law School's Jerome Greene Hall (435 West 116th Street), Room 107.

The panel will feature:

  • Professor Eric Talley: Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law; Co-Director, Millstein Center
  • Jim Millstein: Co-Chairman, Guggenheim Securities; Advisory Board, Millstein Center; Chief Restructuring Officer, U.S. Department of the Treasury (2009-2011); Founder and CEO, Millstein & Co.
  • Dov Rawet: former head of the Office of Securities Registration, Brazilian Securities and Exchange Commission (CVM); Compliance Department, Leste Group 
  • Alan Bannister: Partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, New York office (Capital Markets, Global Finance and Securities Regulation and Corporate Governance Practice Group)

The panelists will provide valuable insights on the challenges that drive corporations’ decision of whether to go public. Hot topics such as information disclosure, costs, liability, underpricing, and regulatory compliance will be discussed. The debate will have a comparative approach and highlight differences between the U.S. and Brazilian legal, regulatory and business frameworks.

Snacks and refreshments will be provided during the event.

The event is open to the public. Please register here. We hope to see you there!

Conference on Academic Lobbying - December 5-6, 2019 | New York, NY

The Millstein Center is delighted to be co-sponsoring the fourth annual Theory of the Firm conference, dedicated to the topic of “Academic Lobbying,” alongside Columbia Business School and the Center on Global Economic Governance at the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs. We are soliciting papers, with submissions due no later than September 16, 2019 ― please see additional details about the conference and the call for papers here.


For more information on our events or to request an invitation, please contact the Center's Executive Director, Kristin Bresnahan, at kbresnahan@law.columbia.edu or 212-854-0083.

  

Featured Past Events

Roundtable on Corporate Purpose with Colin Mayer - October 17, 2019 | New York, NY

The Millstein Center hosted a roundtable with Professor Colin Mayer, of the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School, to explore his work with the British Academy’s Future of the Corporation Programme on corporate purpose and how business can be reconceptualized to meet the needs of the 21st century.

A small group of business leaders, academics, regulators and practitioners workshopped concrete ideas and policy recommendations for how to adapt the Programme’s “Principles to Promote the Corporation of the Future” to the U.S. context.

The group focused primarily on the following Principles:

  • Corporate law should be reformulated around corporate purpose instead of shareholder rights.
  • Regulation should require companies that perform public functions to have corporate purposes that reflect their public roles.
  • Ownership relates to the specification of corporate constitutions, implementation of corporate purposes, and the corporate values associated with them.
  • Corporate governance is not about aligning managerial interests with those of shareholder interests but with the delivery of a company’s purpose.

The Future of Capitalism with Sir Paul Collier and Colin Mayer - October 16, 2019 | New York, NY

The Millstein Center hosted a discussion on the Future of Capitalism, where we explored how capitalism and business might change to work better for society. Two of the leading scholars in this area, Oxford business professor Colin Mayer and Sir Paul Collier, a professor of economics and public policy at Oxford, shared insights from their new books, Prosperity: Better Business Makes the Greater Good and The Future of Capitalism: Facing The New Anxieties.

Following Professor Collier and Professor Mayer’s presentations, they were joined on a panel with Alan Schwartz, Executive Chairman of Guggenheim Partners, and Steve Pearlstein, business and economics columnist for The Washington Post, to provide commentary and facilitate discussion. The Millstein Center's Executive Director, Kristin Bresnahan, moderated. 

Missed the event? Check out the full recording here!

Governance Leadership Forum - October 15, 2019 | Houston, TX

The Millstein Center held the first session of its Governance Leadership Forum on Tuesday, October 15th in Houston, Texas, co-hosted with Deloitte and Sard Verbinnen & Co. The Governance Leadership Forum convenes a unique peer network of board chairs, lead directors and committee chairs who serve on the boards of public and private corporations to meet in periodic regional sessions to engage on the distinctive challenges and opportunities that they face in the boardroom. 

The focus of this inaugural session of the Forum was on the “E” and “S” factors within ESG, and particularly the unique challenges that energy companies face on these issues. A key goal was to identify a “North Star” that can guide the Board’s thinking over the next 10-15 years in anticipation of the next shareholder proposal, especially in light of proliferating ESG ratings systems. 

Private Ownership at a Public Crossroads Roundtable at TPG - October 11, 2019 | San Francisco, CA

As the next installment of our Future of the Corporation Project exploring the rise of the private markets, the Millstein Center convened a roundtable at TPG Capital's offices in San Francisco to explore the following questions among a small group of academics, practitioners and regulators:

  • Factors driving the public/private decision: Is it necessarily “good” or “bad” to have more public companies? Are there barriers preventing or discouraging issuers from accessing the public markets, and if so, what are they? What factors are driving whether a company stays private or goes public? Will increased regulation of the private markets change the calculus? Will (and should) innovations like the Long-Term Stock Exchange gain traction and urge more companies to go public? What about the use of dual-class shares and multi-tiered capital structures?
  • Private vs. public company governance structures:  How do ownership and governance structures differ between public companies and private companies? Could the private governance model lend itself to improved governance for public companies, and are there aspects of the public governance model that will inform choices for private company governance? Is there a role for regulation in making these choices?
  • Changes in the structure of private equity and venture capital financing:What is different about “seed” vs. “venture funding,” and how much does such funding specialization improve efficiency and benefit investors and funding recipients? How have changes within private equity allowing for increased liquidity affected companies’ decision to stay private or go public?

Corporate Governance “Counter-narratives” Conference: On Corporate Purpose and Shareholder Value(s) - March 1, 2019

The Millstein Center kicked off off its Counter-Narratives Project by convening corporate governance experts to discuss and debate “counter-narratives” to the conventional shareholder primacy paradigm—the theory that shareholder interests should be prioritized above the interests of all other stakeholders (including debtholders, employees, customers, suppliers, the environment, the community, and the corporation itself). 

The alternative theories, or “counter-narratives,” are critical of the limited perspective of the shareholder primacy construct and argue that such a narrow view encourages “short-termist” actors and behaviors which have contributed to economic malaise and increasingly skewed distribution of wealth. These counter-narratives propose possible methods of better balancing the interests of all stakeholders and measuring the success of a corporation through means which transcend simple shareholder wealth maximization.

The “counter-narrators” included Saïd Business School Professor Colin Mayer, who recently organized a British Academy project on The Future of the Corporation and finished a book called Prosperity: Better Business Makes the Greater Good, and Chief Justice Leo Strine of the Delaware Supreme Court, who wrote a series of articles describing the reality of shareholder power and calling for better use of this power (“investing for the long-term”). SEC Commissioner Robert Jackson, a former Columbia Law Professor and former Executive Director of the Millstein Center, delivered the keynote address.

See the day’s agenda here, the conference materials here, and recordings of each of the sessions here. Executive summaries of each of the panels were also published in the Summer 2019 issue of the Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, available here.

Inaugural Roundtable on The Rise of Private Markets and the Decline of Public Equity - October 26, 2018

To kick off its initiative on the Rise of Private Markets and the Decline of Public Equity (part of the Future of the Corporation Project), the Millstein Center convened 30 participants from academia, regulatory agencies, and private equity and venture capital firms to discuss the key issues and formulate the initial research agenda. See the day's agenda here

The Millstein Center’s February 2019 white paper, Private Ownership at a Public Crossroads: Studying the Rapidly Evolving World of Corporate Ownership, outlines the path forward following the initial round-table and identifies topics for further research. 

2019

May 2, 2019 - New York City
Board Leadership Forum
Co-sponsored with Deloitte
By invitation.

May 9, 2019 - New York City
General Counsel Forum
Co-sponsored with Cleary Gottlieb
By invitation.

November 8, 2019 - New York City
Board Leadership Forum
Co-sponsored with Deloitte
By invitation.

2018

December 18, 2018 - New York City
Board Leadership Forum
Co-sponsored with Deloitte
By invitation.

June 7, 2018 - New York City
Board Leadership Forum
Co-sponsored with Deloitte
By invitation.

January 26, 2018 - New York City
The Job of the Corporate Director: Perspectives of Academics Roundtable
Co-hosted with the The Conference Board Governance Center
By invitation.

2017

December 19, 2017 - New York City
Assuring Long-Term Governance
Co-sponsored with The Conference Board Governance Center
By invitation.

November 2, 2017 - New York City
Board Leadership Forum
Co-sponsored with Deloitte
By invitation.

June 20, 2017 - Atlanta, GA
General Counsel Corporate Governance Luncheon
Co-hosted with the The Conference Board Governance Center and The Home Depot
By invitation.

June 14, 2017 - Detroit, MI
General Counsel Corporate Governance Luncheon
Co-hosted with the The Conference Board Governance Center and General Motors
By invitation.

May 30, 2017 - St. Louis, MO
General Counsel Corporate Governance Luncheon
Co-hosted with the The Conference Board Governance Center and Emerson
By invitation.

May 25, 2017 - Dallas, TX
General Counsel Corporate Governance Luncheon
Co-hosted with the The Conference Board Governance Center, AT&T Inc., and Yum! Brands, Inc.
By invitation.

April 25, 2017 - Philadelphia, PA
General Counsel Corporate Governance Dinner
Co-hosted with the The Conference Board Governance Center and TE Connectivity
By invitation.

March 7, 2017 - Houston, TX
General Counsel Corporate Governance Luncheon
Co-hosted with the The Conference Board Governance Center and ConocoPhillips Company
By invitation.

2016

December 7, 2016 - New York City
2016 Millstein Governance Forum
For additional details, please click here.

October 24, 2016 - New York City
Activist Board-GovernanceTM Roundtable
In collaboration with Deloitte's Center for Board Effectiveness
By invitation.

September 27, 2016 - New York City
General Counsel Corporate Governance Summit
Co-hosted with the The Conference Board Governance Center
By invitation.
For additional details, please click here.

May 25, 2016 - New York City
Conference of Fund Leaders Roundtable
Co-hosted with the Mutual Fund Directors Forum
By invitation.
For additional details, please click here.

May 5, 2016 - New York City
A New Model for the Public Corporation Board?
For additional details, please click here.
 

2015

December 10, 2015 - New York City
2015 Millstein Governance Forum

November 10, 2015 - New York City
Conference of Fund Leaders Roundtable
Co-hosted with the Mutual Fund Directors Forum
By invitation.
For additional details, please click here.

June 18, 2015 - New York City
Current Issues in Corporate Governance Symposium: Disclosure

June 3, 2015 - New York City
Conference of Fund Leaders Roundtable
Co-hosted with the Mutual Fund Directors Forum.  By invitation only.

April 27, 2015 - New York City
Proxy Access 2.0
Co-hosted with the CFA Institute.  For details, please click here.

February 27, 2015 - New York City
Inversions: Implications for Tax Planning, Tax Policy, and Corporate Governance Conference
Co-hosted with Davis Polk, the Richard Paul Richman Center, and the Charles Evans Gerber Transactional Studies Center.

January 22, 2015 - New York City
Discussion on Transparent and Effective Disclosure
Co-hosted with the Center for Audit Quality.  Hosted at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP.