Events

Upcoming Events

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 will convene 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?

By invitation.

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

The Millstein Center will hold 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 will be on the “E” and “S” factors within ESG, and particularly the unique challenges that energy companies face on these issues. A key goal will be 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. 

By invitation.

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

The Millstein Center is excited to host a discussion on the Future of Capitalism, where we will explore 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, will share 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'll be 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, will moderate. 

The program will be held at Columbia Law School, Jerome Greene Hall Room 101, from 4:30 to 6:30, followed by a cocktail reception.

Open to the public - please register here 

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

The Millstein Center will host 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 will workshop 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 will focus 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.

By invitation.

Board Leadership Forum - November 8, 2019 | New York, NY

The Millstein Center will hold the next session of the Board Leadership Forum on Friday, November 8, 2019.

By invitation.

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

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.

Counter-Narratives Roundtable: Does (and Should) Delaware Law Allow “Long Term” “Stakeholder Governance”? - May 16, 2019

The Millstein Center held the first in a series of roundtables following our March 1 conference on Thursday, May 16th in partnership with Gibson Dunn. A small group of practitioners and academics convened to explore whether and to what extent Delaware law does (and should) allow for “long-term stakeholder governance” (as an alternative to the traditional shareholder primacy paradigm).

Discussions of long-termism and stakeholder governance dominate today’s corporate governance discussions. Both doctrines are held up as the solutions to the major problems facing our corporations and society at large. Debate continues, however, as to whether Delaware law and the business judgment rule allow boards of directors to make decisions on any basis outside of creating immediate shareholder value. How much freedom does the law give to boards to consider whether benefits to non-shareholder constituencies may ultimately serve as investments in downstream shareholder value? What kind of record needs to be made for a board to conclude that taking an action having a more immediate positive impact on non-shareholder constituencies creates long-term value for shareholders? Can the “shareholder” include those holding through large index funds like Vanguard or Fidelity? If this type of stakeholder decision-making is adopted in the name of maximizing long-term shareholder value, do boards have too much wiggle room to pursue “non-Revlon” M&A transactions and long-term strategies that destroy shareholder value without being held accountable.

The roundtable discussion explored all of these questions, and the insights that arose will help to shape the direction of the Millstein Center’s Counter-Narratives Project going forward.

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.

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.