The General Counsel Corporate Governance Summit, hosted with The Conference Board Governance Center, took place on September 27, 2016 at Columbia Law School.
Public corporations have been the engine of growth and prosperity in advanced economies since the beginning of the twentieth century, creating innovative products and services and leading to unprecedented improvements in the standard of living. The question now is whether, due to changing capital markets and governance practices, public companies have become increasingly focused on extracting value in the near term instead of investing for the creation of long term value? There is a growing concern that the forces affecting corporate governance are jeopardizing capitalism as society’s engine of long term, durable growth.
Some contend that boards of directors and management are not adequately responding to the decline in long term growth, and that their roles and responsibilities should be the focus for reform. Others point to the rise of activist hedge funds as increasing short term demands. The goal of this gathering was to determine the best governance path forward for shareholders, directors, and management under these circumstances to assure needed long term growth.
The Summit was by invitation only.