Start Date: 4/28/2020 11:00 AM EDT
End Date: 4/28/2020 12:00 PM EDT
CII Members can access a recording of this presentation and corresponding presentation slides in our Media Archive
Purpose is one of the corporate buzzwords of 2020, with the politicians, the public, and even investors themselves calling on businesses to serve wider society, not just shareholders. These calls will only increase due to the coronavirus crisis. But companies also have a responsibility to their investors. Defining the purpose of business as social value may be a way of reducing management’s accountability towards shareholders. This talk will critically examine the evidence for – and against – purposeful business, and discuss how investors can assess which companies are truly aiming to create value to both shareholders and society from ones that are greenwashing, and ones that are pursuing social value to the detriment of their shareholders. Professor Alex Edmans will draw on his new book, “Grow the Pie: How Great Companies Deliver Both Purpose and Profit”, and also discuss what it means for a company to be purposeful in current crisis.
Alex Edmans is Professor of Finance at London Business School and a leading authority on reforming business to serve the wider society – but using solutions based on rigorous evidence and recognising the importance of investors as well as stakeholders. He has spoken at the World Economic Forum in Davos, testified in the UK Parliament, and given the TED talk “What to Trust in a Post-Truth World” and the TEDx talk “The Social Responsibility of Business”, with a combined 2 million views. He also serves as Mercers School Memorial Professor of Business at Gresham College, where he gave a public lecture series on “How Business Can Better Serve Society”, and on the Responsible Investment Advisory Committee of Royal London Asset Management. He is Managing Editor of the Review of Finance, the leading academic finance journal in Europe; has written for the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal and Harvard Business Review; and has appeared live on Bloomberg, BBC, CNBC, CNN, ESPN, and Reuters