One of the world’s leading scholars of corporate governance, UCLA’s Professor Lynn Stout, will challenge the dominant business ideology of “shareholder primacy” in a lecture and panel discussion next week (Wednesday, 30 November).

According to shareholder primacy, public corporations belong to their shareholders and firms exist for one purpose only – to maximize shareholder wealth. The thinking drives directors and executives to run their companies with a relentless focus on raising stock prices.

However, modern corporate practice needn’t be this way, argues Professor Stout, the Paul Hastings Distinguished Professor of Corporate and Securities Law at UCLA. She argues that shareholder value thinking actually harms investors, over time and as a class.

An alternative corporate philosophy – that of “stakeholder primacy” – could deliver equally healthy shareholder returns while at the same time reducing industrial unrest such as the ongoing Qantas dispute.

The lecture, organised by UNSW and co-sponsored by Allens Arthur Robinson, is the second in the seminar series ‘In Who or What Do We Trust’. It will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Professor Justin O’Brien, Director of UNSW’s Centre for Law, Markets and Regulation (CLMR).

Panellists are: Professor David Vines, Professor of Economics at the University of Oxford; Mr Greg Medcraft, Chairman, Australian Securities and Investments Commission; Mr John Colvin, CEO, Australian Institute of Company Directors; Professor Seumas Miller, Professor of Philosophy, ANU; and Mr John Morgan, Partner, AAR

What: Lecture and panel discussion featuring UCLA’s Professor Lynn StoutWhen: 8:00am-10:45am, Wednesday 30 NovemberWhere: Allens Arthur Robinson, Deutsche Bank Place, 126 Phillip St Sydney

Media contact: Steve Offner, UNSW Media Office, 02 9385 8107 or 0424 580 208