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Schulich and McKinsey co-host interactive forum on the future of business

The Schulich School of Business, in partnership with McKinsey and Company, hosted a one-day forum in Toronto on November 8th that brought together corporate leaders, policymakers and scholars who have been at the forefront of thought and action in regard to the direction capitalism should take, not only to ensure its survival but also to be beneficial for all stakeholders.

As a starting point, the day-long dialogue focused on the reflections of McKinsey’s Global Managing Director, Dominic Barton, in the Harvard Business Review article titled “Capitalism for the Long Term”, as well as on leading-edge insights from the Schulich School of Business on responsible business.

Keynote presentations were delivered by Dezsö J. Horváth, Dean and Tanna H. Schulich Chair in Strategic Management, Schulich School of Business; Dominic Barton, Global Managing Director, McKinsey & Company, and member of the Dean’s Advisory Council, Schulich School of Business; Robert Greenhill, Managing Director and Chief Business Officer, World Economic Forum; and Mark Wiseman, President and Chief Executive Officer, CPP Investment Board.

The first panel discussion of the day focused on ‘Moving Beyond Quarterly Capitalism’ and explored what the balance should be between short-term returns and long-term viability. Panelists Stephen M. Davis, Associate Director, Harvard Law School; Robert McEwen, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, McEwen Mining Inc.; and Matt Orsagh, Director, Capital Markets Policy, CFA Institute; as well as moderator Eileen Mercier, Chair, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan; focused on the challenge of creating long-term value in a world of short- term business cycles.

An increasing number of global company CEOs say business leaders must refocus attention on engaging the full range of their company’s stakeholders to achieve long-term value creation. The second panel, ‘Serve Stakeholders, Enrich Shareholders’, examined how the interests of investors can be reconciled with those of other stakeholders.

Panelists Jacynthe Côté, Chief Executive, Rio Tinto Alcan; Lynn A. Stout, Professor of Law, Cornell Law School; and John L. Thornton, Co-Chair, Barrick Gold Corporation; with moderator Bruce Simpson, Director, McKinsey & Company; discussed the extent to which it is possible to reward the risks of those providing the necessary capital for economic activity, while safeguarding the interests of employees, local communities, suppliers, regulators, customers and the natural environment.

In the wake of the financial crisis, many business experts and regulators are calling for reforms in corporate governance. Some point to the rise of transient or indexed “investors”, the lengthening of the investment chain between institutional investors and the companies they invest in, as well as the seeming disconnect between privatized returns and socialized risks and costs, as signs of the need for reform. The final panel discussion, ‘Rewriting the Rulebook: New Governance and Regulatory Frameworks’, addressed which models of governance align management and owners’ interests in a way that best enhances sustainable value creation.

Moderator Edward J. Waitzer, Jarislowsky Dimma Mooney Chair in Corporate Governance, Cross-appointed to Osgoode Hall Law School & Schulich School of Business; led panelists Moya Greene, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Mail Group; William T. Royan, Head, Relationship Investing, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan; and Richard Waugh, Chief Executive Officer, Scotiabank; in the discussion which examined new thinking on governance and share-ownership of public companies.

The main ideas and insights garnered from this event will not only make the capitalist system stronger but spur innovation and fuel sustainable growth in the years to come.  For more information about the event, please click the ad below or visit: