Global corporate governance colloquia forges ahead into its second phase
15 June 2023 – Seoul. The Global Corporate Governance Colloquia (GCGC) is a best-in-class discussion forum established in 2014 by ECGI and twelve leading universities in Asia, Europe, and the United States with support from a select group of practitioner sponsors. The concept is simple: to bring together a mix of scholars from the fields of law and finance to discuss current research and topical issues from the three regions, with the aim of enriching the field of corporate governance study with new ideas and connections.
In the time since its first gathering at Stanford University in 2015, the GCGC has met in Stockholm, Tokyo, Harvard, Frankfurt, Oxford, and Seoul. More than 84 papers have been discussed, 14 panels convened, and hundreds of friendships formed. Many of the founding directors, who are renowned globally and celebrated in their homelands, have introduced new leaders to represent their universities, while still attending regularly to experience the collegiality and rich debate.
The founding directors who have stepped down are Professors Colin Mayer, Henry Hansmann, Hideki Kanda, Kon Sik Kim, Uwe Walz, Luh Luh Lan, Julian Franks, Gerard Hertig, and Bo Becker. The remaining founding directors are Professors Ron Gilson, Marco Becht, Allen Ferrell, and Jeff Gordon.
As it enters its second phase, GCGC is led by a new cohort of scholars representing the member universities. These are: Professors Martin Schmalz, John Morley, Tomotaka Fujita, Ok-Rial Song, Tobias Tröger, Umakanth Varottil, Claudia Custodio, Jennifer Hill, and Erik Lidman.
The GCGC network was established with the support of partner institutions that have since left the network. These are the European Investment Bank, Zurich Insurance Group, London Business School, and The Swedish House of Finance. Japan Exchange Group (JPX) has supported the colloquia since foundation and continues to participate in the annual gatherings. Prestigious arrivals to the GCGC network in recent years are Imperial College London and the Swedish Corporate Governance Institute (SCGI) at Stockholm University.
These changes to the GCGC Board and the participating institutions have placed the network in a very strong position as it now moves into the second half of the cycle of conferences, staying true to its original aim with renewed vigour and commitment.
Memorable moments from the first six conferences include Oliver Hart’s insistence in 2016, that the dominance of shareholder value as a driving force of business is not etched in stone and that our future can be changed. The now Nobel Laureate may be more heartened by global support for his argument today than there may have been in the room seven years ago. Such ideas can have a powerful impact. Also notable was Lawrence H. Summers’ dinner speech in 2018 where he both posed and answered questions for a hypothetical US President, which could only be more entertaining if done in character. And on the subject of dinners, the spectacular Divinity School in Oxford was a perfect setting for a collegial gathering in 2022 after a forced hiatus. The first six conferences were each expertly hosted with cultural celebration and academic prowess.
The two global pandemic years were memorable for different reasons, not least for holding a record 24- hour intercontinental webinar, organised in record speed of two weeks, demonstrating the strength of close ties across the network. GCGC has great reason to be proud of its achievements and success to date, while remaining optimistic about delivering another six high-quality events in the coming years in New York, London, Singapore, New Haven, and Beijing.
Speaking at the event in Seoul this year, Professor Marco Becht, the Executive Director of ECGI, commented:
“GCGC is an academic highlight in the corporate governance and investor stewardship research fields. It set out to create a forum that leading universities and scholars could be proud to deliver and participate in while advancing debate and sharing ideas across regions and disciplines. It is firmly established as a forum where leading scholars present their latest research and ECGI is proud to ensure its continued success as GCGC now progresses into the second half of the hosting cycle”.
The Global Corporate Governance Colloquia will continue next year at Columbia University, NYC, and an open call for papers will be published in summer 2023. Recordings from this year’s event will be made available on www.GCGC.global and www.ecgi.global.
Hosts by year:
2015 – Stanford University, USA
2016 – Swedish House of Finance, Sweden
2017 – University of Tokyo, Japan
2018 – Harvard University, USA
2019 – Frankfurt University, Germany
2020 – 24-hour webinar (online)
2021 – Yale University, USA (online)
2022 – University of Oxford, UK
2023 – Seoul National University, Korea
2024 – Columbia University, USA
2025 – Imperial College London, UK
2026 – National University of Singapore
2027 – Yale University, USA
2028 – Peking University, China