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Responding to the increasing publication of and demand for research on the concept of Responsible Capitalism, which encapsulates the keenly debated issues on the question of ESG integration, ECGI has delivered a number of theme-based activities in 2022 to explore perspectives from its network. 

In February 2022 the ECGI Blog began collecting short articles on the theme, intended to stir thinking and debate. In September, a two-day event surrounding the ECGI Annual Members' Meeting in Milan, gathered academics and corporate leaders to discuss the challenges of reshaping capitalism. With a focus on policy, ECGI organised a public summit on Responsible Capitalism which took place today (21 October) in Brussels.

In addition to providing academic research with a platform to engage on policy, the event was also the occasion of the launch of the next phase of the ECGI Responsible Capitalism Initiative. ECGI Executive Director, Professor Marco Becht announced that the global non-profit academic network will expand the initiative to include multiple research programmes focusing on three initial pillars:

(a) Responsible Investment
(b) Family Capitalism
(c) Corporate Purpose

Responsible Investment is transforming the international asset management industry by putting environmental, social and governance criteria into investment decisions. However, investing, engaging and voting comes with great responsibility and conflicting obligations. Family capitalism is an under-explored but vital focus area. Most corporations in the world are in fact family-controlled. So, without families behaving responsibly, there can be no responsible capitalism. Corporate Purpose is conceptually difficult. To make as much money as possible, cannot be the only purpose of business, on the other hand, profit and prices remain important in transmission of information, for motivation and for the allocation of resources. It is therefore a fundamental concept but raises many key questions.

The ECGI Responsible Investment Programme will be led by:

Caroline Flammer
Professor of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University and NBER;
Director of Columbia University's Sustainable Investing Research Initiative (SIRI).
Rajna Gibson Brandon
Professor of Finance at the University of Geneva and
Founder, Geneva Finance Research Institute

The ECGI Family Enterprise Programme will be led by:

Mary Johnstone-Louis
Senior Research Fellow, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford
Morten Bennedsen
Niels Bohr Professor at the University of Copenhagen and André and Rosalie Hoffmann Chaired Professor of Family Enterprise at INSEAD
Yupana Wiwattanakantang
Professor of Finance, NUS Business School, National University of Singapore

The ECGI Purpose Programme will be led by:

Jennifer Hill
Bob Baxt AO Professor of Corporate and Commercial Law, Monash University
Colin Mayer 
Professor of Finance, Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford
Jordi Canals
Fundación IESE Chair in Corporate Governance, IESE Business School


The project will create a vibrant, global, interdisciplinary hub examining the crucial interactions between corporations, finance, government and society. 
Speaking at the launch, ECGI Executive Director, Professor Marco Becht said;

“The project will be a platform to bring the results from the research that’s emanating from the ECGI network to the attention of policymakers and business leaders. But that’s not enough, we also believe that it is two-way and that the most pressing concerns of policymakers and business leaders should be feeding back to researchers who in turn find stimulus and orientation when formulating their next research projects, creating a virtuous cycle of interaction between research and policy making and business practice and investment practice, at the very highest level.”

To learn more about what to expect from the programmes, watch the video interviews with the project leaders here.

Responsible Investment | Family Capitalism | Corporate Purpose

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Marco Becht
Executive Director

Elaine McPartlan
General Manager


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