Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) venue

Date: 27th October 2023   Time: 08:30 - 18:30 BST 
Venue: The Royal College of Surgeons, 38-43 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PE
Organisers: Sir Oliver Hart (Harvard University), Dimitri Vayanos (London School of Economics), Luigi Zingales (University of Chicago Booth School of Business)


The conference examined the trade-offs that corporations face between maximizing profit and taking social issues and externalities into account, and the corporate governance structures that yield desirable outcomes for society as a whole.

There were four sessions, as detailed below, as well as a lunchtime debate on Fiduciary Duty.

  • Purposeful Companies
  • Shareholder Value Goal as a Way to Minimize Agency Problems
  • Common and Universal Ownership
  • Limits on Firms’ Political Activities

On the day before the conference there a public lecture was held, touching on the same general topics and titled Reforming Capitalism by Luigi Zingales.

Lecture and conference highlights

Perspectives on the role of companies and the role of shareholder power

Sir Oliver Hart, Professor Luigi Zingales, Professor Colin Mayer, Professor Marianne Bertrand, and Professor Leo Strine share their insights on the role of firms in society and how they should represent shareholder preferences.

Presentations (click title)



Alex Edmans