26 Oct
09:00 - 18:30

Elverding Conference 2022

 

Corporate leadership, investors and stakeholder relations in a sustainable future

 


The world today faces several challenges such as climate change, the loss of biodiversity and inequality. This raises questions regarding the role of companies and its stakeholders in creating a sustainable future. It is against this backdrop that this conference, organised by the Elverding Chair of Maastricht University, brings academics and practitioners together to discuss the role of corporate boards, investors and stakeholders in designing a more sustainable corporate future. The aim of this conference is to explore the role of those who play an important role in long term decision-making for a more sustainable future: corporate leadership, institutional investors, and other stakeholders such as employees.

There is no registration fee for this conference.

Programme

09.00-09.45

Coffee & Registration

09.45-10.00

Introduction
Rob Bauer Professor of Finance and holder of the Elverding Chair on Sustainable Business, Culture and Corporate Regulation (Maastricht University)

10.00-10.45

Presentation ‘System change, not climate change’

Heleen de Coninck Professor of Socio-Technical Innovation and Climate Change (TU Eindhoven) and author of the 2018 IPCC Report on limiting warming to 1.5C and the 2022 IPCC climate change mitigation report

We need to change the system in response to climate change, but what are system transformations and how can they be enabled? Heleen de Coninck will discuss these developments and questions in her presentation on system change, not climate change.

10.45-11.00 Coffee break
11.00-12.30

The board of the future

Vino Timmerman Professor Commercial Law and Financial Law (Erasmus University Rotterdam) and former Advocate General of the Dutch Supreme Court

'Sustainable board composition in listed companies: who should they get on board to reach sustainability goals?' Marieke Wyckaert Professor of European and Belgian Company Law (KU Leuven)

In this session, the focus will be on the board of directors given their influence on corporate decisions, including the sustainability strategy or, in some cases, the lack thereof.

Moderator: Mieke Olaerts Professor of Comparative and National Company Law and holder of the Elverding Chair on Sustainable Business, Culture and Corporate Regulation (Maastricht University)

12.30-13.30 Lunch
13.30-14.30

Keynote ‘Shareholder welfare maximization’

Luigi Zingales Robert C. McCormack Distinguished Service Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance and George G. Rinder Faculty Fellow, Director of the Stigler Center for the Study of the Economy and the State (University of Chicago)

This lecture asks how corporate governance practices can be brought into closer alignment with observed behaviour about investor preferences regarding sustainability. It outlines a new approach to corporate governance based on ‘shareholder welfare maximization’.

14.30-14.45 Coffee break
14.45-16.15

The investor of the future

Dominique Dijkhuis Executive Board Member, ABP Pension Fund

‘Sustainable investor engagement in the Netherlands: opportunities and challenges’, Christoph van der Elst and Anne Lafarre Professor of Business Law and Economics (University of Tilburg) and Associate Professor at the Department of Private, Business and Labour Law (University of Tilburg)

This session discusses how investors can best navigate dilemmas regarding sustainable investment / divestment. It also considers to what extent sustainable investor engagement has been effective in the Netherlands.

Moderator: Rob Bauer

16.15-16.30 Break
16.30-17.15

Panel discussion: The stakeholder relations of the future

Reinoud Clemens Sustainability Portfolio Manager DSM

Dominique Dijkhuis

Marnix van Ginneken Member Board of Management and Chief ESG & Legal Officer Royal Philips, Professor International Corporate Governance (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

Bas van Weegberg Executive Board Member, FNV Labour Union

The closing panel invites various speakers from business, academia, labour unions, and pension funds to reflect on the purpose of the corporation in the context of the day’s proceedings.

Moderator: Constantijn van Aartsen, Postdoc researcher for the Elverding Chair

17.15-17.30 Closing

Mieke Olaerts

17.30-18.30 Drinks
19.00-22.00 Dinner for speakers
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This conference is organised and funded by the Elverding Chair for Sustainable Business, Culture and Corporate Regulation. The theme of the Chair is to investigate how sustainable, long-term corporate decision making can be enhanced from both a national as well as a European perspective.

The Elverding Chair is held jointly by Prof. Dr. Rob Bauer and Prof. Mr. Mieke Olaerts, respectively from the School of Business and Economics and the Law Faculty of Maastricht University. This collaboration makes it possible to investigate the research theme from a multidisciplinary angle, using insights from both economics and law.

The Chair is sponsored by DSM, Q-Park, De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) ING, and Broadview.

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