Plenary Session: Listening to your Shareholders

Major shareholders increasingly insist that boards of directors be attentive to shareholder preferences, including as to matters of social policy. Investors are pressuring boards to address social and economic challenges such as the lack of diversity in corporate leadership, workforce automation, and income inequality. One of the world’s largest asset managers recently demanded that CEOs show how their companies’ performance “makes a positive contribution to society.” Investment vehicles targeting ESG objectives are being launched, and several organizations propose to rank publicly traded firms according to various ESG scores. Two major investors sent an open letter to Apple demanding that the company mitigate the potentially harmful effects of iPhone overuse on children.  How can boards best understand the issues most pressing to shareholders and develop strategies for anticipating and responding to these demands? Should boards engage directly with shareholders? If so, how should these interactions be structured?

Location: Paul Brest Hall, Munger Graduate Residence Date: June 25, 2018 Time: 4:15 pm - 5:30 pm Sy Lorne Gail B. Harris Peter da Silva Vint Larry Sonsini