Investors, Firms and ESG

About the event

A key question in corporate governance across the developed world.

The role of ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) considerations in the management of public companies and the investment priorities of asset managers has become a first order question in corporate governance across the developed world.

In his much discussed 2018 Letter to CEOs, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink focused on it explicitly: 'Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose. To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.' With this, a new agenda and a new generation of conversations and questions around ESG were launched: What are investors looking for from firms and from funds? What are boards and companies hearing? And what is the legal context of ESG and fiduciary duty?

In this conference, both investor and firm perspectives will be discussed in addressing these questions in the UK context.

This event is co-sponsored by the NYU Law School and the British Academy's Future of the Corporation Program and the European Corporate Governance Institute ECGI, and brings together thought-leaders in business, finance and policy for the creation of impactful policy proposals.

Limited spaces are available for this event. If you would like to register your interest, please send your full name and affiliation to fame@sbs.ox.ac.uk

Download the event flyer.


09:30 - 10:00


10:00 - 10:30

Introduction and Welcome: The limitations of ESG in the promotion of responsible business

Colin Mayer, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford/ECGI.

10:30 - 11:30

The purpose of ESG: ESG as an investment opportunity? Investment strategy? Investment screen?

Moderator: Edward Rock, NYU School of Law/ECGI.


  • Frederick Alexander, B-Lab
  • Alison Bennington, ValueAct
  • Robert Eccles, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford
  • Maggie Loo, Bridges Fund Management

11:30 - 12:30

ESG conversations: What firms/boards are hearing

Moderator: Colin Mayer, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford/ECGI.


  • Omar Cordes, Ownership Capital
  • Olivia Dickson, Social Impact Investing Taskforce
  • Clare Griffin, GSK
  • David Katz, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
  • Amelia Miazad, Berkeley Law School


12:30 - 13:30


13:30 - 14:45

ESG conversations: What investors are telling firms

Moderator: John Armour, Faculty of Law, University of Oxford/ECGI.


  • Elizabeth Corley, Allianz Global Investors
  • Hans-Christoph Hirt, Hermes EOS
  • Sacha Sadan, Legal & General
  • Richard Williams, RPMI

14:45 - 15:55

Keynote: The legal side of ESG, a conversation

Moderators: John Armour, Faculty of Law, University of Oxford/ECGI and Edward Rock, NYU School of Law/ECGI


  • Vanessa Havard-Williams, Linklaters
  • Martin Lipton, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
  • Leo E. Strine Jr., Delaware Supreme Court


15:55 - 16:00

Closing Remarks

Speaker: Colin Mayer, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford/ ECGI


Networking Reception