Annual Boden Lecture: Ann M. Lipton

Open to Public
Annual Boden Lecture: Ann M. Lipton
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Eckstein Hall
1215 West Michigan Street
Milwaukee, WI 53233
United States

Thursday, September 21
4:30 p.m.
Ray and Kay Eckstein Hall
Parking is available on site
1 CLE credit

Of Chameleons and ESG

Professor Ann M. Lipton
Tulane University Law School

For as long as there have been giant corporations, there have been debates about “corporate purpose.” Specifically, there has been disagreement whether corporations should exist to benefit all of their constituencies—shareholders, employees, local communities—or whether instead they should operate solely to maximize shareholder wealth. Today, that debate has taken the form of “ESG” or “environmental, social, governance” investing, which encourages investors to consider a corporation’s social performance in allocating their investment dollars. The difficulty for ESG advocates is that the legal structures underpinning the corporate form exert a gravitational pull toward shareholder-wealth maximization that is very difficult to resist. This lecture will explore the (many) definitions of ESG, the controversy surrounding its use, and the ways in which ESG reinforces rather than challenges shareholder primacy.

Ann Lipton is a prominent teacher and author in the areas of corporate governance, the relationships between corporations and investors, and the role of corporations in society. In addition to her academic articles in places such as the Yale Journal on Regulation and Georgetown Law Journal, she is an author of Securities Regulation: Cases and Materials (Aspen Publishers) and a regular contributor to the Business Law Prof Blog. Lipton holds an A.B. from Stanford University and a J.D. from Harvard University. She clerked for Judge Edward Becker of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and Justice David Souter at the Supreme Court of the United States and practiced law in New York City.

This annual lecture remembers the late Robert F. Boden, L’52, dean of Marquette Law School from 1965 to 1984.

Professor Ann M. Lipton

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