The Center for Accounting Ethics, Governance, and the Public Interest welcomed Nell Minow, co-founder and board member of GMI Ratings, to the Hilton stage on Monday, April 15as part of its Distinguished Speaker Series. Minow’s lecture was titled “How Corporate Governance Can Save (or Ruin) the World.”
Minow was named one of the 20 most influential people in corporate governance by Directorship magazine in 2007 and was dubbed “the queen of good corporate governance” by BusinessWeek Online in 2003. Prior to co-founding The Corporate Library (now GMI Ratings), Minow was a Principal of Lens, a $100 million investment firm that took positions in underperforming companies and used shareholder activism to increase their value.
In her rousing presentation, Minow shared some of the most shocking examples of bad corporate governance she’s encountered throughout her impressive career. These examples, many of which were laughable, were a stark lesson on what not to do. She said the financial crisis was caused by one reason: incentives. Minow also touched upon executive compensation, corporate greed and the lengths to which companies are willing to cover up messy situations. A reception was held after her presentation to give students the opportunity to introduce themselves and ask questions.
Minow previously served as general counsel and then president of Institutional Shareholder Services. She taught MBA students at George Mason University for five years. She has been profiled in the New Yorker, The Economist, The New York Times, and the Washington Post and appeared as an expert in corporate governance before many Congressional and Senate hearings and on television in the United States, the UK, and Canada. She is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and the University of Chicago Law School. Minow is also a movie critic who reviews new releases and DVDs each week at moviemom.com and on radio stations across the country.