Conversations: Corporate Governance

Let’s get another corporate governance conversation going. Who would be interesting to interview and why?

  • MargaretBlairMargaret Blair – More than most in the field of corporate governance, Margaret Blair is asking fundamental questions and is taking a broad look for answers. In The Deal Decade: Assessing the Causes and Effects of Corporate Restructuring in the 1980s, Blair hypothesized that a sustained rise in real interest rates reduced investment opportunities; “restructuring was largely fueled by the conflict among managers, financial institutions, and shareholders over whose interests should take precedence.”
  • Photo of Richard KoppesRichard Koppes  – At the end of July 1996 Richard Koppes left his job at CalPERS, the $100 billion California Public Employees Retirement System. CalPERS has been on the cutting edge of corporate governance since 1984 when Jesse Unruh, then California Treasurer, discovered the Bass brothers were “greenmailing” Texaco to the tune of $137 million. Unruh helped establish the Council of Institutional Investors (CII) to coordinate the fight for corporate governance reform. Soon afterward, Mr. Koppes joined CalPERS as general counsel.
  • Photo of James McRitchieJames McRitchie – I originally started the site in 1995 to convince CalPERS to start a formal corporate governance unit and to hire me to head it. They started the unit but hired someone who already worked for them with a similar skill set. That worked out for the best, since it allowed me to run for the CalPERS board (unsuccessfully) and gave me the freedom to criticize them for poor governance practices when warranted. I helped them reform their election practices and established a forum so CalPERS members could meet and ask questions of board candidates before voting.

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