What is the role of a company? Two schools of thought, two rival philosophies, have vied for supremacy for over twenty years now. Is it to put the interests of shareholders above all else, as Nobel prize-winning economist Milton Freedman declared? Or is it, in addition to the shareholders, to serve other stakeholders such as staff, clients, suppliers and beyond?

Conscious Capitalism

What is the role of a company? Two schools of thought, two rival philosophies, have vied for supremacy for over twenty years now. Is it to put the interests of shareholders above all else, as Nobel prize-winning economist Milton Freedman declared? Or is it, in addition to the shareholders, to serve other stakeholders such as staff, clients, suppliers and beyond?

In January Larry Fink, CEO of the world’s biggest investment firm which handles more than six trillion dollars in assets, created a stir by addressing an open letter to the bosses of the world’s biggest companies. Pitched somewhere between a call to order and a cry for change, the letter asks companies to take a more inclusive, longer-term approach to capitalism. Leaders League presents an extract.

Making Capitalism More Moral

In January Larry Fink, CEO of the world’s biggest investment firm which handles more than six trillion dollars in assets, created a stir by addressing an open letter to the bosses of the world’s biggest companies. Pitched somewhere between a call to...

LREM deputy Stanislas Guerini was appointed by the executive in December 2017, along with Agnès Touraine (Président of the Institut Français des Administrateurs) to come up with a new vision of what a company is – more innovative, engaged and adapted to the times.

Stanislas Guerini (French parliamentarian): “Reimagine businesses by removing the twin barriers which oppose capital and work”

LREM deputy Stanislas Guerini was appointed by the executive in December 2017, along with Agnès Touraine (Président of the Institut Français des Administrateurs) to come up with a new vision of what a company is – more innovative, engaged and adapted...

Once seen as a communication tool, CSR (corporate social responsibility) is now establishing itself as a means of measuring the capacity of a business to make lasting commitments. It’s a catalyst for innovation and a source of growth, according to Martin Richer, of French think tank Terra Nova.

“It’s impossible to be profitable in the long-term while ‘massacring’ stakeholders”

Once seen as a communication tool, CSR (corporate social responsibility) is now establishing itself as a means of measuring the capacity of a business to make lasting commitments. It’s a catalyst for innovation and a source of growth, according to Ma...

After 14 years at the head of French retail cooperative Système U, which has some 1,600 stores and 70,000 employees, Serge Papin is convinced of one thing: the role of a CEO, far from just being about being maximizing profit, is also about facilitating ‘reconciliation’ between the different stakeholders in such a way as to promote the emergence of shared capitalism. Here are the thoughts of a visionary leader engaged in the development of sustainable capitalism.

Serge Papin (CEO, Système U): “The director must turn his company into a place of reconciliation for the different stakeholders”

After 14 years at the head of French retail cooperative Système U, which has some 1,600 stores and 70,000 employees, Serge Papin is convinced of one thing: the role of a CEO, far from just being about being maximizing profit, is also about facilitati...

When Jean-Marc Borello created Groupe SOS thirty-five years ago its goal was to come to the aid of those people ‘nobody wanted.’ Today, his business, built around the fight against exclusion, employs 17,000 and has a turnover of 850 million euros. Proof that social engagement and economic performance need not be mutually exclusive. For the author of 'Why We Need Common Good Capitalism,' these ideas are today inseparable.

“If a company is driven by short term profit, it’s doomed”

When Jean-Marc Borello created Groupe SOS thirty-five years ago its goal was to come to the aid of those people ‘nobody wanted.’ Today, his business, built around the fight against exclusion, employs 17,000 and has a turnover of 850 million euros. Pr...