Bar-Ilan News

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  • Prof. Beni Lauterbach, incumbent of the Ackerman Chair

    Raymond Ackerman Family Chair to Host Conference on Israeli Corporate Governance

    Date: 2013-07-15 Hour: 11:35

    One of the main issues of the great public protest of the summer of 2011 was the contention that "tycoons" and controlling shareholders of Israeli firms expropriate the simple public and extract from the public excessive wealth. The public protest yielded an activism movement to restrict the power and abuse of power by these controlling shareholders. Regulators amended the Corporation Law to enhance transparency and control over company owners, lawsuits were filed against these owners and the media constantly watch them.  Prime Minister Netanyahu and his assistants have recently called this public movement "populism", trying to calm down the activism wave.

    Next week Bar-Ilan University will host a conference focusing on activism and its proper limits, as well as how institutional investors who manage most of the public wealth can contribute to a fair distribution of corporate profits between controlling shareholders and the public.  The conference is being jointly sponsored by the Raymond Ackerman Family Chair in Israeli Corporate Governance at Bar-Ilan's Graduate School of Business Administration and The Marker newspaper.

    "The Ackerman Chair studies Israeli firms' specific control and business structures, with the objective of promoting higher levels of decency and credibility between the firm and its shareholders, or better corporate governance.  The Chair also focuses on Corporate Social Responsibility towards its "stakeholders" which are comprised of shareholders, employees, customers, suppliers, competitors, local community, and even the environment," says Prof. Beni Lauterbach, the current incumbent of the Chair.  Prof. Lauterbach holds a Ph.D. in Finance from the University of Chicago and heads the School's finance department.

    The Raymond Ackerman Family Chair was established at Bar-Ilan University by prominent South African businessman Raymond Ackerman and his wife, Wendy.  Ackerman is a founder and owner of the Pick n Pay chain, one of South Africa's pre-eminent fast-moving consumer goods retailers, consisting of over 450 stores, including 121 supermarkets and 14 hypermarkets. With operations in food, clothing, and general merchandise sectors, as well as financial services, the company operates throughout South Africa.

    The conference will include lectures by Prof. Oded Sarig, Commissioner of Capital Markets in the Ministry of Finance; Adv. Avi Licht, Deputy Attorney General; Hagai Badash, CEO of Psagot Investment House; Adv. Ilan Flato, Chairman of the Israeli Association of Publicly Traded Companies, and others.  The Ackerman Chair will present its Man of the Year in Israeli Corporate Governance Award to Hatzlaha – The Consumers' Movement for the Promotion of a Fair Economy and Society.

    The conference will begin at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 in the Feldman International Conference Center.  A full program may be found at http://www1.biu.ac.il/File/events/Invitation_Eng(1).pdf.  Simultaneous translation from Hebrew to English will be provided.