The central tenet of democratic capitalism has always been to allow the market to operate with minimal interference from elected governments. This underlying assumption is now being challenged. With the public's distrust of government growing, will they entrust major financial decisions to politicians?
The failure of financial institutions to restrain the excessive growth in credit has raised the question of the effectiveness of corporate governance. This lecture examines the underlying principles of corporate governance, and the relationship with politicians as equity owners of corporations. How can governance be designed to minimize abuse without stifling creativity and innovation?
As well as being the Mercers' School Memorial Professor of Commerce at Gresham College, Ken Costa is the Chairman of Lazard International, one of the world's preeminent financial advisory and asset management firms, operating from 39 cities across 24 countries in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, Central and South America.
Ken Costa studied philosophy and law at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, where he became President of the Students' Union and was active in the student protest movements against apartheid. He went on to study law and theology at Queens' College, Cambridge, where he obtained the LLM and Certificate in Theology.
Following university, he went to work for an investment bank in the City of London, where he has worked for over 30 years. After serving as Vice-Chairman of UBS Investment Bank, a global financial institution, where he advised international corporations, Mr. Costa was named as the Chairman of Lazard International, joining the bank in October 2007.
Ken Costa is the Chairman of Alpha International, which promotes the Alpha course -- an introduction to the Christian faith attended by over two million people in the UK and ten million worldwide -- and Church Warden of Holy Trinity Brompton. He was Chairman of the £10m successful Tick Tock Club appeal on behalf of Great Ormond Street Hospital; a member of the Advisory Council of the London Symphony Orchestra; and a Trustee of the UK arm of the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund.