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Global Authority in Responsible Business & Sustainable Finance


Alex Edmans is Professor of Finance at London Business School. He is an expert in purposeful business/sustainable finance/responsible investing; diversity, equity and inclusion; practical investment strategies; the psychology of finance/behavioural economics; the use and misuse of data; and time management.

Alex has a unique combination of deep academic rigour and practical business experience. He is particularly noted for his ability to present complex concepts in non-technical language and an engaging, dynamic manner. Alex Edmans has spoken at the World Economic Forum in Davos, testified in the UK Parliament, and given the TED talk What to Trust in a Post-Truth World and the TEDx talks The Pie Growing Mindset and The Social Responsibility of Business, with a combined 2.8 million views. He previously served as Mercers’ School Memorial Professor of Business at Gresham College, giving a four-year programme of lectures to the public.

Alex Edmans is a leading figure in the reform of business to serve wider society. He serves as Non-Executive Director of The Investor Forum, on the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on the Future of Responsible Investing, and on Royal London Asset Management’s Responsible Investment Advisory Committee. The UK government appointed him (jointly with PwC) to study the alleged misuse of share buybacks and the link between executive pay and investment.

Alex has written for the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Harvard Business Review and World Economic Forum and been interviewed by Bloomberg, BBC, CNBC, CNN, ESPN, Fox, ITV, NPR, Reuters, Sky News, and Sky Sports. His book, “Grow the Pie: How Great Companies Deliver Both Purpose and Profit”, was a Financial Times Book of the Year and has been translated into nine languages. He is a co-author of the classic textbook “Principles of Corporate Finance” (with Brealey, Myers, and Allen). His latest book, “May Contain Lies: How Stories, Statistics, and Studies Exploit Our Biases – and What We Can Do About It” will be published by Penguin Random House in 2024.

Alex Edmans was named Professor of the Year by Poets & Quants in 2021. He has won 25 teaching awards at Wharton and LBS, featured in Thinkers50 Radar, and elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.

Talking Points

The Power of Purposeful Business

Purpose is the corporate buzzword of today, with politicians, the public, and even shareholders calling on businesses to serve wider society. But purpose is also controversial, because companies have a responsibility to deliver returns to investors. Is there a trade-off between purpose and profit, or is it possible for companies to achieve both? This talk will critically examine the case for purposeful business, using rigorous evidence and real-life examples to show what works – and, importantly, what doesn’t. It will discuss practical ways for businesses of all sizes to put purpose into practice, how investors and citizens can play their part, and how we can distinguish businesses that are truly purposeful from those that are greenwashing.

Responsible Investing

Interest in responsible investing is at an all-time high, with savers flocking to sustainable funds under the promise of both higher returns and positive social impact. At the same time, there’s a growing chorus of criticism with concerns that funds are “greenwashing” and making false promises. This talk will examine what promises responsible investing can realistically achieve, and the best way to do so. Do investors maximise financial returns through excluding industries or integrating ESG information? Do investors achieve social impact through divesting from brown companies or buying them and engaging with them? What data should investors gather to assess whether a company is truly responsible?

Facts, Data, and Evidence: Knowing What To Trust

One of the most dangerous phrases is “evidence shows that …”, because you can almost always find evidence to support any viewpoint. Experts are similarly untrusted, because they may have motives other than the truth. These problems are particularly severe in the digital age where people are bombarded with data and supposed expert opinions, and they are particularly severe for senior leaders where subordinates may be more willing to present data which agrees with the leader’s viewpoint. This talk will explain how to discern what and who to trust, how to address confirmation bias (the temptation to accept views that we agree with) and how to create a culture that actively promotes a diversity of thinking.
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