Tuesday, 27 September 2011, 6:00PM
Barnard's Inn Hall

Vision and Values in a Volatile World: Lecture One

Professor Kenneth Costa, Alderman Professor Michael Mainelli

We live in volatile times, as the Arab Spring and August riots have demonstrated. Professor Costa outlines an ethics of business best suited to dealing with this situation, an approach based on a morality of visions and values.   This lecture was delivered by Professor Michael Mainelli, Emeritus Gresham Professor of Commerce.

professor-kenneth-costa

Professor Ken Costa is the former Chairman of Lazard International and is the Emeritus Gresham Professor of Commerce.

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.

All of Professor Costa's past lectures can be accessed here.

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alderman-professor-michael-mainelli

Alderman Professor Michael Mainelli is Emeritus Mercers' School Memorial Professor of Commerce at Gresham College, having held the chair from 2005 to 2009. His first degree was in Government from Harvard, followed by mathematics and engineering studies at Trinity College Dublin and a PhD from the London School of Economics in chaotic systems, where he was also a Visiting Professor.

Professor Mainelli is Executive Chairman of Z/Yen, the City of London’s leading commercial think-tank and venture firm, which he co-founded in 1994 to promote societal advance through better finance and technology. A qualified accountant (FCCA), securities professional (FCSI), computer specialist (FBCS) and management consultant (FIC), Michael began his career as a research scientist in aerospace (rockets) and computing (architecture & mapping). He later became a senior partner with accountants BDO Binder Hamlyn directing global consulting projects. During the 1990s he worked for the UK Ministry of Defence as Corporate Development Director for Europe’s then largest R&D firm, the Defence Evaluation & Research Agency leading to two privatisations. Career highlights include directing Z/Yen’s Long Finance initiative with Gresham College and the City of London Corporation asking “when would we know our financial system is working?” as well as creating the Global Financial Centres Index, Global Intellectual Property Index, London Accord and Farsight Award. Michael also conceived and produced the first complete digital map of the world in 1983, Mundocart (a 1980’s Google Earth), and the $20 million Geodat consortium cartography project.

Michael is non-executive Director of the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UK’s national body for standards and laboratories), AIM-listed Sirius Minerals plc (potash mining), AIM-listed Wishbone Gold Plc; Alderman for Broad Street Ward (elected) at the City of London Corporation; Almoner for Christ’s Hospital School; Trustee of International Fund for Animal Welfare. Michael has held numerous advisory posts, for example with Hitachi UK, City University and HM Treasury. Michael won a 1996 UK Foresight Challenge award for the Financial Laboratory, 2003 UK Smart Award for prediction software, 2005 British Computer Society Director of the Year, 2011 Technology Strategy Board Challenge Award for financial avatars, and was awarded Gentiluomo of the Associazione Cavalieri di San Silvestro in 2011. Michael is a Liveryman, Worshipful Company of World Traders, Freeman, Watermen & Lightermen, and represents the Financial Services Group of Livery Companies.

Michael has published over 40 journal articles, 150 commercial articles and four books. Michael’s humorous risk/reward management novel, Clean Business Cuisine: Now and Z/Yen, written with Ian Harris, was a Sunday Times Book of the Week in 2000; Accountancy Age described it as “surprisingly funny considering it is written by a couple of accountants”. Their third co-authored book, The Price of Fish: A New Approach to Wicked Economics and Better Decisions, based on his Gresham lectures, won the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards Finance, Investment & Economics Gold Prize. Michael plays bagpipes, loves skiing and sailing and, with his wife, Elisabeth, he races and restores the 1923 Thames Sailing Barge Lady Daphne and sits on the world’s oldest sailing racing body, the Thames Match Committee. With an international family, Michael speaks English, German, French and Italian poorly, but even worse Spanish and Chinese.

To access all of Professor Mainelli's previous Gresham College lectures, please click here.

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Transcript

27 September 2011

Vision and Values in a Volatile World: Lecture One
Professor Kenneth Costa
Alderman Professor Michael Mainelli

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