Talk Outlines

 "Succession Challenges for Asian Family Businesses"
An extraordinary generation of Asian family business owners are aging, throwing up uncomfortable questions about succession and intergenerational wealth management. In Hong Kong, for instance, the family heads of the 50 largest businesses are on average 69 years, and 10 out of 50 are above 80 years. These entrepreneurs have overcome many formidable challenges in building some of the most successful businesses in the world. Succession planning is the final challenge - one that, without sufficient planning, can threat their entire legacy. In this talk, Professor Kasper Meisner Nielsen from HKUST will address the succession challenges facing Asian family businesses and provide a road map of how this challenge can be overcome successfully.

 "Executive Compensation in the 21th Century"
Few topics in financial economics rival executive compensation in the degree of interest they elicit from academia, media, policymakers, and the general public. Are executives overpaid? Are CEOs' contributions to value sufficient to justify their pay? In his book, "Capital in the Twenty-First Century", Thomas Piketty argues that it is impossible to find an "objective basis" for the high salaries of CEOs, and that CEOs pay themselves exorbitant sums simply because they can. In this talk Professor Kasper Meisner Nielsen from HKUST takes on the challenge of measuring the value of CEOs to provide fascinating new insights that are informative for the discussion about the level of CEO pay.

 "Do independent directors provide a valuable service to shareholders?"
Having a majority of independent directors on the board is standard in many markets around the world and considered a best practice. The norm is encouraged by international guidelines for corporate governance and recent regulatory initiatives. Despite the widespread view that independent directors are beneficial to shareholder value, direct empirical evidence is scant. In this talk Professor Kasper Meisner Nielsen from HKUST approaches the question from an unusual angle - the sudden deaths of independent directors - and show that independent board members are indeed beneficial to shareholder value. Adding more independent directors to a board is, however, not always beneficial. Reforms of corporate boards should therefore aim at optimizing board effectiveness, rather than meeting global best practices.

 "Mortgage Market Design: How to prevent future financial crises"
Residential mortgages are of first-order importance for households, financial institutions, and macroeconomic stability. The typical household in a developed economy has one dominant asset—a house or apartment—and one dominant liability—a mortgage. The global financial crisis that began in 2007 has made it abundantly clear that problems in mortgage lending have the potential to destabilize the financial system and the economy. In this talk Professor Kasper Meisner Nielsen from HKUST talks about mortgage market design and the appealing features of mortgage markets that can help reduce the risk of future financial crises.