Yale School of Management Launches Yale Center for Corporate Governance and Performance with Historic Gift; Corporate Governance Expert Ira M. Millstein Appointed Director
New Haven, Conn., June 12, 2006—
Yale School of Management Dean Joel M. Podolny today announced the establishment of the Yale Center for Corporate Governance and Performance (YCCGP) with the receipt of $20 million in gifts and commitments from individual and corporate donors, including a $10 million gift from David Nierenberg, a 1975 graduate of Yale College and a 1978 graduate of Yale Law School, and his wife Patricia, which represents the single largest gift in the history of the Yale School of Management. Podolny also announced that Ira M. Millstein, a senior partner at the international law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges and senior associate dean for corporate governance at Yale SOM, has been named the center’s director.
The Yale Center for Corporate Governance and Performance is one of several unique multidisciplinary centers at the Yale School of Management. In keeping with Yale SOM’s mission of educating leaders for business and society, the mission of the YCCGP is to explore the role of corporate governance to better enable corporations both to be competitive in their markets and to contribute to society. While based at Yale’s business school, the YCCGP also draws together scholars from Yale Law School and a variety of disciplines at Yale and other universities to explore enhanced corporate governance and the roles of the corporation in society; to facilitate the interaction of these scholars with policymakers and business leaders; to promote the dissemination of ideas and research that are relevant to improving the ability of the corporation to serve society; and to look globally for models of governance that combine return to shareholders and social benefit.
The Nierenberg gift will support two important governance initiatives at the Yale School of Management: the David Nierenberg Fund for Corporate Governance and Performance, and the Theodore Nierenberg Professorship in Corporate Governance. The Nierenberg Fund will support a broad range of YCCGP activities, including faculty research, graduate fellowships, and conference and symposium development. Its programs will emphasize the importance of American companies being more accountable to their stakeholders and responsive to their shareholders. The Nierenberg Professorship is named to honor David Nierenberg’s father, Theodore Nierenberg, an independent insurance agent, financial planner, and civic leader in Teaneck, New Jersey.
David Nierenberg, a former management consultant and venture capitalist, is president of Nierenberg Investment Management Company, Inc., which is the general partner of The D3 Family Funds, a group of private investment partnerships.
“Through the generosity of David and Patricia Nierenberg, we are able to announce both the most significant gift in the 30-year history of the Yale School of Management and the establishment of SOM’s newest interdisciplinary center, which will take a leadership role in the study and promotion of good corporate governance models worldwide,” Dean Podolny said. “We are deeply grateful for the Nierenbergs’ vision and commitment. In addition, we are absolutely delighted that Ira Millstein has agreed to take on the director’s role of the Yale Center for Corporate Governance and Performance at this critical time in the center’s development. Ira brings a wealth of both scholarly acumen and practical experience to the center, and will guide its innovative agenda of collaborative research, policy development, and real-world application with wisdom and insight.”
In announcing Millstein’s appointment, Podolny acknowledged the contribution of Shyam Sunder, the James L. Frank Professor of Accounting, Economics and Finance at the Yale School of Management, who served as director of the YCCGP during its first year of start-up activity. “Without Shyam Sunder’s vision, the Yale Center for Corporate Governance and Performance would not be in the enviable position in which it finds itself today. While Shyam’s responsibilities as president of the American Accounting Association will prevent him from continuing as director, I am heartened that his dedication to the research program of the YCCGP remains unchanged.”
Ira Millstein, who is also the Eugene F. Williams Jr. Visiting Professor in Competitive Enterprise and Strategy at the Yale School of Management, is a leading authority and frequent lecturer and author on corporate governance. A graduate of Columbia Law School and an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Millstein has counseled numerous boards on corporate governance issues, including the boards of General Motors, Westinghouse, Bethlehem Steel, WellChoice, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), Tyco International, The Walt Disney Co., and the New York State Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Among his many publications, he is the co-author of The Recurrent Crisis in Corporate Governance
(published by Palgrave in 2003, and in a paperback edition by Stanford University Press in 2004). In 2001 he received the first Award for Excellence in Corporate Governance given by the International Corporate Governance Network.
Reflecting on his appointment as director, Millstein noted, “Yale University is a unique institution and the Yale School of Management is in its best tradition. There is no better home for our new governance center because the center’s role is also unique. It will not follow traditional paths, but will break new ground as to the responsibilities of the corporation in society and how—and why—all the members of the governance paradigm—managers, boards, and shareholders—can better function to fulfill those responsibilities.”