Business leaders call for urgent action

30 Apr Business leaders call for urgent action

As Europe risks becoming “the Lehman Brothers of the sovereign debt world” business leaders call for urgent action

The architect of Greece’s entry into the euro Dr Yannos Papantoniou, Greek economy minister between 1994 and 2001, issued a strong warning for Europe to act “at very high speed” to rescue the economy.

With investor confidence in the Greek economy at an all time low, Christopher Wasserman, the President and Founder of the Zermatt Summit, warns that more fundamental change at a grass roots level needs to be implemented by policy makers and businesses to avoid further crises like this.

The summit’s President, Christopher Wasserman, says that having witnessed the biggest corporate and financial collapses in history, many believe that we now need to encourage the next generation of business leaders to operate under a new and ethical mandate. “It is becoming increasingly critical that we influence the hearts and minds of key decision makers who are responsible for formulating policy in business and government towards responsible leadership, in order to restore stability and identify new opportunities for growth in the world markets,” he said. “The current market economy has become increasingly ambiguous and contrarian. Whilst generating unprecedented levels of growth, we are producing more wealth than ever before, but at what cost?”

The Zermatt Summit, whose inaugural summit is taking place between the 3-5th of June in Zermatt, Switzerland, has been created to allow innovative business leaders, CEOs, senior policy makers and NGOs to discuss how ethics and not the sole pursuit of pure profit can drive business practices forward in the forthcoming years.

The main objective of the Zermatt Summit is to formulate a roadmap and focus on three areas:

  1. to revisit the corporate raison d’être of the firm
  2. to integrate leadership and ethics
  3. to make corporate statesmanship a reality

The Summit will provide a unique forum for participants to ask searching questions on how key decision makers can be influenced to instigate change in company behaviours, cultures and at policy level. This will result in a series of practical recommendations, which will be widely published to ensure their implementation by business, political and civic leaders.

Speakers at the summit include:

Renowned economists such as Nouriel Roubini and Hernando de Soto who are the at forefront of the change of the economic paradigm, innovative business leaders whose firms are applying new business models and a pioneering group of business schools and firms such as the Globally Responsible Leaders Initiative representing 300,000 students and 1,000,000 employees.

Colin Melvin, CEO of Hermes Equity Ownership Services, which is one of the world’s largest and most influential institutional investors, will be speaking at this year’s summit. Owned by the BT pension scheme, Hermes Equity Ownership Services has over $100bn worth of assets under advice and has been campaigning for a positive dialogue between company boards and their investors.

“It is vital that investors change the way they behave and interact with the companies that they own,” said Melvin. “As the world navigates through the current economic crisis, it is not more regulation that we need, but a greater level of accountability from businesses to their core stakeholders.”

The purpose of companies operating in the new paradigm should be “wealth creation with progressive policies which place social responsibility and sustainability at the heart of their operations. The new focus of companies operating in the 21st century economy should be people and not just the pursuit of profits at any cost.

The world debut of a new 56 minute documentary, “Doing Virtuous Business” will be shown to delegates.