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Professor Sang Yop Kang’s Presentation on Shareholder Activism and Stewardship at the University of Tokyo

STL Professor Sang Yop Kang was invited to give a talk at the University of Tokyo’s symposium in August 2019. Faculty at the University of Tokyo invited several world-leading corporate law and governance scholars. Professor Gen Goto at the University of Tokyo chaired and presided the symposium. Professor Kang presented his research on “Stewardship in Korea and Corporate Governance Implications.” In addition to Professor Kang, other invited presenters include Professors Curtis Milhaupt (Stanford Law School), Georg Ringe (University of Hamburg), and Dan Puchniak (National University of Singapore). Invited presenters presented their research topics and discussed the current shareholder activism by institutional investors. Many scholars and practitioners in Japan attended the symposium.

Professor Kang is a leading scholar in the controlling shareholder ownership regime, corporate group, and other corporate governance issues. In his presentation, Professor Kang explored issues about stewardship of institutional investors in Korea, particularly the National Pension Service (NPS). The NPS is a quasi-government agency, but it is one of the largest, most influential institutional investors in the domestic capital market. Professor Kang analyzed the legal and socio-economic effects of the emergence of the government as a “significant shareholder” (but not as a “controlling shareholder”) in most of listed companies. Besides, Professor Kang examined the impacts of “ESG” (Environmental, Social, and Governance) investment policies that the NPS adopts.