Republic Directors Rohit Lekhi and Ricardo Blaug attended the first meeting of the new Commission on Ownership at the House of Commons today. Their presentation clarified the impact of ownership on the motivation and engagement of employees, corporate governance, and the responsiveness and efficiency of public services. Contrasting shareholder and stakeholder models of ownership, they concluded that changes in ownership must be accompanied by stakeholder influence in decision-making.
The independent Commission on Ownership was announced late last year by the Cabinet Office Minister Tessa Jowell MP and is tasked with examining Government's responsibility for “ensuring diverse and fair ownership in Britain”. It will investigate the effects of different ownership structures on corporate behaviour and also citizen and employee involvement in public services. The Minister has expressed interest in the adaptability of mutuals for running public services and their ability to extend ownership rights to the communities they serve. Accordingly, the campaigning society Mutuo's Peter Hunt also outlined recent developments in the mutual sector at today's meeting.
The commission's membership includes:
Chair: Will Hutton (Executive Vice Chairman, The Work Foundation); Lady Sylvia Jay (Vice Chairman, L’Oreal plc); Peter Marks (Group Chief Executive, The Co-operative Group); Charlie Mayfield (Chairman, John Lewis Partnership); Colin Melvin (Chief Executive, Hermes Equity Ownership Services); Jonathan Michie (President, Kellogg College, Oxford University); Paul Mullins (Member, Industrial Development Advisory Board); Oliver Nyumbu (Chief Executive, Caret Ltd); Richard Reeves (Director, Demos) and Ruth Sunderland (Business Editor, The Observer).