Professor Mary Szto Uses a Mock Shareholder Meeting to Teach Corporate Governance

Professor Mary Szto’s Business Associations class recently held a mock shareholders meeting that featured a class-wide role-playing exercise. Students portrayed corporate C-suite executives, potential board members, and shareholders to demonstrate various legal issues and challenges in shareholder meetings.

Students selected the company, Nvidia, the AI computing giant; volunteered for roles (CEO, CTO, Chief Legal Officer, Board of Director candidates, and more); and created shareholder proxy materials. They also drafted and presented shareholder proposals.

“They created a shareholder meeting that demonstrated how C-suite leaders tackle critical aspects of running a company,” says Szto. “The whole course came to life!  They demonstrated corporate governance of a public company, fiduciary duties, and risk management, among other concepts. I am proud of how well the whole class participated.  It was very lively and a lot of fun.”

Food for the shareholders meeting was provided by LexisNexis.

Report of the Mock Nvidia Shareholders’ Meeting

By the Media Team of Carlos Dominguez Scheid LL.M’24, Firdevs Okatan LL.M.’24, and Rabiya Shamim LL.M.’24.

In late March, in a culmination of weeks of preparation, the Business Associations course led by Professor Mary Szto, held a captivating Mock Nvidia Shareholders’ Meeting. The students immersed themselves in the complexities of corporate governance, bringing theory to life in a practical setting. J.D. and LL.M. students worked together to recreate a shareholder’s meeting as real as possible.

As the room buzzed with anticipation the attendees took their seats. Executives took center stage, delivering compelling presentations.  CEO LL.M. student Paulo Andrade, Chief Legal Officer (CLO) 2L Ahmad Salman, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) 2L Charles Sirotek, and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) 2L Amanda Winn each delivered speeches that captured the essence of leadership and vision.

The meeting covered the CEO’s vision of AI’s potential, the CFO’s positive financial report, and the CTO’s presentation of technological advancements. The Chief Legal Officer reassured shareholders about the company’s standards, while shareholder proposals for governance transparency and concerns about AI misuse were discussed. The meeting also involved electing a new Board of Directors, a Q&A session, and a dialogue on balancing technological progress with ethical responsibilities, concluding with the CEO’s call for ongoing engagement.

The agenda was meticulously planned, covering crucial aspects such as the approval of board nominees and shareholder proposals. Yet, what set this event apart was the students’ involvement in every facet. Teams orchestrated catering, music, media coverage, and financial reports with precision.

The atmosphere mirrored a real shareholders’ meeting, offering participants a glimpse into the process of corporate decision-making. As the event drew to a close, attendees departed with newfound insights and a deeper understanding of the corporate landscape. The Mock Nvidia Shareholders’ Meeting stood as a testament to the academic rigor and practical learning fostered within the Business Associations course.