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Dr Shann Turnbull

Principal
International Institute for Self-governance
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Shann Turnbull, Principal, International Institute for Self-governance

Biography    
Shann Turnbull obtained an MBA from Harvard in 1963 and published The Management of Capital in 1965 to promote modern financial analysis in Australia. He became a part time teacher at Australia’s first business schools while being a serial entrepreneur founding many enterprises with three becoming traded on the Australian stock exchange. From 1967 to 1974 he was in charge of research for a private equity group that acquired and re-organized a dozen publicly traded companies. In this role and as a company promoter he gained experience as a controlling shareholder, company director, chairman and/or CEO of public companies. In 1970 he also became a founding joint CEO/owner of a mutual fund management company. In 1971 he advocated education for company directors and in1973 his first academic paper “Time Limited Corporations” was published in ABACUS: A journal of accounting, finance and business studies.

Shann pioneered research and teaching of corporate governance before this term came into vogue as a co-author in 1975 of the first course in the world to provide an educational qualification for company directors. In 1975 he also published his first book on Democratising the Wealth of Nations. The novel ideas in his book led to consulting assignments for multi-national corporations, United Nations, World Bank, and governments, including in 1991 the Peoples Republic of China and Czechoslovakia. Shann has been a prolific writer on reforming the theories and practices of capitalism.

In 2001 he obtained a PhD from Macquarie University with a thesis that showed how the science of control and communication in the animal and the machine described as cybernetics could be extended to organizations to create a science of governance as presented in his articles. His thesis built upon his education as an electrical engineer in Tasmania in 1957 and a BSc from the University of Melbourne in 1960. His PhD thesis, many journal articles, book chapters and books are posted at http://ssrn.com/author=26239. Two articles were selected for re-publishing in 2000 with the seminal contributions of leading scholars in the Corporate Governance volume of The History of Management Thought.

Shann applied the methodology developed in his dissertation to evaluate and rate the governance integrity of the largest 100 organizations in Australia by turnover for three years from 2001. From 2001 to 2006 he was the Australian Advisor to the London based Hermes Focus Asset Management. In 2002 he was commissioned by the London based New Economics Foundation to write a public policy booklet on A New Way to Govern: Organizations and society after Enfron. Based on his PhD research he designed a MBA course that he taught during 2003/4 at Macquarie University on evaluating and designing the governance architecture of organizations in the government, non-profit and private sectors. He taught risk analysis to graduate students at the University of NSW in 2007 and at Sydney University in 2008. In 2011 Shann founded the Green Money Working Group in the UK to provide liquidity for Small and Medium sized enterprises in the event of another financial crisis. Group members represent 25% of the UK population as described at www.gmwg.org.

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