Professor Cossin is the founder and director of the IMD Global Board Center, the originator of the Four Pillars of Board Effectiveness methodology and an advocate of Stewardship. He is the author and co-author of books such as Inspiring Stewardship, book chapters (such as Governance Risk: A Guide for Investors) and many articles in the fields of governance, investments, risks and stewardship, several of which have obtained citations of excellence or other awards.
He works with owners, boards and senior leaders to provide the latest thinking on best-in-class governance, board effectiveness, the governance and selection of investments, board dynamics and strategy design. He favors an adaptive and interactive approach to finding distinctive solutions for organizations on a wide range of governance topics. His latest research focuses on stewardship, how we can foster organizations to have long-term positive social impact while creating economic value for all. His past research has dealt with optimizing governance in critical decision making, M&As and risks.
In his work with boards, Professor Cossin helps them enhance organizational performance through strategy involvement, best-in-class decision making, enhancing board culture and general governance (including board restructurings). As a clinician of governance excellence in many regions of the world, he is an advocate of adapting practices to the social, geopolitical, technological and economic transformation through distinctive solutions allowing for long term wealth creation.
He also looks at the latest approaches to risk issues. His work addresses not only technical risks (for which he uses his finance background) but also those arising from a number of different factors: psychological biases, social and cultural environments, technological changes (from AI to cybersecurity), strategic choices and/or from governance structure (for which he levers his long experience with many leading organizations).
Professor Cossin is an advisor and/or executive teacher with the United Nations, central banks of several countries, ministries as well as sovereign wealth funds and supranational organizations (European Central Bank, IFC, IOC), the boards or executive committees of corporations, financial institutions and funds in Europe, Asia, Americas, Africa and the Middle East. He gained significant experience working with the oil and gas industry (Schlumberger, Shell, Sinopec, Saudi Aramco, Qatar Petroleum, and others) and the banking industry (HSBC, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, ICBC and others), but he has also worked with many other industries (media, luxury goods, retail, shipping, asset management, etc.). He also advises some leading non-profit organisations on governance issues (Unicef, the Red Cross). He is a member of the Risk Who's Who Society, the American Finance Association, the Eastern Finance Association, and the European Finance Association.
Professor Cossin holds a PhD from Harvard University (Robert C. Merton Chair) and is a former Fulbright Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Economics (USA). He is a former student of ENS rue d'Ulm (France) and holds master degrees from Sorbonne University and EHESS (France).
Before joining IMD, Didier Cossin worked for Goldman Sachs (London, UK) and pharmaceutical company Roussel-Uclaf (Tokyo, Japan) as it was considering an initial offering on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. He has taught at Harvard University, where he obtained two Derek Bok Awards for excellence in teaching, and was associate then full professor at HEC, University of Lausanne (1993-2002). He chaired the university’s Department of Management (1995-1997); was the Director of both its Institute of Banking & Financial Management (1997-2002) and its PhD in Management (1997-1999). At IMD, he has led or co-led the pension fund, the recruiting process, the faculty policies committee, client engagement initiatives and a strategy review as well as other administrative responsibilities supporting the success of the organization.
He has received distinctions such as the UBS Chair in Banking and Finance at IMD, the Febelfin BFI Chair and the Deloitte Risk Management Chair from other institutions.
Professor Cossin directs the High Performance Boards program at IMD as of June 2011.