The speakers, who have each won global acclaim for achievements in their fields, are in London to receive the 2012 Onassis Prizes. The $200,000 prizes, judged by a panel including Nobel Laureates, are sponsored by the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation and awarded every three years by Cass Business School.
MIT Professor Stephen Ross, winner of the 2012 Onassis Prize for Finance, delivered a lecture on the causes of the financial crisis, in which he condemned the part played by accountants, regulators, bankers and derivatives.
He was joined on stage by Harvard University Professor Elhanan Helpman, winner of the 2012 Onassis Prize for International Trade, who reviewed the history of international trade and its relationship with economic development.
Emeritus professors Ernst Frankel, Richard Goss and Arnljot Stromme Svendsen, who between them have more than 120 years' experience in shipping, each shared the 2012 Onassis Prize for Shipping.
Professor Frankel of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology told the audience that the polar region may "trigger a new gold rush in human and economic terms" in his lecture on 'The arctic - the new economic frontier and the challenges for shipping'.
Chairing the event, Professor Costas Grammenos, who established Cass Business School's International Centre for Shipping, Trade and Finance said: "We are extremely honoured to play host to such a distinguished panel of academics, each of whom is recognised and respected as a global leader in their field.
"For more than 300-years, London has been hailed as a world-centre for international trade, shipping and finance so it is fitting that we should mark the lifetime achievements of the Onassis Laureates with lectures at our campus here in the heart of the City of London."
The lectures were followed by an evening banquet at London's Guildhall where the Onassis laureates received their prizes.
The Onassis Public Benefit Foundation is named in honour of Alexander Onassis, son of the Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, who died in 1975.
Dr Anthony Papadimitriou, President of the Onassis Public Benefit Foundation and Chairman of the panel of prize judges, said: "Onassis became famous in his lifetime, and after, for his mastery of the science and art of Shipping, Trade and Finance.
"The Onassis Foundation is proud to associate once more the name of its Founder with the Corporation of the City of London and the Costas Grammenos Center for Shipping Trade and Finance (http://www.cass.city.ac.uk/
Commenting on the winners, Professor Costas Grammenos (https://bunhill.city.ac.uk/
"The Onassis Prizes recognise the lifetime contribution of some of the world's most highly respected academics in finance, international trade and shipping. I warmly congratulate the winners whose distinguished achievements have profoundly influenced their disciplines and continue to have an impact on academic thinking and business conduct worldwide."